Old Clothes Become New Again With A Good Seamstress And Some Vintage Fashion Sense

My mom decided to clean out the garage. As a very neat and orderly person, she is notorious for throwing away just about everything. As a classic zodiac Cancer, my older sister, Rada, is notorious for finding sentimental value in just about everything. So as a Libra, I had to bring the balance necessary to judge which items should stay and which should go. Up in the rafters we came upon a few large suitcases. After some shaky moments on a ladder, we lowered the heavy bags and unzipped a goldmine of old clothes. I immediately thought JACKPOT and we dragged the suitcases upstairs to my mom’s workroom. In addition to being neat and orderly, she is an accomplished seamstress.

As we dug through the clothes, we found some items that brought back fond memories and that were surprisingly cool again – like the “old man” sweater I wore nonstop over a decade back. After spotting myself in photo after photo wearing the same sweater for years, I put it away thinking I had retired it for good. Now with a multicolored scarf and the new, brown, lace-up boots I purchased at the beginning of the season, my “old man” sweater was coming out of retirement.

With my younger sister, Ljubica, a fashion major and amazing illustrator also present, we came up with some ways to completely rejuvenate/recycle a few more articles of clothing from the bags. Here are some of the easy and sentimental ideas for clothing preservation that our family fashion team came up with:

Line a jacket with a great print. Ljubica, also a sentimentalist, spotted an old shirt of our dad’s – a warm plaid, rather large button-up. Digging deeper, she pulled out Rada’s old denim jacket. It still fit well, but was unlined. Putting the two together, we lined the jacked with the fabric from the shirt. We created a garment that is unique and one that Rada will cherish for years to come.
Reshape a skirt. At 5’3″ my mom is nearly a foot shorter than me, so you can see why we don’t normally share clothes. However, when I held up an old skirt of hers, I saw potential. It was a beautiful chiffon print. What had come down to her ankles hit me above my knees. A pinch at the waist and hips, tuck around the bum, and the skirt was completely reshaped… and also looks great with those new lace-up boots of mine.
Cut a dress into a skirt. At the bottom of the suitcase Ljubica unfolded a giant muumuu of a dress. It had never been a flattering fit but once again the print was fabulous. Our mom suggested cutting off the top and simply gathering the waist in a neat drawstring. Taking in the seams a bit helped to transform a shapeless muumuu into an amazing, floor-length peasant skirt.
Cut a skirt into a bag. Taking one last look at all the clothes around the workroom, I picked up a very heavy garment. It was my old denim sweeper skirt made up of about 3.5 yards of fabric. With those brown lace-up boots, I could ride shotgun on any wagon, but that would be taking the vintage Wild West look too literally. Being that denim is so durable, my mom decided to make it into a large purse/bag which we lined with another classic shirt of my dad’s.

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