One of the most popular ways to contribute to sustainability and upcycling is to reconstruct clothes. If you have some old clothes in your closet that you don’t know what to do with anymore, reconstructing them into entirely new looks is a great way to save money and get creative. Some require a little more skill than others, but for the most part, you can find ways to create new clothes out of what you already have. We often forget that the materials used in our clothes are usually harmful to the environment, so finding ways to utilize every part of our clothes will help reduce this issue.
1. Pocket Top
If you have a lot of clothes with pockets on them but they no longer fit or you no longer like them, making a pocket top is a great way to utilize the materials instead of just throwing them out. You can make any type of top you want, whether it be a T-shirt, collared top, sweatshirt, or crewneck, this design will work with anything.
Just start by cutting out the pockets on other clothes and make sure the surrounding fabric is either no longer visible or has the same amount showing for all pockets. Then, align them on your shirt the way you want them. Pin them down and begin sewing. It can be tricky with pockets so make sure you aren’t sewing down the flaps to open the pocket, unless that is the look you are going for. You can even have a combination of different ways to sew them down to create this look!
2. Bandana Shirt
If you have some old bandanas lying around or are looking for a cheap way to make a new shirt, creating a collared shirt out of bandanas is much easier than it might look. All you need is a collared shirt to get the right measurements prepared, some thread, pins, a needle, and bandanas in similar tones. Lay out the bandanas around your collared shirt and pin down the measurements. If you have a sewing machine, this will be a quick process, but if not, hand sewing isn’t hard at all. You can mix and match as many bandanas as you want or have them all look very similar.
3. Denim Outfit
Just about everyone has jeans and jean shorts that no longer fit. A great way to utilize them is by making an entire outfit out of denim. One of the most popular materials to reconstruct clothes with is denim, yet it can be a difficult material to work with if you are just starting out.
If you have a pair of jeans that are plain and you want to spruce them up a little bit, adding some patches of denim from other jeans is a great way to utilize your materials. Making a top like this one is incredibly easy to do but can take quite some type when working with denim. Spruce up some jeans by adding different shades of denim along them and you are all set!
4. T-Shirt Dress
A very simple way to utilize your T-shirts that you no longer wear is by making a T-shirt dress. For the neckline, you will need two shirts cut evenly down the middle so the top will flow properly. Then, once you cut the fabric, you don’t have to worry about cutting in a straight line, because if you rip the fabric once it is cut, it will rip in a perfectly straight line. Then sew together the two tops and then start adding to the bottom. Depending on the length you want it to be, you will need either two to four more shirts.
5. Bleach Work
Using bleach to change the look of your clothes is a really easy and fast way to get a new outfit without spending a dime. Bleaching a denim jacket can make it a fun new look! All you have to do is go outside and pour bleach on the spots you want to change color. This is also another way to make it look close to tie-dye without all the bold colors!
6. Heat Pressed Print T-Shirts
If you make designs or prints yourself, or you just have a print you really like, heat pressing the prints onto a T-shirt is a great way to change up your clothes. You will need heat transfer paper, an iron, a printer for the designs, and a T-shirt. Print your designs inverted so they will transfer properly. Use the heat transfer paper and the print, and then iron on the design to the T-shirt. Then, you can create your own T-shirts without having to spend any money!
7. Tie-Dye Socks
Since tie-dye has become increasingly popular again within the last few years, it feels only right to fit it into this list, but this time, with socks! Everyone has heard of tie-dying their T-shirts and sweatshirts, but tie-dying socks isn’t as popular. This is a quick and easy way to spruce up your wardrobe without going too crazy.
8. Patchwork Top
Adding patches of different fabrics to create a top is a great way to utilize the materials in your closet without having to go to the fabric store. You will be able to spend money and get to reconstruct clothes! Starting with a top you already have will make this process much easier, but you can also start from scratch. Add different patches of fabrics throughout the top and you have a whole new look!
9. Bleached Patchwork Pants
A simple way to combine some of the ideas previously mentioned is by bleaching your pants and adding some patchwork. Once you bleach or tie-dye the pants, you can add patches of fabric from old clothes. Reconstructing your clothes will be fast and easy by combining some techniques!
10. Striped Jeans
Whether you have jeans that no longer fit or you just want to add a little something to them, adding stripes is a quick and easy way to do this. If they don’t fit, you can add strips of fabric down the sides to add to the waistband. If you just want to add to your jeans that already fit, you just need to put a light fabric on top of the jeans and sew them down!