Upcycling Old Clothes

Some posts here on ARoseTintedWorld may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy a product or register, then I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I may also use products from the companies mentioned in these posts. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Right back at the start of this year I decided to have a big clear out. I gave myself a year to clear. I also came around to accepting that I would only have the one child. And I decided to start trying to lose weight again. So there are clothes coming out of my closets left right and centre. Old clothes from Elizabeth that I had put aside “just in case’ I got pregnant again. Ditto maternity clothes. Some of these were new / good enough to sell on eBay (more on that in this post). Some I could give to friends. But what about the others that were left? How could I go about upcycling old clothes?

Upcycling Old Clothes

Upcycling Old Clothes ⋆ Fast Fashion is so environmentally unsound. Here are some zero waste and ecologically friendly ideas on saving fabric. Reuse, repurpose and recycle fabric with these thoughts and patterns. Upcycle your old clothing and cloth to make fabulous new things #lagom #upcycling #zerowaste #fastfashion #zerowastelifestyle #ecofriendlyideas

If you saw any of the Great British Sewing Bee programme this year, you would remember that every week they featured a task that involved upcycling old clothes or objects to make new outfits or things. They made dog coats out of tents, dresses out of net curtains, and punk outfits out of tartan garments.

This was probably my favourite part / task of the show. I’d done a little upcycling of some old clothes of mine before. Making a old pair of jeggings into a denim skirt, and making a pair of leggings for Star Wars Day (May 4th be with you) out of my partners old pyjama pants.

Upcycling Old Clothes

Find out how I made the skirt here

And the leggings were made by using my technique for making children leggings without a pattern.

In fact this is a perfect way of reusing old adult jersey garments, just cut some children’s leggings from the fabric. Even if the leggings are only used for playing out or nursery, you are getting a few more months from the fabric before it needs to go into the bin.

Not Recycling Or Upcycling Old Clothes Is A Problem!

Our clothes fixation is really impacting on the planet. In the UK we buy nearly 27kg of clothes each every year. And throw away 235 million items of clothing into landfill. A lot of that material just sits there. Some of the man made fibres won’t rot for 200 years or more.

So the longer we can get some use out of these clothes the better.

Recently a close friend asked me if I wanted some garments that she was going to donate or dispose of. As these were Indian garments, she doubted that her local charity shop would take them. But they were too lovely to just throw away.

I accepted the challenge, and she gave me two large bags full of the most beautiful clothes. Beaded and sequinned, most had no size labels, so I could understand why she had asked me.

Upcycling Old Clothes - indian clothes

There was also a lot of cotton lawn material in amongst the clothes, which is perfect for making little girl summer dresses. So using the same modified pattern that I had used to make E’s Wonder Woman dress, I made a little dress using some of the fabric (that you can see in the top left of the picture above) This was a yellow and aqua sequinned tunic with some yellow cotton trousers. There was enough fabric to make this little dress, plus a few pieces left over for other small items.

up cycled dressUpcycling Old Clothes ⋆ Fast Fashion is so environmentally unsound. Here are some zero waste and ecologically friendly ideas on saving fabric. Reuse, repurpose and recycle fabric with these thoughts and patterns. Upcycle your old clothing and cloth to make fabulous new things #lagom #upcycling #zerowaste #fastfashion #zerowastelifestyle #ecofriendlyideas

I hope my friend who gave me the material likes this dress I made for her little girl. And there is still lots more material to upcycle.

Other Sewing Ways Of Reusing Fabric

During my clear out of E’s old baby clothes I found a load of bibs, flannels and burp cloths. These could be up cycled into reusable kitchen towels.

Find out how you can make reusable kitchen roll here.

And I am looking to making makeup remover wipes and reusable sanitary pads with this cloth in the future.

