reconstructed fashion…for the diy fashionista

The art of transforming pieces of clothing into new and original fashions is alive and well, and I for one am very happy to see it. Almost 20 years ago I was deconstructing and refashioning clothing for my daughter. They were some of her favorite dresses. And for me, it was a very liberating form of sewing … I almost felt like an actual fashion designer. Back then, there was no help from books or the internet offering tips and ideas for restructuring clothing. But today there are dozens of titles in bookstores and websites which inspire us with tutorials using found and salvaged materials.

One book with really simple projects is Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay. It offers ways to cut, sew, deconstruct, reconstruct, and transform a t-shirt into a new addition to your wardrobe. Megan also has a website: Generation-T, where t-shirt projects are posted. I recently tried one out and turned an old t-shirt that my son was tossing out into a halter top for my daughter. She seems to like it; of course we are all fond of Pink Floyd in our family:-) Many of these projects are simple enough for even a beginner sewer---in fact, quite a few don’t require sewing at all. If you are so inclined, I highly recommend trying one out.

And, if you are not so inclined, purchasing repurposed clothing is one way we can commit to a greener lifestyle---here are few very talented and innovative designers offering their own altered couture…

brightpirate's Sepia Top

The last design, by econica, is made from organic cotton/bamboo fleece. I can only imagine how soft it must be. While technically it’s not a reconstructed/recycled garment, it is a ‘green’ and very inspiring design…and I love it.

So, how about yourself; have you ever repurposed or reconstructed anything wearable?


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I've been sewing and making all sorts of horrid creations :P Might be time to swallow my pride and get a book!

  2. I love to sew, but I have not done much reconstructing of clothes. I hope to the the opportunity to try more of that this summer, with my daughter.

    I do love that book, and my daughter has created several of the items in it, but we are going to have to check out the website. Thanks for sharing.

    The last skirt is beautiful!

  3. Lost---I hope you do! I’ve had plenty of failed attempts from store bought patterns. Books, however, seem to have more of a success rate for me. That and knowing what my limitations are.:)

    AdditionsStyle---knowing that you sew with your daughter also, warms my heart.:) thanks.

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