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How To Upcycle Clothes

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Do you know how to upcycle clothes? From old t-shirts to denim jeans and men’s dress shirts, we are surrounded by tons of extra clothes we no longer wear anymore. 

Here are examples of trendy and stylish upcycled clothing including tops, dresses, and skirts to inspire you! Each DIY refashion project includes step-by-step photos, detailed instructions and video tutorials to guide you through the process.

Transform old clothes into trendy clothes and fashionable styles with an increased value. Upcycled clothing is old clothes, fabric revenants or vintage garments that have been transformed into new items that are worth more than the original garments.

In this website, I share easy and simple ways to turn old clothes into new clothes. Start your DIY fashion journey with no sew t-shirt refashion and cool t-shirt cutting ideas.

Oversized t-shirts are easy to manipulate the length, sleeve silhouette, and neckline, just to name a few simple modifications. From t-shirt dresses to crop tops, mini skirts and yoga tops, old tees are a great beginner material to work with when starting to upcycle clothes. 

If you are struggling to learn how to upcycle clothes, then you are in the right place! I share easy tips and tricks for adding lace trim, adjusting the length and incorporating notions like a faux button placket. 

I’ve put together design ideas that demonstrate repurposing techniques so that you can be excited to wear the clothing again and again. The options are endless when you learn how to upcycle clothes.

How Do You Upcycle Old Clothes

It’s mesmerizing to see the transformation of your old clothes into something new. Whether you have denim jeans or an oversized tee, evaluate the material you want to work with to be sure that you have enough fabrics to play around and the fabric is suitable for the upcycle project.

Prepare the old clothes by washing and drying to give a nice clean bath to get started. Also, iron to remove any wrinkles or creases.

Be aware that each tutorial is based on specific measurements and may require a slight adjustment to properly fit you. Learn how to take body measurements before getting started so that you can adjust any points and convert the garment into your size.

Next, compare and contrast the tutorial measurement and your body measurement to add or subtract a few inches here and there. Always double check the measurements before you start cutting the fabric.

Upcycling old clothes requires planning the project and gathering the right tools to accomplish the project. Whether it requires minimal sewing or no sew clothing projects, you’ll always need the basic materials from a sewing kit that I recommended for every upcycle clothing designer. 

DIY Upcycle Clothes Project Materials:

  • Old Clothes
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Straight Pins
  • Scissors

Repurposing and Upcycling Old Clothes

Old clothes have infinite possibilities when it comes to repurposing and upcycling into brand new clothing. From sewing to no sew, there are tons of tips and tricks to make the magic really happen.

Do you know how to upcycle clothes without sewing? From cutting techniques to using fabric glues to join two pieces together, no sew hacks are easy and fun ways to enter into the upcycling world. 

Every project has different strategy to accomplish, and you must selectively choose the best fabric glue for clothes that you are working with. I have tested the outcome on various fabrics, materials and project types, so take a look at the results based on my experience.

Using traditional sewing techniques to upcycle clothes is straight forward. Review the tools and sewing tips including the stitch width, sewing foot and finishing details to make sure that you apply the right method to complete the sewing project.

Here are the basic clothing alteration tips and techniques you will expect to see on each tutorial:

  • Understand the proper use for stitches like straight stitch, zigzag and overlock stitch.
  • Use zero waste method to save any zippers, trims and buttons to reuse in other project. 
  • Practice working with stretchy knit or woven fabrics 
  • Identify different tools and tips to apply for each fabrication. 
  • Learn how to finish new cut lines with a raw edge, adding a band or helming to secure the ends of the fabric.
  • Add elastic band or elastic shirring to create a flexible silhouette with several directions of movement.

These are few refashion ideas that we will be focused to work on. You will easily be inspired to repurpose and upcycle old clothes, and also explore unique designs on your own to revamp your wardrobe with DIY clothing. 

DIY Upcycle Clothes Project Tips:

It requires creativity and thinking outside of box to upcycle any old clothes. To make the process a bit easier, I’ve put together tons of fun projects for you to explore. 

Discover exciting DIY upcycle clothing projects to learn new sewing skills and upgrade your wardrobe to the next level. 

Below I listed tricks and hacks that I found useful while I was deconstructing old clothes and planning to reassemble new garments. Apply these ideas to your project so that you have a smooth upcycle journey!

  • Sewing Tips: Depending what type of fabric you are working with, the sewing methods will vary slightly. Each tutorial comes with suggestions for the range of tension and stitch types to follow. However, I recommend to always test the tension and stitch width on a scrap piece of fabric to see what works best for you. 
  • Cutting Tools: Clean and straight cutlines are very important when working on DIY clothing. The cutline inevitably becomes the finishing detail, helming or binding to cover the edges. I recommend sharp fabric scissors to use on curves or uneven chalk mark lines. For straight lines, a rotary cutter and cutting mat are preferred. 
  • Fabric Chalk: Have both white and black fabric chalk handy. For a lighter ground, use black chalk to create cutting or sewing lines, and use white chalk for a darker ground. Test on the chalk on fabric to make sure the mark lines disappear after dampening with water. 
  • Measuring Tape: A straight ruler is good, but a measuring tape is extremely handy when it comes to measuring curved lines on a garment. Take time and get comfortable using measuring tape for making upcycle clothes. They are flexible and make it easy to read measurement adjustments. 
  • Fabric Glue: Find the right fabric glue to achieve the specific no sew project. Always read the manufacturer’s recommendations to apply on the right fabrication. Start with a small amount to join the seam or helming for quick dry results. Test the bond on the scraps of fabric beforehand, and give it a wash to make sure the adhesive holds. 

Best Upcycle Clothes Tutorials

Designing clothing from scratch can be a bit intimidating. Here are the best upcycle clothes tutorials so that you can leave the designing up to a professional and you can have fun copying the free patterns!

Best upcycle clothes projects

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