Upcycling Clothes: From 50 Cents to Wow!

We have a new designer on our team, Megan Sabourin, and I am so excited to have her talent on board. Megan studied at Pratt in New York City and she has deep experience in designing look books for the fashion world. But that’s not all.

New Stitch graphic designer
Megan Sabourin in her
gorgeous restyled dress.

It’s been so busy at Stitch, with travel, putting out lots of magazines, and getting ready for Abby to go on leave, that Megan and I had not yet had a chance to sit down and chat.

I came into the office on Tuesday to attend our weekly show and tell and share pictures of my new nephew. Megan was standing next to me and she had on the MOST DARLING dress. The bodice was sleeveless with a draped neckline, and the skirt flared out to a hi-low hemline, very Marilyn-meets-Dior. She had paired the dress with some adorable light aqua wedge espadrilles. Clearly she has a great sense of style.

Later, Megan stopped by my office and we got to know each other a little better. We had both lived in Brooklyn in adjacent neighborhoods, and we had lots to talk about. We started to discuss my studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the fact that most fashion design students can’t sew. As we chatted, my ears perked up. I was hearing the language of the fellow crafter. So I asked, “Do you sew?,” expecting to hear that she did not, but would love to learn.

And she said those magic words: “Yes! I sewed this dress that I’m wearing.”

I nearly fell out of my chair. It was just too much good fortune in one day: a graphic designer on the staff of Stitch who sews and has a great fashion sense and lives just a few miles from our office? It was almost unbelievable. I couldn’t have scripted it better.

Then she hedged, “I didn’t make the dress from scratch. I bought it for 50 cents at a tag sale and redid the hemline, sleeves and neckline.”

Well, as you know, no one likes a good upcycling project better than me! I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And I started to dream how I could refashion clothes with a good vintage find.

If you like to upcycle and are looking for lots of inspiration and projects that you can access on the go, check out a digital subscription to Stitch. It’s full of modern sewing projects and ideas for transforming old into new.

Do you have a tag sale find that turned treasure. I would love to know!

Happy stitching!


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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

3 thoughts on “Upcycling Clothes: From 50 Cents to Wow!

  1. Hello Amber, I am an old hat at refasioned clothing….I was the only girls in high school that could take apart a pair of jeans and turn them into a skirt…..And can you believe it I am still doing that for my granddaughter and her friends?…LOL….I love going to tag, yard and 2nd hand stores and picking up clothing to either redo for myself or others. Many a time when my granddaughter was younger she would find a skirt that was way, way too big and say ” please grandma, make it fit me”…..I love to make her stuff, but thank goodness the Barbie underwear need and her chihuahua clothing for her little dog, Pip, has slowed down….Good hunting on the tag sales…..

  2. I used to dislike re-fashioning until recently. I love it now. However, I look for upcycling items from my own closet that are outdated but don’t show much wear.
    Then, the issue of what to do with my huge fabric stash rears its head.
    BTW I would love to see a special publication from Stitch focusing only on upcycled projects.