Growing up with an incredibly creative mom who also happens to be into fashion means I’ve watched a lot of DIY projects come to life. From Halloween costumes, to winter knits, to reworked vintage pieces, she’s done it all. I’ve always wished I could bring new life to fabric the way she does, but somehow I still don’t know how to knit or use a sewing machine… oops.
I am interested in diving into more DIY projects because I love the concept of making my clothes with my own hands. I believe all clothes, whether new or second-hand, have a story that begins when they’re mere seeds in the ground, and these stories are worth investing my time in. With thrifted items, it’s cool that the clothes I buy have previous lives that I will never know of and that I can make new memories with them, but somehow it’s never as satisfying as watching a piece of fabric be transformed into something new. The special thing about DIY projects is that by being involved in the creative process, I am able to play a bigger role in my clothes’ stories. Clothes I have made or altered myself have a unique meaning to me and I often feel much more committed and attached to them because of the time and effort I’ve invested into their creation.
To give me some inspiration and motivation to finally sit down at the sewing machine and learn how to operate it, I compiled yet another Youtube playlist, this time with some fun DIY videos. I especially love coolirpa’s Thrifted Transformations series, where she purchases thrifted items and reworks them into something new. Hopefully I will be able to report back next year and say that I’ve made lots of cool pieces but until then, here’s a little look at some of the DIY items in my closet.
I looked at so many vintage stores for an American Apparel tennis skirt look-a-like and I was unsuccessful. Thankfully my mom kept this pleated skirt from back in the day. It was very long, so she cut it to my desired length. Isn’t the colour amazing?
My mom has been loving making socks lately. Though it’s not exactly Christmas season anymore, these do make great stocking stuffers! She knits all her socks from recycled yarn that she gets by unraveling thrifted sweaters.
My mom made matching skirts for me and my little cousin for Christmas a couple years back. She used fabric from IKEA and crocheted the pockets.
Made by my cousin, Hannah (she’s a DIY queen!):
The most dreamy babydoll dress… Hannah used a thrifted vintage dress pattern for this project. My two Swedish cousins and I all have the same dress in different prints!
Made by me:
Nope, that tag isn’t a lie! This turtleneck used to be a onesie meant for toddlers ages 24 to 33 months. I found this in my family’s Halloween costume basket and it had a Batman patch on the front that my mom had made out of felt. I am still extremely confused as to how this fits me, but I’m guessing it must have stretched out over the years because clearly I am much older than 33 months.
Beautiful thrifted high-waisted black Levi 550’s ❤ The first pair of jeans I ever frayed!
Also made a choker out of the fabric I cut off from those jeans, because why not? I frayed the edges and used the snaps from the baby onesie I converted for the clasp.
A couple more chokers… The red one is made with ribbon from Michaels and the lace one is from ribbon given to me by my grandma years ago.
Some classic cut-off shorts that are still a DIY project in progress. These used to be XXL boy’s cargo pants. I’ve done this same DIY for a pair of high-waisted denim capris and a pair of high-waisted grey Levi’s. A summer staple!
Another summer staple… Oversized Nike Air Jordan t-shirt that used to be my brother’s turned into a crop top.
My mom passed down this purple paisley print skirt to me and I fell in love with the print. I never wear long skirts though, so I decided it would make a good dress. I’m planning to add black velvet straps to it as well.
Lastly, a dainty little button-up. I purchased this from the Urban Outfitters sale rack years ago, but I stopped liking it because it had a big studded collar on it. I realized I could just cut off the collar and now it’s super cute. Love a good sheer shirt and a mandarin collar!