Today I've got an idea for you guys on how you can create vintage pieces on a smaller budget, focusing on saving money on fabric.
I had a shorts pattern I had tried out before, Butterick 9779, and I decided that it was so amazing that I must replicate it in many colors. However, who's got all the money in the world to go buy a bunch of new fabric and zippers and notions to make a bunch of shorts? I sure didn't. So I did some upcycle thinking.
I had found this maroon corduroy 80s-90s skirt in a thrift store for $3 thinking I would shorten it into a winter skirt, but it was much too pleated and gathered and full to look right. It looked pretty icky, actually.
However, that fullness was a great thing! I laid out the skirt to see if the shorts pattern pieces would fit on the skirt fabric, and after a bit of shifting, they sure did! I cut out the pieces and snipped out the zipper and a button that was on the skirt. (The zipper was especially handy. It's already a matching color and much cheaper than a new one!) I reused all these pieces to create these shorts:
I was quite happy with the result!
Now if you, too, have a project in mind and would like to save money on fabric, here are some other things you can look for to use for projects:
- Curtains: By far one of my favorite things to use for sewing. There are lots of lacy grandma curtains out there! Often they also have scalloped edges or other such fancy trim.
- Sheets: Great for large pieces, and oftentimes they're a comfy fabric with soft floral prints. Perfect for spring!
- Large clothing items: Like my full length skirt, or you can also look for long jackets, large dresses, ponchos, etc. Anything with large panels of cloth works.
- Blankets: Obviously, you'll want to keep the thickness of the blanket in mind when choosing so it's appropriate for what you want to make. It's actually a very vintage/antique idea to remake blankets into skirts and such!
- Tablecloths: A classic 1930s-1940s Depression and rationing era trick. You can even find vintage instructions on how to turn a tablecloth into a dress or skirt!
- Notions: When you're altering or purchasing clothing items, save the notions off of them, even if you don't need them for that specific project. Definitely throw any buttons into your button jar, but you can also save zippers, hooks and eyes, snaps, chest support pieces, and shoulder pads. Keep them for use in later projects.
I can't wait to see the awesome, ingenious fabric solutions you guys come up with to make your vintage wardrobe plans come to fruition!