See my post on reusable sanitary pad making

20 ways of using up all the fabric scraps in your scrap bag. Zero waste ways to make great gifts.Making Scrunchies From Fabric Scraps - using up waste fabric and up cycling old cloth to make other things #zerowaste #recycled #upcycled #fabricscraps #scrunchies #giftideas

And see my post on other ways to reuse fabric scraps

Upcycling Old Clothes ⋆ Fast Fashion is so environmentally unsound. Here are some zero waste and ecologically friendly ideas on saving fabric. Reuse, repurpose and recycle fabric with these thoughts and patterns. Upcycle your old clothing and cloth to make fabulous new things #lagom #upcycling #zerowaste #fastfashion #zerowastelifestyle #ecofriendlyideas

But What If You Can’t Sew?

There is still lots of things that you can do with old clothes. One of my favourite things to do with old jersey dresses and leggings is to cut them into thin strips to make a rag rug. It is so easy, and you end up with a really lovely item for your home.

Find my tutorial here.

Upcycling Old Clothes - rag rug

Or you could make a rag wreath, and not just for Christmas! Again, this is a totally no sew craft using strips of old material to make a fabulous decorative item.

Find my tutorial here

Festive Rag Wreath - finished

Why not try reusing, repurposing or upcycling old clothes yourself?

See my post here for more ways to declutter a zero waste way

Do you think this is a concept that you could implement in your own life? I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or find me on social media at the links above.

Why not pin this post for later?

Upcycling Old Clothes ⋆ Fast Fashion is so environmentally unsound. Here are some zero waste and ecologically friendly ideas on saving fabric. Reuse, repurpose and recycle fabric with these thoughts and patterns. Upcycle your old clothing and cloth to make fabulous new things #lagom #upcycling #zerowaste #fastfashion #zerowastelifestyle #ecofriendlyideas

Cuddle Fairy

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

18 Replies to “Upcycling Old Clothes”

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. I am sure I will be adding to this in the future too!

      Reply
  1. Ruth - Mummy and the Mexicans says:

    This is something I keep wanting to do – I keep old clothes with fabric that I like and still haven’t done anything with them. Some ideas I have include a little purse or makeup bag, and cushion covers or pillowcases. I don’t have a sewing machine though, which makes it a bit more difficult! #kcacols

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      My scrap bags are overflowing just like you with lovely reclaimed fabric. But I do hope both our stashes get used!

      Reply
  2. Bread says:

    I think my cats would love a rag rug lo. Great post. I’m going to forward that legging post onto my wife. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Reply
  3. Eilidh Horder says:

    All such great ideas. I’m no sewer but loved reading your post. You have inspired me to at least give it a try. Sweet dress you made from the beautiful Indian fabric. Thanks for the lovely ideas 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      What a brilliant idea. I am thinking of making my next worn out jeans into a sun hap for E, and have seen a great jacket idea…

      Reply
  4. Lana says:

    These are some great ideas!! They all look lovely. I haven’t thought about some of these. We usually donate to charity or friends/family. I love the wreath idea! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

    Reply
  5. Ann says:

    What lovely ideas – I do hate waste and this avoids that too. Thanks for linking to #kcacols

    Reply
  6. Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin says:

    Some lovely ideas here on how to upcycle/reuse old clothes, and the points you make about the environmental impact of the clothing industry are very valid and important. I tend to use all my clothes until they are in threads, pretty much, and I never have an excess of money to spend on clothes so I feel okay with my own contribution to not being a fashion eco-burden 😉
    I also don’t like throwing fabric away, as they can be used for other things, such as polishing, wash cloths, crafts projects etc. x #KCACOLS
    Malin – Sensational Learning with Penguin recently posted…Painting Wet-On-Wet: A Mindful Sensory Art ExperienceMy Profile

    Reply
  7. Rebecca says:

    Hi Jo,
    wonderful ideas for sewers and non-sewers alike.
    I’ve endeavoured over the last 2 years to not buy anything brand new. I’m known as a bit of a womble and buy from charity shops, jumble sales and have clothes passed on to me which if not suitable will remake into something else.
    Currently loving turning men’s shirts into dresses, tops and skirts. Will embroider and jazz up anything a little dull or boring from my bits and bobs stash. Have also bought a few patterned good quality quilt covers from charity shops which will make 3 dresses easily. Will crochet rugs for bathroom with any remnants. I have so many idea’s and don’t haste to upcycle my waste!!! keep up the good work xx

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.