Upcycling: festival clothes (Part 1)

Music festivals are a fantastic opportunity to have some fun and experiment with your outfits. While the fashion stakes might be high, it’s a good idea not to spend too much money on your festival clothes as they might not survive the experience! This is where upcycling can really help you out. In this blog, I’ll show you how you can upcycle some of your old clothes into fun new pieces for festival season.

Upcycling is the process of redesigning and resewing used or vintage clothing into a new garment. Also known as deconstruction and reconstruction, this re-purposing of clothing is a skill which fashion designers and sewers have always practiced but is now a growing trend in the area of sustainable fashion. It’s great for designers as it allows them to infuse a piece of clothing with their own personality.

In addition to the environmental benefits of sustainable fashion, upcycling is a great way to build your knowledge of how clothes and patterns are made, improve your garment construction skills and develop your creativity.

Our upcycling video looks at how you can transform old jeans into shorts and also how you can give new life to a t-shirt. This video is a cut-down version of the full video which is available for our students. Please check out our courses page for more info on our fashion design courses.

Here's how we did it... 


Upcycling a black t-shirt in 5 easy steps

1: Pin the position you want to cut away.

2: Rip out to the pin position.

3: Cut away the section to remove.

4: Double-turn the edge and stitch.

5: Double-turn the edge of the armhole to finish off the raw edge. Watch out for the shoulder seam as this is bulky - you may need to walk the stitch over this section.


Upcycling jeans to shorts in 3 easy steps

Check the length you would like before cutting - do not go too short.

  1. To help know where to cut, look at the position of the pocket bag ends.
  2. Cut straight across.
  3. Fray the edge (we used the scissors to drag along the edge to fray).

The fabric is then painted with a paint brush to add some detail.

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Written by: Siobhan O'Brien-Selway

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