Another Halloween has come and gone; my favourite part about it has to be making my costume. My best friend since childhood and fellow fancy dress enthusiast Steph and I always get fully involved when it comes to costume making. I apply the same upcycling mind set to costumes that I do to refashioning my clothes. There are several trusty techniques at the core of my sewing repertoire that I often come back to, so it occurred to me that I should share a round up of the resources that I use time and time again. Not only will this (hopefully) give people a bit of inspiration when it comes to their own refashions, but I also wanted to give credit to the creative minds that have inspired me.
So here we go, 5 simple skills that will have you transforming your old clothes (and possibly old curtains) in no time!
The Pineneedle Collective
The circle skirt is a classic, but I found this tutorial particularly helpful because Annika clearly explains the mathematics required to make your own pattern. This is useful if, like me, your memory of the Pi equation is somewhat lacking.
My top uses for circle skirts:
- Turn bed sheets, table cloths or any large pieces of fabric into retro skirts with minimal sewing.
- Make a top into a dress by adding a circle skirt to the bottom.
My attempts at making my own bias binding were rather lackluster before I found Maris' blog. She shows you clearly through the use of great photos how you should cut your bias tape and stitch it together. She has many detailed tutorials on her blog so it's definitely worth following to tap into her wealth of sewing knowledge.
My top uses for bias binding:
- Give a skirt or dress a facelift by adding contrasting binding to the hem.
- Brighten up a cardigan by adding binding to the neck and sleeves.
It's The Life
Ah ruffles; what a great way to spruce up a long forgotten garment! If you're unsure how to go about adding ruffles then I suggest you head over to Andrea's blog as she breaks it down for you very clearly, and even follows on from this tutorial with how to attach the ruffles to a hem.
My top uses for ruffles:
- Everything! I'd put a ruffle on everything if I could, but they look particularly fancy around the neckline of a blouse or the hem of a skirt.
Made By Rae
Having had no idea how to shirr, I found this to be the most helpful tutorial when I first began. Shirring is a great skill to have under you belt because, as Rae mentions in her post, by adding a shirred back panel onto clothing you can omit the need for a zip. It's a great way to put some stretch into non-stretch fabric, plus it looks pretty too.
My top uses for shirring:
- Cinch in a waist on an oversized top.
- Turn a long skirt into a summer dress by shirring the top to create a bodice.
By Sheri, author of Confessions of a Refashionista
This easy to follow video tutorial shows you the ultimate skill in upcycling clothing: re-sizing an overly large garment. With this sewing skill in your arsenal, it opens you up to a world of opportunities when it comes to making something fresh.
My top uses for tailoring:
- Tailor a man's shirt into a feminine, tailored blouse.
- Nip in the waist and bust of baggy clothing.
Well there we go, I hope these clever ladies will inspire your work as they have mine!