From Drab to Fab: How to Transform Old Clothes for Summer

From Drab to Fab: How to Transform Old Clothes for Summer

Take your old clothes from aburrida to fabulosa with these 4 clothing transformations.

By: Lucy Lopez

Every woman has a few articles of clothing that have been hanging in the closet for ages without being worn, so I’m going to go through some fabulous ideas about how to transform these clothes into summer-ready threads.

The first step to prepping my DIY clothing pieces is to revive them. Sometimes when clothing items have been put away for so long, they can take on that stale closet smell, but with Gain Flings and Ultra Downy Fabric Conditioner, they’ll be good as new.

Now that your pieces are prepped, let’s get started! 

1. Jeans to scalloped denim shorts

You’ll need:
Old jeans
White chalk
Small circular cup or jar
Fray stop product

STEP 1 – To create a scalloped hem, try on the jeans and use the chalk to mark the desired length in the front and the back. (Tip: The inner seam should be slightly longer than the outer seam, and the back slightly longer than the front.)

STEP 2 – Lay the jeans on a flat surface. On the front of the jeans where you marked the inseam length, draw a slightly angled line from the inner seam up to the outer seam. This will be the guide for your scalloped edge.

STEP 3 – Starting in the front, use the chalked line as a guide and trace halfway around the cup, lining the scallops up as you go, then cut them out. Repeat in the back. To prevent the scalloped edge from fraying, you can use a “fray stop” product along the inside edge of the hem. You can find it at your local craft store.

2. Sweater to cold shoulder top

You’ll need:
A long sleeve top or sweater
Seam picker
Measuring tape
Fabric scissors
Thread of a similar color
Needle (for hand sewing)

STEP 1 – Using your seam picker, unpick one of the shoulder seams from the neckband seam to the top of the armhole. Then, mark 1 inch away from the neckband seam with a pin. Repeat on the other side.

STEP 2 ­– Cut a semi-circle or semi-oval shape from one pin to the other. Once cut, keep the cutout there to use as a guide. Repeat on the other side.

STEP 3 – Starting at one of the pins, remove it from the top and fold the fabric in 1/2 an inch, following the shape you cut out until you get to the other pin (it may help if you pin along to keep the fabric down).

From there, fold the fabric in another 1/2 inch, making sure you tuck in all the raw ends securely. Pin the tucked-in fabric as you go around to the other side.

STEP 4 Thread your needle with a thread of a similar color and begin to stitch the folded hem all around. A beginner’s hemming stitch works well if your colors match perfectly, but you could also do a backstitch or use a sewing machine. Repeat on the other side.

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3. Oversized tee to cropped + tied tank

You’ll need:
A men’s t-shirt that fits loosely
Ribbon color of choice
Fabric scissors
Permanent marker
Measuring tape

STEP 1 – Lay t-shirt on a flat surface. Begin cutting the sleeves off your t-shirt in a U shape, being careful that you’re not going down too far. Stop around right underneath the armpit area. If it’s easier, create a dotted line guide with a permanent marker to create even cuts.

STEP 2 – Cut the neck also in a U shape about 2 inches low.

STEP 3 – Cut the bottom of the t-shirt, this time in an upside-down U shape, leaving it longer at the sides by about 3 inches.

STEP 4 – Flip over and tie back the shoulders together near the top seams with a ribbon. Pull on your newly cut material to soften the edges.

4. Old t-shirt to fringe necklace

You’ll need:
Copper tubing
T-shirt in a soft fabric (like viscose or cotton blend)
Necklace chain
Gold key rings
Fabric scissors 

(You can find these supplies at your local craft, fabric or hardware store.)

STEP 1 – Begin by cutting your t-shirt into 1/2-inch strips. You’ll need 20-30 strips to create a voluminous effect.

STEP 2 – To get your t-shirt fabric to curl, pull on the strips to stretch them out. When you let go, your t-shirt material should curl into a cord-like shape.

STEP 3 – Begin constructing the necklace by folding one strip in half, looping it around the chain, then pulling through. Repeat until you use all the strips.

If you decide to try out one of these DIY ideas, make sure to post a photo on our Orgullosa Facebook page. Let us know in the comments below which of these clothing transformations you’ll try first!

Lucía (Lucy) Lopez was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and lucky enough to have a second home on the pretty little island of Puerto Rico. With writing as her passion, she’s beyond excited to be a part of the Orgullosa community and getting to learn more about Hispanic cultures, other than her own, along the way.

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How creative. I never thought of recycling old clothes by reconstruction.

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