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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Worn/Stained Clothing Up-cycle

Having two boys in a row has been nice to our pocket book.  We haven't had to build a wardrobe for Miles completely from scratch.  Aside from a few onesies with mustard yellow stains, most of Clark's baby clothes are still in great condition.  Unfortunately the clothes that Clark is growing out of, haven't faired as well.  Boys get bigger, and clothes wear out sooner.  I was about ready to chuck a pair of too short, holey kneed pants, when I had this revolutionary idea.  Turn the pants into shorts.  I know, it's brilliant.  Who ever thought of such a thing (please sense sarcasm).  

I grew up wearing cut off jeans during the summer.  I can't say that I was ever thrilled to wear cut-offs, but I did it none the less.  As a mother I like my kids to look somewhat presentable when we are out in public, but when Clark is digging holes in the back yard, and looking for dinosaur bones, cut-offs are quite fitting. 

So, I took that old pair of pants and cut them off. (Rotary cutters are great for that)

Then, in an effort to control the ridiculous amount of fraying that occurs with cut-offs, I stitched a few rows of contrast stitching along the bottom of the shorts.  They'll still fray, but only up until the stitching lines.  I used a lengthened triple stitch; it makes the stitching a bit more visible.

Clark really wanted red stitching, but the only red stitching was along the bottom.  It looked a bit out of place.

 I had a fantastic art teacher in college that had several one-liners that he'd often repeat to us when discussing our artwork.  One of his famous phrases was "If it looks out of place, add more of it".  

So I added more of it.  I added some contrast stitching on the coin pocket...

...and along the back pocket...

 ...and I couldn't forget the tag.  

They look better, still like cut-offs, but a bit better.

My favorite part about this project was Clark's reaction.  He was absolutely amazed that I'd turned a pair of pants into shorts.  He's asked me more than once how I did it.  I tell him that it is just one of my many mom super powers.

Along with the pair of holey jeans, we had a stained shirt that I figured couldn't be passed down.  I was about to chuck it as well.  I know, it sounds horrible, but I'm feeling overwhelmed with STUFF lately.  Anyway, I didn't throw it away, I cut it apart.

I've always loved the banded stripes on this shirt.  It reminds me of clothes that I wore as a little girl.  So, I saved the stripes.

I added some fusible web to the back of the knit fabric, and adhered it to a onesie.

I then stitched around the outside edges with my sewing machine.  I used a basic straight stitch as the knit won't fray.  It's now a super simple striped onesie. I love it, and I love the fact that I was able to reuse something that even I thought was junk.

So, what are your mom super powers, and your favorite ways to salvage damaged clothing?  I'd love to hear.


farmerswife said...

I use knit fabric for swifter pads on my mop or I wet them and make a damp mop

Emily said...

Nice work! Love the contrast red stitching! :)

Betty said...

Great ideas!