This is a strong case for taking sewing lessons. We’re big fans of DIY hacks and repurposing boring old clothes into something cool. We even love DIY makeup tricks. It’s not just about being thrifty (though if you can save a few bucks, why the heck wouldn’t you?), it’s about not wanting to throw away something that is 70% decent but 30% granny at a bingo game. Jillian Owens had similar ideas when she launched her DIY clothing blog, ReFashionista, in 2010.
Jillian explains that she started her blog because she was sick of wear-once-and-throw-away garments and their impact on the environment. Plus, she was broke and looking for ways to save money, but still be fashionable:
“One day, while digging through the racks at my local thrift store, I started thinking about how easily some of the ugly pieces I was looking at could be transformed into something new. I could dress well on the cheap without hurting the environment, I didn’t have to support unfair labor practices, and I could have a fun new hobby!”
Jillian posts quirky before and after shots of the clothes, so you can see what is possible with some creative thinking and basic sewing skills. She also posts pictures of the design process so you can see that it really isn’t that complicated.
Take a look at some of her repurposed designs and try not to remember the time you tried to hem your pants and wound up with one leg shorter than the other and felt completely inadequate. With some practice, you can do this too:
I don’t know if I am more impressed that Jillian found a pair of goucho pants or that she managed to turn them into a dress. It really isn’t that complicated to do. The dress body is actually one of the legs!
Sometimes you don’t need to go to too much trouble to make a really cute dress. All this one needed was an easy top alteration. The peach fabric dye also helped too.
Nope, Jillian didn’t cut her dress into a crop top and pair it with a skirt. The diamond print was actually hiding underneath the flower fabric. Why? That was the 70s/80s/whenever this dress was from, kind of logic.
For those people who have a greater chance of losing a finger than producing a dress with a sewing machine, here’s an easy fabric dye fix. Jillian actually mixed two shades of dye here.
Check out the ReFashionista blog to see more outfit transformations.