How To Refashion Clothes [Beginner Miniseries Part 3] – Eco Fashion Sewing

How To Refashion Clothes [Beginner Miniseries Part 3]

Are you tired for looking and looking for the perfect idea on how to refashion clothes?

But more specifically, your clothes. The ones you invested in while ago because you saw they have lots of potential to get redone and shine again.

Well, this article and episode on the podcast are a bit different. They don't show you how to do certain projects (I love these kinds of videos too, fyi).

Instead, here I’m going to share with you something that works. It has worked well for me over the years (and still does) and I do believe it could work for you too.

Here I'm going to show you my 3-Pile System on how to rethink clothing from maker's perspective. It is a bit different approach on how to refashion clothes from your wardrobe.

And the good part is that you can apply it to your clothing stash as well. The one that you’ve collected and kept over the years because you felt these treasure finds hold lots of potential. Right?

Finding Your Own Idea

But where do you start with all these, as many call them, 'old' clothes?

Perhaps you have too many ideas how to rework them? Or you don’t have any ideas at all?

I know how it feels when you are looking for the perfect idea when wondering how to refashion clothes you no longer wear as is. Long exhausting hours of researching... everywhere.

And then, as a result (it happens to me every time) you find you don’t have the same initial garment to begin with on the project. It is either not the right size, different shape, fabric, whatever. There’s always something, isn't it?

And how do you really pick ideas? How are you sure it is going to work for you anyway?

Well, my own experience and later helping others to upcycle clothes have lead me to developing my 3-Pile System that helps me work out projects from what I already have there, waiting to get reworked.

Have you ever heard someone with experience in upcycling clothes saying: “I just wait until the garment tells me what wants to be turned into next?”

If you have heard it you know. This never tells you how they really got figuring it all out. It doesn’t explain the magic that happens, the process before they finally find the perfect idea.

And this is another good reason I want to share my 3-Pile System. It gives an answer to how to refashion clothes and find what the garment wants to be next.

Mariana at Perth Artists Event - how to refashion clothes

Here I wear one of my favourite makes for winter at one of the Perth Artists gathering.

I used two upcycling techniques to make the top. First I combined two old garments, technique I refer to as One New From Two Or More Old, and then finalised the top by using Embellishment & Decoration. Find these techniques explained with more examples in this episode on the podcast and in The Upcycling Beginner's Starter Kit you can download from this post.

The headpiece is another favourite. Made out of doilies and laces, it has a 3-D flower stitched to elastic lace ribbon.

How to refashion clothes: The Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries

How to refashion clothes is exciting and creative outlet. But my several years of upcycling experience have shown me that the best approach is when utilising what you already have. And then, figuring out what you want to make.

Nevertheless, I know firsthand that’s not easy.

Therefore, I created on the podcast the Upcycling Beginner’s 3-Part Miniseries for those who want to create and turn ‘old’ clothes into exciting new styles.

Start here with Part 1  and listen to my successful formula on what is key to keep in mind and how to begin.

Then, find out about some of the most popular upcycling techniques in Part 2 over here. You’ll also learn about the two strategies on how to refashion clothes. I'm pretty happy with those, because so far it is the simplest way to get all the possible ideas sorted out and start simple.

As a result, you feel clarity and go further building up the particular idea with ease. What not to like?

In the 'full of options and possible ideas' world of upcycling I feel this is exactly what every one would aim for (I am for sure). But don't just take my word for it. Try it for yourself and see how it works for you.

Below is the last third Part of the Upcycling Beginner's Miniseries.

My 3-Pile System - how to refashion clothes

What Is Included In Today’s Part 3

In the last Part 3 of the Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries, I’m sharing my 3-Pile System. That is in particular:

  • Why the 3-Pile System works and why I keep using it every single time I’m wondering how to refashion clothes from my wardrobe or clothing stash.
  • How to organise according this system and what goes into each of the piles.
  • Ways to work with the three piles and utilise clothes or clothing material at hand. What are the possible directions on how to refashion clothes (this happens hand in hand considering upcycling techniques I talk about in the previous Part 2)
  • And if you haven't done it yet, how to download the PDF promised at the end of this series, The Upcycling Beginner's Starter Kit: Create your own designer clothing from vintage and unloved garments.

