Find Own Upcycled Clothing Ideas [Beginner Miniseries Part 2] – Eco Fashion Sewing

Find Own Upcycled Clothing Ideas [Beginner Miniseries Part 2]

Are you still looking for different DIY upcycled clothing ideas every single time when you want to recycle old clothes into something new?

I remember the long hours, the dissatisfaction and exhaustion of not finding something that I really like and actually would want to wear.

Even if I had found something, then I always stumbled on another setback. I didn't have the same clothes, the size or the colour... so couldn't use what I already have :(

Now, imagine that you magically happen to have a designing tool that will save you all this! Imagine that the ideas are already there... That you could go over them quickly, play out the different possibilities and save more time for the real fun, the actual creating.

Yes, you could brows endlessly without choosing anything, and only dreaming to have unique statement pieces in your wardrobe next time when you want to show off. However, isn't it better to get use of your sewing skills and the clothing you already have and no longer wear?

Let me show you in this Part 2 of the Upcycling Beginner's Miniseries on the podcast how I consider the possibilities and the different options very early in the refashioning process.

Finding your own upcycled clothing ideas could become the most exciting time in your sewing room :) I love these moments!

Techniques and examples - upcycled clothing ideas

Your Project Makes A Difference

You supposedly already know the harmful statistics of today's fast fashion industry (I recently even heard the term 'ultra fast fashion'. Imagine it still going strong, nowadays with online shopping!). So, I am not going to mention any of them here.

Nevertheless, I want to share something I've recently stumbled on in regards to how much we already have in circulation.

Shout out for Sam from where I found it.

“Right now, on the planet, we have enough clothing to clothe the next 6 generations of the human race.” - Patrick Grant, judge at 'The Great British Sewing Bee' reality show on BBC

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I just wanted to share it as appreciation to the work of every single maker out there that dares to create.

Donating or buying second hand is just the beginning. Then, utilising what you already have to make something unique to love and wear is what all of us can contribute with. One single project at a time.

How You Can Develop Upcycled Clothing Ideas Of Your Own

Today on the podcast I'm explaining how I consider variety of ideas in the initial stages of the refashioning process.

Well, what I’m talking about wasn’t quick to figure out at first. It happened over time. What surprised me is that over the years I found how helpful is to have at hand what I'm referring to below as my 'designing tool'.

I explain it in the episode.

Shortly, it is a list of different upcycled clothes ideas, or I should say techniques. So, when you have a piece of clothing, you can quickly consider whatever you want from the list and see if you like the initial idea.

Although I give some examples, it is not about particular projects. It is mostly about the general vision of how you could transform existing garment.

The good part is that you can always modify or add to the list.

So, every time I take an old garment that’s has the potential for something exciting I refer to this list.

Hopefully you'll find it helpful in this initial stage as well.

An Episode About Techniques That Help You Find Upcycled Clothing Ideas

Today’s episode of the Art Of Refashioning podcast we’re going through something organised. Something that you can apply every time you want to make a project and envision potential upcycled clothing ideas better.

 In particular you’ll find:
  • What is the designing tool I use to save long hours of researching for the perfect upcycled clothing ideas. How I use it to figure out what to do with any unloved items of clothing.
  • The two main strategies to upcycled and some popular upcycling techniques. Plus, examples of upcycled projects that I’ve done, including from my upcycled “Upside-Down” collection.
  • Subscribe to the website to ensure you stay tuned for the downloadable PDF upcoming next week, with the final Third Part of the Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries. The Beginner Starter Kit will have all the steps to get you started, including photos of inspiring projects and links to tutorials.

Listen to episode #7:

Techniques & Examples: The Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries Part 2.

Or listen on the podcast page HERE.

Some Highlights Inside This Episode:

[2:15] Why every sewing creative deserves respect; the individual power we can all use.

[3:40] Short overview of the episode

[4:50] Why developing your own upcycled clothing ideas needs to be priority #1 before even start sewing.

[8:25] What is the designing tool I use every time when I want to rework an article of clothing. Hear how exactly I use it so you can too. Some of the benefits of upcycling this way.

[13:10] The two main strategies that help to get instant clarity in the initial stage of the refashioning process.

[17:00] What are the three techniques in the First Strategy, The Garment Strategy. How each has specific ways to help you developing upcycled clothing ideas of your own.

[30:00] The upcycling techniques and examples projects in the Second Strategy, Creative Upcycling.

[43:30] Furthermore, how you could use the techniques to build up upcycled clothing ideas that suit your taste and style best.

[44:15] Wrapping up the strategies and the techniques mentioned in the episode, plus 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.

Other podcast episodes mentioned in this episode:

Links mentioned in this episode:

Projects mentioned in this episode:

Also, photos of the woman's pants made from one man's dress shirt below.

Check out what happened when (dressed up with this pants) I met Clare Press, Vogue Australia's sustainability editor and what was her reaction to this project here :)

Upside-down collection - pants - upcycled clothing ideas
Upside-down collection - upcycled clothing ideas

Photo credit: Harry Leonard Imagery

About The Upcycling Beginner’s Miniseries

Since “Where To Start?” is the most asked question, I decided to make the 3-Part Miniseries to help beginners find upcycled clothing ideas of their own and thus build up their creative skills.

Note, that this is NOT about how to start sewing. You could be sewing for years or quite new to it. In fact, anyone with interest in sewing clothes can start recycle and reuse. It is the smartest way to save, utilise what you already have and have fun creating.

Here is what’s included in the Miniseries presented on the podcast, but also in articles here, on the website:

  • In Part 1 we talk about where you could begin easy. You’ll learn about my successful 3-step formula on what’s important so you end up doing projects that you will actually love to wear. You don’t want to waste time, efforts and material on something “meh”, right?
  • Part 2 covers the two main strategies to upcycle old clothes. I share my designing tool that helps me finding upcycled clothing ideas quick and easy. Also, you’ll hear example projects, plus links to tutorials, so lots of inspiration :)
  • Finally, in Part 3 you’ll discover my 3-pile system that helps finding an upcycled clothing ideas and perfect for you project right from what you already have at home. The best way to save the planet, get savvy on the budget, use what you have and make new clothes.

As a bonus, at the end of the series you’ll be able to download a PDF with all the information, links and examples. It takes time to put it together, but I’d love you to have this helping tool and have fun!

Your Host

The host of The Art Of Refashioning

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, refashionistas and makers.

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

At the end, the more sewists 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.