Repurposing via a thrift store - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-20-2009, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in the midst of a sewing blitz -- mostly clothes for my 2 year old daughter. I'm doing this mostly to make cute, unique items, but I'd like if it didn't cost a ton of money. I use the coupons for the mega-mart fabric stores for special fabrics, but for things like PJs, it's still more than I want to spend.

Today I repurposed an old, college dorm t-shirt into a PJ peasant top and one of my daughter's old receiving blankets into PJ pants. That got me thinking that maybe I could hit a thrift store for interesting t-shirts to use for jersey instead of buying new.

I'm curious what you've found at thrift stores and what it got turned into. I'd love to have lots of ideas floating around in my head so that inspiration can strike when I get there tomorrow!

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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I turn t-shirts into lounge pants for my kids pretty often. There's also a tutorial on the internet somewhere about turning a men's button-down shirt into a child's size dress. I'm in the middle of making a picnic blanket/quilt out of jeans that I got for $1 a pair at the thrift store, and I've got a flat sheet with a cute print on it that's going to become pj pants for me one of these days.

If I can ever make up with my snap press after our recent fight, I'm going to go back to turning t-shirts into onesies again.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:43 AM
 
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I make DD leggings and cotton pants out of DH's old t-shirts. It's super easy. I used to use elastic in the waistband. The other night I used fold over elastic for the waist and it worked great! And much faster.

I've made the men's shirt into a dress for DD too. It was pretty easy and super cute.

Also, a tee to dress recon.

Danielle, fabric artist, mama to Eleanor 5/05 and Charlotte James 09-26-09
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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I love repurposing/refashioning thrifted clothes! I've repurposed

old wool sweaters into diaper covers

T-shirts into pants, long sleeve shirts into leggings

T-shirts into dresses

A button down shirt into a dress

Skirts into toddler dresses

various things into bibs
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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My 16 yo dd is an expert at this. She has turned jeans into skirts and tee shirts into pillows and rugs. Here is one of her designs-

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p.../CheLlamaB.jpg
http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p.../CheLlamaA.jpg
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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i love repurposing!
some projects i've done.

- bought a pair of women's capri for $3, its for a tall woman, i chop it off and turned it into a skirt for me and leftovers for a pair of capris for DD.

- bought cute cotton dresses, they dont necessarily fit me in the bust area and i dont like wearing spaghetti straps but i chop it up and use the bottom part for a skirt for me or DD.

- love love wool, i can repurpose this into vest for DS and also diaper covers.

- i buy men's stripey shirts and turn it into tshirt or polo shirt for ds.

sometimes thrift store shopping isnt the cheapest though. i recently score 2 pairs of brand new size 30 jeans at our store here for $1 each, i can make about 2 or 3 jeans for the kids from it.

have fun!
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:34 AM
 
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I buy women's skirts and turn them into toddler dresses.

I make pillowcase dresses.

I'm currently making a toddler dress from a men's dress shirt.

I wish I knew how to post pics!
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Skits to dresses, pillowcases to shopping bags or cushion covers, woolen sweaters to winter skirts,sheets to anything! With clothing the bigger the better for making more things.

Here's a large skirt to a dress (and back view)

This is a dress to a Japanese knot bag and scarf for my mum

Look for interesting patterns, unusual fabrics, wool for felting, and also lots of plain cottons which are great for linings. Once you start seeing clothing as fabric your creative world expands
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Livviesmom0207 View Post
I buy women's skirts and turn them into toddler dresses.

I make pillowcase dresses.

I'm currently making a toddler dress from a men's dress shirt.

I wish I knew how to post pics!
If you have them on Flickr or photobucket or similar you copy a link to your photo which starts http something then click the world with a link of a chain just up there under the dropdown smilie in the reply to thread box. Paste your link in there and presto you have a clickable link.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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Flannel sheets for making diapers. I have a twin size NFL sheet right now that is going to be repurposed as soon as I get the time to do it.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Sheets are my favorite.... I think they're the best! You can turn them into anything! I especially like the older, vintage sheets that are all cotton and a bit heavier than today's sheets. Many times they have pretty floral patterns and they are usually very soft from so many washings. It just doesn't get any better than that!

All natural sahm to dd1(12yo) and dd2(6yo). Married 16 years.

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Old 05-25-2009, 01:04 AM
 
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I just found two cotton and cotton seersucker HOUSECOATS in 3X that I am going to make into crop pants for DD, and may have some leftover for something else with each of them!

I regularly make diapers out of t shirts, and grocery bags (made my mom some for X-mas and she has put in a request for more!), and a cute jammie top for dd (actually I do more of those too!). I have also made dd and ds knit shorts for jammies out of mens XXL shirts that I find. I make diaper covers and longies from sweaters.

Though I don't get mine at thrift stores, I run a very large clothes swap and help to pack up the leftovers...when I do so, I keep my eyes open and toss the repurposeable stuff in a bag to bring home and use later. I love that kind of shopping!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 05-27-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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Ok, i have a contribution, but no pictures, sorry. I need to get on the camera thing, i know, anywho... I repurposed some tshirts my daughter disliked into uber cool halter tops. I cut the shirts in half, shirred the top where the chest is and the bottom where the tummy is, about 1/4 inch from the edge, this created a sweet ruffle. I took two strips of fabric from what i cut off, ran an elastic up the length in the center, to make a beautiful ruffle. I attached it to the shirt to make a tie up strap, and voila! Beautiful and trendy!

