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DIY or DIE: Reconstructing Clothes

By Morgan Bernier
On November 3, 2010

As I get older, I find that I want to dress in a more mature manner than I have in the past. However, I don't want to lose my personality in the process. The chances that I would go out shopping and find a shirt that I love are slim to none. It seems like there are some that fit really nicely, but look boring or are too provocative for my tastes. Sometimes I will find a shirt a really like, but it won't be in my size or it will just not quite fit right. Well, I am tired of this always happening, so I took matters into my own hands and learned how to reconstruct clothes that I bought or that I already had. Just by adding a small detail such as a bit of lace along the hem or an embroidered detail on the sleeve, the entire look and feel of a shirt can change. It's also a great way to show your personality. Don't worry if you're not a master seamstress, neither am I. Also, most of the embellishments are easy to do by hand and don't take more than a few hours to complete. Not only are you benefitting from this by getting "new" clothes, but it's also a relaxing hobby.

As far as finding ideas and patterns and such, I recommend just looking online to see what other people have done. Some really great websites for this are and Both of these sites have a lot of step-by-step tutorials and ideas to give you a place to start. Also, urbanthreads have a huge selection of really affordable hand-embroidery guidelines. If you are so artistically inclined, you could even use some of the patterns from urbanthreads to create your own design.

I am a huge fan of updating clothes by being crafty. There are so many ways to turn and old shirt into something new and fabulous. There are even ways to take a shirt that is too big and reuse it. Also, cutoutandkeep has many tutorials on how to take shirts that are too small or slightly falling apart and reuse the part that you really like about it. Being creative isn't just for girls, either. So many men's clothes in stores today have a DIY feel to them that any man could easily add a little flair to his outfits. I recommend that everyone try this, at least once. It's a great way to save money, feel accomplished, and create a whole new outfit!

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