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Best Upcycle Clothing Ideas

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Discover the best upcycle clothing ideas to upgrade your DIY refashion wardrobe into a dream come true. From old clothing to thrifted clothes and remnant fabrics, there are many ways to transform old garments into stylish and trendy clothes. 

The Fashion Wanderer website is filled with easy upcycled clothing ideas ranging from t-shirts to denim jeans and men’s dress shirts. Avoid throwing away old clothes, and instead give them new life so that you can wear them over and over again! 

Get inspired to recreate, reconstruct, modify and personalize existing garments into upcycled clothing. My goal is to share fun and easy ways to upgrade old clothes using various methods, techniques and design elements. 

Follow our lead and let us provide the starting point. Whether you are looking to upcycle clothes without sewing or want to advance your sewing skills, we have all the zero waste refashion projects you have been looking for!

What Can You Do With Old Craft Clothes

Turn old craft clothes into new clothes that are modern, up-to-date and on-trend. However, coming up with new designs and reconstructions following your favorite brands is not as easy.

You may face difficulty in knowing where to start. Decide which  items you want to upcycle, and then evaluate the old clothes to see which design methods and techniques will work best.

Determine if you have enough fabric to work with by understanding the basic principles of measurement. Take body measurements for clothing so that you can compare your size to the tutorial.

Take time to understand the design so that you can make sure the finished garment fits you like a glove.

Consider which materials, notions and tools are needed to accomplish the upcycle clothing idea. Be sure to save any notions such as buttons or zippers to apply them to the refashion.

Grab the required materials from your sewing kit to accomplish any DIY upcycling project. This list will answer all your questions about what do I need to start sewing. Every project includes a list of materials you need, so don’t worry! 

How To Upcycle Thrifted Clothes

If you love searching through racks of thrifted clothes, then upcycling is a natural path of progress. Upgrading high quality vintage clothes into current trends is super rewarding. 

Depends on what category you choose to work on here are couple examples of upcycling clothes ideas you can accomplish with thrifted clothes.

  • If you find a luxurious ‘80s style satin jacquard pants, consider making a cowl neck mini slip dress to add to your going out wardrobe. Make sure to cut the cowl neck on a bias so that the neckline drapes naturally! 
  • Denim jeans are great material to convert into bag because the material is durable and rigid. In this tutorial, I created a DIY crescent purse from old jeans that were buried in the back of the closet. 
  • With a single vintage scarf, you can create easy hair scrunchies without sewing. If you don’t like fabric glue, this tutorial shares an alternate way to join the open seams. 
  • From camisole top to off shoulder tops, these upcycle clothing ideas reconstruct different skirts into tops. You will be learning how to keep the original seams or hemlines to modify necklines with slight adjustments.
  • If you have lot of layering tank tops that you don’t wear anymore, upcycle tank tops into fashionable and cute looks. From the Reformation inspired spaghetti strap high neck to ruched drawstring, each style is completely different and is guaranteed to satisfy the look you’re searching for! 
  • Push the boundaries of clothing reconstruction by making a DIY infinity swimsuit from leggings. The spandex based material closely resembles the base fabrication for commercially manufactured bathing suits. So, give it a try for yourself and have endless swimsuit styles to choose from!

Here are few design ideas that can be made from thrifted clothes. Execute these exciting upcycle project ideas by gathering together the materials listed below.

Essential DIY Upcycle Clothing Materials:

  • Old Clothes
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Straight Pins
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Glue

Examples Of Upcycling Clothes

Crop Top From T-Shirt (5 Easy Upcycle Projects!)

Searching through numerous examples of upcycled clothes actually helps you to further your skill, knowledge, and confidence. Every tutorial demonstrates new sewing tips and tricks for how to work with specific fabrications and finishing details to keep repurposing old clothes. 

A large majority of upcycle clothing projects originate from t-shirts, denim jeans and men’s dress shirts. This is because they are in large supply, cheap materials for beginners and also easy to work with!

A great place to begin is by trying to revamp your old t-shirt pile that buried in the back of the closet.

Whether you choose sewing or no sew method, sift through the easy ways to recycle old t-shirts into new clothes. Consider adding lace trim to adjusting the length, modifying the sleeve or even including a tunnel with drawstring to ruche the fabric.

The oversized or fitted t-shirts are great material to work with when searching for no sew t-shirt refashions. Simply changing the neckline or length of the top makes a huge difference without sewing. 

Furthermore, you can apply t-shirt cutting techniques and no sew hacks to quickly alter any tees in just a few minutes. 

You can easily alter an old tee to make it super short or meet-and-greet length and also add a deep plunging V-neck of you choose. Take your body measurements, prepare the tee and perform one of these upcycle clothing ideas. 

DIY Upcycle Clothes Tips And Tricks:

When you are planning to upcycle clothes using tutorials found in this website, each design includes recommend tips and unique tricks. The suggestions are there to help you successfully accomplish the project and steer clear of avoidable pitfalls.

You’ll see a list of sewing hacks that I have discovered throughout the years of upcycle experience. In general, the goal is to make the undertaking a bit easier, and also help you avoid any unnecessary mistakes. 

  • Sewing Tips: When using a sewing machine to transform old clothes, make sure to have the right tension, stitch width, and type of stitching that works for the specific fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and explore the sewing tips from each tutorial. Always test a few stitches on fabric scraps before starting on the actual garment. 
  • Cutting Tools: Having the right tools to cut fabric or deconstruct the original garment is very important. Use sharp fabric scissors to cut around the neckline or armhole, and use a rotary cutter for straight lines like the hem or side seam. If you are using rotary cutter, place a cutting mat underneath the fabric to prevent the blade from becoming dull or damaging the tabletop surface. 
  • Marking Method: Draw a new cut or sew line with fabric chalk to modify the original design. The marking method is classic way to indicate adjustments and alterations on the fabric. Have light to dark color chalk to apply visible notations on any color clothing. 
  • Fabric Glue: Find the best fabric glue to finish and join the seams for each type of material. Start by applying a small amount on the fabric. Test by allowing the adhesive to dry, then machine or hand wash to evaluate the results and prevent further damage the garment. Afterwards, it’s preferable to leave the glue to sit overnight and air dry completely before wearing. 
  • Measuring Tricks: We will be using ruler to connect two points with a straight line, but a measuring tape is highly recommended when it comes to measuring purposes for making clothes. The long flexible tape is ideal for armhole, bust, leg, neckline, sleeve and waistline measurements. 

Easy Upcycle Clothing Ideas

Transform old clothes into new clothes so that you have something brand new to wear. Here are the best upcycle clothing ideas that are fashionable styles, trendy clothing and up-to-date looks.

Leave the creativity up to a professional and enjoy copying the free patterns! Follow the step-by-step tutorials for easy to make refashion projects.

Best upcycle clothing ideas

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