This is easy and super fast to do. I hope some of you try it, it does really look very good.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:51 AM
 
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I've been repurposing old t-shirts (my own in this case, but thrift store finds would work) into t-shirts I like. All my college tees were big old baggy things, back when that was cool, and now I'm making them into ruffled tank-tops or just cute fitted styles with nicer sleeves. I've also done some cute applique on some plain ones--nothing fancy, just with wonder-under and the zigzag stitch.

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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My husband works in the used clothing industry and i am always dreaming up ideas of what to do with some of the great stuff he finds. This one guy that he works with sells the cutest dresses made from old vintage t-shirts - it just gets my mind going with ideas...
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jenfl View Post
I'm curious what you've found at thrift stores and what it got turned into.
Great thread

Some fave upcycled/repurposed projects I've done:

* A huge funky mirror into a cool mirror for my daughter's room.

* Sheets and/or curtains into a few rag rugs.

* A mirror into a chalkboard for my son's room.

* A blah frame into a cool funky frame for our dining room.

* Vintage plates into wall art for our kitchen.

Tons of sewing too - I'll have to upload the tshirts and sheets that I've turned into clothing, market bags and such as others have stated above.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Toys - I made my ds a playmat, and am currently making him play food for his kitchen from wool pants. I'm using an old tee shirt for the skin on some dolls too.

Clothes - I have made the entire family pants from old sheets and pillowcase. They are great for hot weather, especially for the little boys to wear at the beach crawling around in the sand. I got the idea from SouleMama. I've also made diaper covers, vests, and booties from wool sweaters for my babies.

Household stuff - My bathroom curtain and some of our throw pillows were made from clothes. I found a crewel work pillow cover this weekend that I put in a frame for wall art. I thought about using it as a pillow but I was afraid my kids would destroy it. I got the frame from the thrift store too.

I need to get my pictures uploaded!

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Old 05-28-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I just made dd a dress out of pillowcases, baby legs out of dh's holey socks. curtains for ds room out of an old sheet, diapers out of old towels/recieving blankets

Now I'm wondering WHY when I was out today WITHOUT the kids I didn't go into the Salvation Army as I passed it...seriously what was I thinking?

mommy daddy son daughter = our family
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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I didn't go into the Salvation Army as I passed it...seriously what was I thinking?
i do not know about you, but for me, the salvation army is almost as exciting as the fabric store. i tend to over spend there and i have a growing stash i have yet to depleat. perhaps you were trying to save money and space, like me.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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The town I live in has a weekly market and there's a section with stalls selling used clothes and linens, sometimes for as little as 1 Euro a piece! There's such an incredible selection of colors, patterns and fabrics. I make clothes for my dd (mostly pants, shorts, and skirts) from what I buy, but this spring I made her a matching outfit from a pair of linen women's trousers (that cost 1 Euro.) I am so proud of it, it's the nicest thing I've ever made:

tank top and pants
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Old wool sweaters and blankets into soakers. I buy clothes for their buttons and trims. Mix and match old clothes and use as fabric. Lace and linen tableclothes into blouses, skirts, bedlinens, curtains. Old flannel receiving blankets and towels as diapers. The possiblities are as endless as buying new at the fabric store. And don't forget dress up and Halloween costume ideas.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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The town I live in has a weekly market and there's a section with stalls selling used clothes and linens, sometimes for as little as 1 Euro a piece! There's such an incredible selection of colors, patterns and fabrics. I make clothes for my dd (mostly pants, shorts, and skirts) from what I buy, but this spring I made her a matching outfit from a pair of linen women's trousers (that cost 1 Euro.) I am so proud of it, it's the nicest thing I've ever made:

tank top and pants

That is gorgeous. Did you use a pattern??
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Thank you!

I didn't use a pattern. The pants are just simple elastic waist ones that I made a little shorter than full length.

The form of the tank top came to me as I was looking at the trousers. The central part of the tank and the straps were the pockets, which had been top-stiched on the exterior of the pants. I ripped up the seems and then overlapped the pockets. I then resewed the original stitching, but in a darker color. The waistband of the trousers was almost the same width as the top of the pockets, so I used it for the straps on the back (criss-cross.) The to create a transition between the two different strap widths, I covered the seam with a couple of the belt loops!

The sides and back are simple, just with some facing along the top edge. It closes with a side zip, the one from the pants. I used up almost everything- the only things left from the pants are the button, the zipper placket, and a couple of pieces from the seat, which I'm planning to use to make a matching kerchief.

I think I just got lucky with a garment that was perfect for re-purposing.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I think I just got lucky with a garment that was perfect for re-purposing.
i love when that happens!

that outfit is adorable

recreating from thrift finds is my fave!

nak
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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I'm working on dresses for my girls out of pillowcases. I just picked up a pretty yellow set today.

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Old 06-22-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I just got back from a great little thrift store that was having a 4/$1.00 sale on t-shirts! I love making nice soft lightweight pants and shorts for dd out of them. I save the scraps for inside prefolds or doublers.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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Great thread

Some fave upcycled/repurposed projects I've done:
* Sheets and/or curtains into a few rag rugs.
Can you tell me how you made your rag rugs? Are they crocheted or braided? Can you approximate how much fabric you'd need for a certain size. I love the red!

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Old 06-27-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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The simplest repurposing I do from the thrift shop is at the end of summer when my local shop puts the tank tops on sale for 25-29 cents each. I find nice looking ones and sew the bottom shut and have the most durable grocery bags ever!
I love repurposing, but I have a toddler demanding attention so this is all I have time to mention ATM.
Everything posted looks great!
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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Fabulous ideas!

Amy, mom to E superhero.gifsince April 2008 and C babyboy.gif since October 2011, wife to P since September 2006.

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