upcycle after: sweaters & shirts

upcycle after: sweaters and shirts

Hi all, it’s Saskia again from Vera Luna. One of the challenges of upcycling is to use what you have. You might be lucky and reuse clothes with a nice print or pattern, but most likely your base material will be plain (solid or striped) knits. Of course, you could create great basics out of such material, but you might want to add some more color and fun! If your kids are like mine, they will certainly appreciate it… Their motto seems to be “the bolder the better!”
As Meg mentioned in her introduction, I love to customize my creations by using paint, dye, freezer paper stencils, appliques, patches and bleach. So today I’d like to dive into this topic and showcase some great examples of  shirts and sweaters that are embellished in various ways.

Add animals
Which little kid doesn not love animals? Every kid has their own favorite animal that they would love to see on their clothes. Here are some fun examples of animals added to shirts and sweaters. Sew on a bunch of butterflies from scrap material, paint a panda face, add an animal with flock foil, or use a sharpie or transfer paper for a more detailed print.
animals51. Butterflies, Boden USA; 2.4. Bat tee, Max California; 3. Panda raglan, You and Mie; 4. Appliqued lion, Miekatoentje;  5. Lion with bow tie, Ada Spragg


Add words

words and letters1. E shirt, Ukkonooa; 2. HongKong tee, Shaffer Sisters; 3. Happy camper, He and I; 4. Hola, See Kate Sew; 5. Stuntman, A Lemon Squeezy Home

I’m not a big fan of silly texts on kids’ shirts, but somehow kids just become so cool when wearing a shirt or sweater with the right words. Don’t you agree?
I collected many great examples on my new Pinterest board, and had a hard time selecting photos for these collages. You can add texts by using a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint, but you can also applique or reverse applique them. Also check out this great series that ran last year at Boy oh Boy oh Boy.  Called The Fashionable Type, this series was all about typography in kids’ wear.

green letters1. Hohoho, Craftstorming; 2. Be cool, Shwin & Shwin; 3. Guacamole, Vera Luna; 4. Liberty Love, A Jennuine Life

Striped adult-sized shirts or sweaters are great source material to upcycle. If you have too little fabric to create a full striped shirt, or if you want to make something bolder and outspoken, think about playing with the direction of the stripes, or combine striped fabric with other fabrics.

stripes-collage1. Bimaa Hoodie, Oliver’s Fancy; 2. Stripes and plaid, Petit a petit and family; 3. Boys can wear chevron too, Feather’s Flights; 4. Sloppop Yeah sweater

Finally, you can use different techniques to completely (re)design your upcycled fabric. Remove color from the fabric by using bleach or a fabulous  concoction called discharge paste. Or add color by stamping or using a sharpie… Again, the possibilities are endless.

pattern1.Bleach boy, Groovybaby and Mama; 2. Chevron, Feather’s Flights; 3. Stamping fabric, Vitasumarte; 4. Zigzag, Vera Luna

Well, that’s it for today! I hope to have inspired you again. Looking forward to seeing how you will customize your creations during KCW. Only 11 more days to go!

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  • Reply Diana January 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    So many fun ideas… Can’t wait to start! 😀

  • Reply Heather Feather January 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the features! My plan is to do some simple shirt refashions for my kids this time so this inspiration is perfect!

  • Reply Dam January 27, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Love the ones with butterflies, lion and alternating stripes!

  • Reply charlotte January 27, 2015 at 8:53 am

    really inspiring, I may have a go myself this weekend!

  • Reply Holly January 27, 2015 at 10:37 am

    such great inspiration saskia! i love everything up there! 

  • Reply Kassandra January 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    The butterflies.. oh I can’t wait to recreate this! Maybe make a blanket like this from old baby clothes to remember them by.  Great ideas! 

  • Leave a Reply to Diana Cancel Reply