Clothes Upcycling: The Upside-Down Concept To Recycle Old Clothes – Eco Fashion Sewing

Clothes Upcycling: The Upside-Down Concept To Recycle Old Clothes

By Mariana Kirova

One of the best things when comes to reworking old or unworn clothes, beside being an excellent challenging fun, is that it could help you build up your creative skills.

From my experience in clothes upcycling, I'm convinced that the 'upside-down' concept has great potential to do exactly that, develop your creative skills (even if you think 'I'm not creative'!).

Making Your Own By Upcycling The Old

Following a pattern is not the only way to sew unique pretty styles. While I agree that the conventional way to make your own clothes will continue to have its place, I believe that creating eco fashion 'out-of-the-box' is on the rise. 

Yes. I'm talking about upcycling (or recycling as you might know it).

But, whatever you call it, it is taking over. For me during the last decade or so it's becoming 'the new black'. It keeps growing as the ultimate alternative in the sustainable fashion industry but also in the DIY dressmaking world. Now more than ever being green means reusing what you have and create by utilising materials (and clothing) already in circulation. Your wardrobe is the best source for re-using materials!

What Is Upcycling

If you are wondering about upcycling, recycling or other similar terms head over to this infographic which explains the most common terminology used in regards to refashioning, DIY sewing and eco fashion.

The Upside-Down Concept

I hope you enjoy the video and how I used the 'upside-down' technique with the example of transformed garments that I'm showing you.

I truly believe there's a lot of potential in this method, to create new style and, at the same time, to expand on your creativity. In fact, I recognise the 'upside-down' way as an upcycling technique on its own.


Video Content:

  • 00:46 – The Upside-Down concept
  • 01:16 – Example for infinity scarf and what is it made from
  • 01:34 – Example 2 for infinity scarf and what is it made from
  • 02:40 – Example of the upside-down skirt and what is it made from
  • 03:16 – Fixing a whole in the initial garment by adding a skirt extension
  • 03:54 – Pocket details and what I used to make the skirt pocket (you'll love it!)
  • 04:42 – How to keep the design consistent

Let me know if you've done something similar in the past or perhaps you already have in mind something in particular from your wardrobe that you could rework this way...

I'm always curious about your creative ideas so don't be shy and share some below.

Happy upcycling,


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.