Keep in mind, you can apply the 3-Pile System to your current or future wardrobe. So, great for utilising whatever left behind and no longer worn.

I just love the practicality about it! Doesn’t that make refashioning even more purposeful and exciting when done this way?

It’s one thing to do it for the fun and completely different to do it in order to enhance your wardrobe and adapt clothes to your needs and wants.

Listen to episode #8: 

3-Pile System To Refashion Your Clothes. Beginner’s Miniseries Part 3.

Or listen on the podcast page HERE.

Some Highlights Inside This Episode:

[2:40] Overview of what’s included in the Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries.

[5:10] A brief overview of the Upcycling Beginner’s Starter Kit and how to download.

[6:50] How I came up with the 3-Pile System and the two reasons why I still use it every time I want to refashion clothes.

[12:10] Organising your existing wardrobe according to the 3-Pile System. What kind of clothes go into the three piles?

[14:40] Some interesting statistics around your wardrobe.

[16:40] How identifying your wearable wardrobe could benefit you.

[18:10] What you could do with the three piles and utilise them in your refashioning.

[30:30] Wrapping up the episode.

[32:40] How you could help me spread the word.

[33:26] Some additional side notes regarding the podcast and what’s next.

Rate, Review & Subscribe On Apple Podcasts

If you love the conversation, please consider writing a review and rating the show. This will help me reaching out more people and helping them learn the ins and outs of refashioning. The ultimate goal: the more we are, the more valuable textiles saved from being wasted!

Go to the show page here and click “Listen on Apple Podcasts”. In iTunes then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab  click 5 stars to rate and select “Write a Review”. Make sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

If you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to the podcast. It will secure you never miss out, including the free downloads which I’m adding to some of the episodes. Subscribe here.

How To Refashion Clothes: The Starter Kit

To accompany the Beginner Miniseries, I put together The Clothes Upcycling Starter Kit: Create your own designer clothing from vintage and unloved garments.

If you're new to the website, you can download it by signing up in this post below or when prompted.

Clothes Upcycling Starter Kit:

Create your own designer clothing from vintage and unloved garments

How to prevent clothing projects from looking tacky - the Starter Kit

Valued at $37 - FREE for subscribers

It is designed with anyone new to clothes upcycling in mind, regardless the sewing experience (you could do different sewing crafts or make your own clothes) or how long you've been sewing.

In essence, this downloadable PDF is my answer to the most frequently asked question from people who want to rework clothing no longer in use: 'Where to start?'

And although you’ll find certain projects as examples, this helping guide is not about how to make particular refashions. It goes beyond that.

It shows how to pick clothes you want to rework from what you already have. And, it offers a concise overview of possible options, which 'options' I call upcycling techniques. They are simply different ways of how you could rework an existing piece of clothing. However, they are still keeping it flexible giving you the freedom to form your own idea and interpretation what exactly to do.

All in all, the Starter Kit lays out everything you need to know so to find how to refashion clothes, from your wardrobe or clothing stash.

Other podcasts mentioned in this episode:

Projects Mentioned In This Episode:

Yellow Shirt Refashion – reworking a shirt by using matching colour plaid man’s shirt.

Your Host

The host of The Art Of Refashioning and ep. 3 The Myths About Creativity

As a fashion graduate and sewing professional with several years bridal and alteration experience, Mariana Kirova is passionate about quality one-off upcycles.

She loves sharing her findings, observations and upcycling ideas with like-minded aspiring creatives.

It's time not only to start recycling those castoffs and add unique clothing pieces to your wardrobe. To enjoy it, you need to immerse into the making process. Once you feel the deep satisfaction of creating one-offs of your own, you'll never look back to retail!

At the end, the more people who sew start upcycling clothing already in circulation, the less valuable textiles will end up in landfill, right?

Mariana Kirova

Mariana is passionate about garment upcycling and helping others making their own upcycled clothing. Graduated with Award in garment construction from WAIFT, Perth WA, Mariana is not a main stream eco fashion designer. She makes unique eco-friendly garments from unwanted clothes and materials and believes that small fashion professionals and DIY sewers can embrace sustainability in garment creation, thus changing the fashion world for good.