Eight Easy Steps to DIY Clothing Alteration

I’ve always been messing around with my clothes and have found it fun and stylish. With this basic guide, pretty much anyone with time on their hands can make their own altered clothing.

  1. Finding alterable clothing

    Unless you have a lot of clothes lying around that you can start chopping up, it would be a good idea to go out and look for some you wouldn’t mind ripping up. I suggest you check out thrift stores, because not only are the clothes there cheap, but there’s bound to be clothes there you could cut up and use for your project as well.

  2. Gathering your designs

    One of the easiest ways to make some stylish clothes is to find material with strange patterns that you like. Don’t limit yourself to just cutting up clothes though, I’ve found that there’s lots to use out there. Pillowcases, tee shirts, belts, socks and hats, as long as there’s something you like on them, use it.

    Part of a pillowcase on jeans

  3. Planning

    Once you’ve found all of your material, I suggest that you make sure you have everything you need within sight, so that you aren’t wasting time looking for things. Take some time to plan what you want your clothes to end up looking like. Having a plan in your head is all well and good, but you should at least layer your patterns on your clothes and see if you get the effect you want before attaching it.

  4. Cutting and trimming

    Before going any farther, it would make sense to check to see if your article of clothing is the way you want it. For instance, you may want to change the length of pant legs, cut off sleeves and so forth. Your patterns also have to be changed accordingly, if you do plan of altering your clothes this way as well. Make sure to keep anything you cut off, because it can be reused in other projects.

  5. Tacking

    After messing around with ideas, you can start attaching your patterns to your clothes with either pins or some thread. Of course, it would be a good idea if you checked the position the material will be in when you’re wearing it, so having the article of clothing on while at this stage is a good idea. You can always choose whether you want to change your plans or arrangement before continuing any further.

  6. Attachment

    The most effective way to get everything all stuck together is to sew it on. However, if you use several methods you’re almost guaranteed it won’t all fall apart. I suggest using some iron-on tape and sticking your material together with it first. After that, you may either sew it on by hand or with a machine, depending on your preference and the availability of a sewing machine. Make sure that before you’re attaching everything that it is where you want it, otherwise it will be difficult to change afterwards.

    Cloth marker design on patch

  7. Embellishment

    At this point, you should have all of your main pieces attached to your article of clothing. You may be happy with just what you sewed on and leave it at that, but there are other things that you may choose to add. At any sewing or craft store and sometimes even dollar stores, you can find things like studs, safety pins and iron-on patches of all sorts. These can usually be attached with little to no effort, and can really add some flash to your clothing.

  8. Display

    You can either show off your self-designed clothes to your friends or family first or go out and about with your one-of-a-kind clothes no one else will have. This also gives you the chance to learn if you’re happy with how your project turned out and whether or not you want to do something else with it. Your first piece of work probably won’t be exactly the way you imagined it, but as with anything, practice makes perfect and the more you alter your own clothing, the happier you’ll be with the results.

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Published in: Do-It-Yourself


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