Refashion The Unworn

Hello! I'm Diana and today I'll be sharing some ideas to shop your closet and refashion unworn items. If you're anything like me, there are two things we in the sewing community like to "collect": sewing patterns and fabric! I have recently gotten into online fabric auction sales and noticed how dangerous it can be to my pocket.

I also noticed there are a ton of unworn garments in my family's closet that don't get used at all. I like the idea of using my resources available to practice sewing and turn unworn items into something different that we will actually wear. Depending on the your intended size, you may have to get a bit creative when cutting up your garments so I'm keeping it simple today and using my husband's shirts to make my son the Unisex Zip It Jacket.

Here are some general guidelines to help you get started:

  • clean out your closet and set aside potential garments
  • ASK your family members if it's ok to use their unused garments
  • search your pattern library to find suitable patterns to mix and match fabrics. Here are a few great patterns you can use:
    • Women's 24/7
    • Women's half pipe tee
    • Half pipe tee unisex (kids)
    • Men's basic tee or tank top pattern
    • Zip it unisex jacket (kids)
  • check the pattern fabric requirements against what garments you have
  • gather your scraps of fabrics
  • (optional) turn on your favorite movie on Netflix

For my son's jacket, I used two of my husband's long sleeve shirts in size XL. The black shirt had piping detail on the arm that I wanted to use for my son's jacket so I chose the black for the outside and the stripe shirt as the lining. 

Before cutting into the shirts, I laid out the pattern pieces on top to make sure I could make it work. I determined I was not going to be able to cut out the outer hood and lining in the fabrics, so I went to my scraps of fabric and used those instead. 

Now that you've "planned" how you're going to cut your pattern pieces, you can cut into the fabric. I start by cutting off the sleeves and sides of the bodice. You now have a weird cut off fabric but depending on the size you're making, you may be able to use all the fabric for your new garment. I made my son a size 3T. 


So, I made a few mistakes along the way, which is why I'm glad I didn't use my "good fabric". For the sleeve option, I chose the solid sleeve for the outer jacket. I was able to get two sleeves out of one of my husband's shirt and the same for the liner fabric. I thought I'd cheat a bit and since the XL shirt had a waistband and cuffs, I simply used those.

When approaching the zipper installation step, I realized I didn't have a zipper that would work for the jacket. Of course, it is late at night so the stores are closed. I guess it worked out because the waistband I had used was already folded in half and wouldn't have worked as well per the pattern instructions. So what do you do when you come to this crossroad? For me the only thing to do is move forward, cry a little, and make the best of it. 

So I followed the instructions and proceeded to sewing my outer fabric to my liner. After adding the cuffs to the jacket, I was pleasantly surprised how cute this jacket turned out. I'm bummed I didn't check my notions before starting because the zipper would have been a great feature for this jacket. I am thinking of adding buttons or snaps, but not sure if that will work out. The wonderful thing about sewing is that you use the pattern as a guideline but then you get to make your own modifications. 

At the end you'll end up with a bunch of scraps and a refashioned garment! Don't forget to have fun and enjoy the process :) 

You can find me on Instagram/Facebook as My Sewing Roots

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