7 Easy Ways to Upcycle your Clothes

You don’t need the sewing skills of a Project Runway winner to upcycle your clothes.

Here are 7 breezily easy things you can do right now and get yourself a gorgeous new piece in time for dinner: 

1. Chop off a dress and get a brand-new top.

Are you like me with tons of pretty dresses that you never use, but still have nothing to wear Monday morning?

Maybe the skirt of the dress just doesn’t fit right?

Or,  maybe you’re just a jeans lover?

Go ahead and chop, chop, chop – and voila:

You have a new top to wear with all your existing, skirts, jeans, and pants – and you’ve done zero harm to the planet.


Embellish your Bag with an Earring or Brooche.

You know that stunning favorite earring that you lost?

Its twin is laying sad and lonely in your jewelry box, dying to go dancing.

She’d LOVE to skip around town attached to your bag, to your hairclip, or jacket lapel.

Just simply fasten her with a needle and thread, and maybe push the pointy bit inwards by bending it against a tabletop.

Make a Luxe Cushion from your old clothes.

If you want a truly luscious look and a soft, silky feel to your cushions then make them from your old party clothes.

I’ve used a tiny green top, a pink dress with a giant stain on it, plus scraps from a magenta coat I bought secondhand.

These fabrics look ten times more elegant and attractive than regular cushion fabrics

– plus they’re free.


Update the Buttons on your Jacket.

Lots of great coats, shirts, and jackets are totally ruined because someone decided to “adorn” them with cheap plastic buttons.

Check out your closet and see if you find a contestant for the “Button Makeover Show.”

Then head on over to your closest Haberdashery to get lost in the wonderful wold of gorgeous buttons or maybe pop by a charity shop.

Tailor your Dress to Perfection.

Unless your dress is tailor-made then it probably could fit you better.

Put on the dress inside out and have a sewist friend pin all the seams so the dress fits closer to your body.

The most important places are the sideseams, the back seams, and underneath the bust. No need to go too tight around the tummy.

Sew the new seams and check out your new sleek & bespoke dress.

Turn your Strappy Dress into a Stunning Bag.

Strappy tops and dresses are super easy to turn into a bag since they already have handles built in. 

All you need is to chop it off at the right length and sew a super strong seam at the bottom. I prefer a French seam for this.

You might also want to reinforce the handles with a few strong seams too.

Crop your Jacket for a Fresh New Look.

No need to buy one of those super cute tiny jackets when you already own a big one.

Cropping it shorter works for all kinds of styles from big men’s wear jackets to slim-fitting blazers. If you don’t want to ruin your own jacket then check out the second-hand store. Plenty of dowdy styles are dying for this upgrade.

This particular upcycling project works best for experienced sewists and tailors unless you love that cool, grungy punk aesthetic – if that’s the case, just chop.