How many pieces of clothing do you have in your wardrobe that you’d wear a little more often if only they could be altered slightly or embellished differently? If you’re anything like us, you’ve got quite a few of them. Recently, Rake’s Cafe and Bar in the Andaz Hotel hosted an upcycling brunch with eco-conscious fashion duo Vin+Omi to show us how to breathe life into these unloved pieces. Here are five tips we learned on the day that can help you upcycle your old clothing.
It’s easier to snip and sew than you think
Kristen has had a black turtleneck sitting in her wardrobe since last winter. She bought it online and when it arrived the neck was almost longer than the body of the top, and when rolled down it added a touch of neck brace chic to any look. Not wanting to look like she was wearing a neck brace everywhere she went, this charming item had definitely earned its place at the back of the wardrobe.
Bringing it to the brunch though, it was actually much easier to cut most of the neck off and sew it back down than she thought. Having not touched a sewing machine since year 9 textiles class she was really nervous to get behind the needle, but after a little practise session, she found it was actually pretty straightforward. Don’t be afraid to make simple alterations to garments yourself, especially if you can sew it on the inside so nobody will see your (possibly wonky) stitch lines!
Cut off pieces of fabric can be used in fun ways
After cutting off unwanted bits of fabric, be they a giant neck, sleeves that are too long or taking up some trousers, you can use them as a fun embellishment. Tie them into a bow and stitch onto your garment, or even sew down the edges and use the extra piece of fabric as a matching choker or a tie around your ponytail.
Duct tape can be a cool embellishment
If you’re going for that contemporary industrial streetwear vibe, cut some letters or arrange shapes out of duct tape and sew them down. It’s probably best to hand wash items after accenting them with duct tape, but hey, now you’ve got yourself a very cool, Off-White-esque piece of clothing you’re sure to get plenty of compliments on.
Glitter is never a bad idea
Not much more needs to be said here. When in doubt, glitterfy it up with sequins, sparkly trims and buttons or loose glitter and some fabric glue. Perfect for turning an old dress or pair of bottoms into a New Years ensemble that’ll have you turning heads.
Don’t be afraid to use paint
From artistic brushstrokes to carefully painted designs, take a plain, old piece of clothing and turn it into something really special using some fabric paint. Try experimenting with different brushes to achieve different effects, and you’ll be a walking piece of art.