Awesome Ideas: Recycling old clothes

A while ago I found a few plain, scoop neck t-shirts that I thought I’d thrown out. I no longer wear them and they came to mind when I was considering that a handful of pretty tees and blouses I’d seen online could be easily re-created with a little bit of sewing. Once I found where I’d hidden the old M&S tops and assessed their suitability, I made a trip to the John Lewis haberdashery department to buy some red and some white ric rac… and then promptly forgot about the whole project! This week, however, I decided to finish what I’d (almost) started.

As I was unsure how to get the ends of the ric rac to look tidy, and I also wanted to add a little extra something to the neckline, I rummaged around in my craft box for some buttons that would also co-ordinate. In doing this, I found some pretty white rose trim that was left over from a previous project and decided that this would look lovely on the cornflower blue t-shirt. That was easily pinned on and then stitched by hand in front of the telly. The ric rac, however, was going to need the sewing machine.

After stitching the remaining two shirts, I have one handy hint to impart should you decide to do this for yourself. Go slowly! My cream shirt with the red trim was stitched carefully and it looks fine. The khaki shirt with white trim was done in a bit of a rush before dinner and it looks a little crooked, so it would seem that patience is indeed a virtue. They do look quite nice though, so it has been suggested that I might be able to sell embellished tops on Etsy – what do you think? If I came up with some good ideas and found a source for decent plain t-shirts, is it worth a try? I’d need to perfect my skills (and ensure I don’t take the before photos while still on the macro setting!), but there could be a market for it. In the meantime, I think I’ll simply list a few other bits of clothing I no longer wear on eBay. Now… where did I put that camera?

UPDATE: I now have a few things listed on eBay.

2 thoughts on “Awesome Ideas: Recycling old clothes

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  1. Fab work! Am so jealous of anyone with an eye and hand for this type of thing! I am clumsy and impatient, too rubbish traits when it comes to upcycling and crafting.

  2. Ooh, what a great idea. I keep looking at the embellishments in John Lewis and thinking there must be something I can do, and I have bags of buttons and trims!

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