u3a - Upcycle Your Wardrobe

Out with the old – turn it into the new!

Instead of throwing away those tired old clothes in your wardrobe this spring, we dare you to revamp and revitalise.

With the growing environmental concerns around fast fashion, upcycled vintage is more on-trend than ever before!

Why not have a rummage and get inspired to create something entirely new, for free. Whether that’s simply adding on a design or completely repurposing the material and starting from scratch – we want to see.

Just remember to get pictures before taking the scissors to something - we want to see a before picture of the garment/garments upcycled and a picture of the finished new piece. Tell us about how to have repurposed your garments so we can see the journey your creation has made. You can submit as many entries as you like!

Submit here

Entries will be considered by the Subject Advisor for Fashion - selections of entries have been added to this page with more to come!


Joy Saville of Bicester u3a - kicked the initiative off with her transformed scarf!

 

I used to go backpacking and touring in India and as I have a passion for scarves I brought back many examples from my travels.

This one is a 'dupatta' a shawl-like scarf worn by Indian women over their shoulders and used as a veil when necessary. It is very long and wide and I loved it particularly the colour. I wore it once on my return to show it off to my u3a Arts and Crafts group but it has since been folded and forgotten amongst the many other scarves for years.

I decided to up-cycle it and made a lovely summer top, although it would need a camisole underneath for modesty being rather see-through, and with the remains, I was able to make a smaller scarf more suitable for me to wear with my Western clothes.

A Silk Bag made from 3 Silk Ties by Helena Roberts, Macclesfield u3a

A Silk Bag made from 3 Silk Ties by Helena Roberts, Macclesfield u3a

I used three of my husband's silk ties that he no longer uses since he retired and no longer wears a suit and tie every day!

 

 

A Silk Bag made from 3 Silk Ties by Helena Roberts, Macclesfield u3a

A Silk Bag made from 3 Silk Ties by Helena Roberts, Macclesfield u3a

I carefully unpicked the seams of the ties, opened them out and pressed them. I then had several daily large pieces of silk fabric. I made up the pattern for the bag as I went along. It is lined with some fabric from my stash and I used a soft lightweight interlining. It's lovely to use fabrics that have memories.

A Lined Tote Bag made from a Pair of Jeans by Catriona Mason Hamilton and District u3a

A Lined Tote Bag made from a Pair of Jeans by Catriona Mason Hamilton and District u3a

I made a lined tote bag from two pairs of jeans.  Every piece of the bag was made from upcycled denim, cotton fabric and donated thread.

A Lined Tote Bag made from a Pair of Jeans by Catriona Mason Hamilton and District u3a

A Lined Tote Bag made from a Pair of Jeans by Catriona Mason Hamilton and District u3a

I added a hand embroidered appliqué bird. I used pale and dark denim. I also used upcycled cotton fabric for the lining. 

A denim jacket made from old jeans by Helena Roberts from Macclesfield u3a

A denim jacket made from old jeans by Helena Roberts from Macclesfield u3a

I used three pairs of old jeans that were no longer wearable, I used a commercial pattern, matching side to side, sleeves etc with similar jeans colours. I inserted a coloured edging with fabric from my stash! I also covered the buttons with this same contrasting fabric.

A denim jacket made from old jeans by Helena Roberts From Macclesfield u3a

A denim jacket made from old jeans by Helena Roberts From Macclesfield u3a

As the jeans were stretch denim the jacket is very soft and fits very well. I'm very pleased with my modern looking jacket, I get lots of compliments.

A summer top made from a maternity dress by Janet Death from Sarum

A summer top made from a maternity dress by Janet Death from Sarum

I used a maternity dress I wore in the 1980's.

A summer top made from a maternity dress by Janet Death from Sarum

A summer top made from a maternity dress by Janet Death from Sarum

I had a favourite bought top with a neckline I particularly liked. I copied this using fabric from a maternity dress I wore in the 1980's.

A bit of sparkle gives a garment a new lease of life by June Russell from Tower Hamlets u3a

A bit of sparkle gives a garment a new lease of life by June Russell from Tower Hamlets u3a

A bit of sparkle gives a garment a new lease of life by June Russell from Tower Hamlets u3a

A bit of sparkle gives a garment a new lease of life by June Russell from Tower Hamlets u3a

I’ve covered all sorts of things with rhinestones. Even a cracked and broken decanter was brought back to life!

A Quilt Made from Old Shirts & Jeans by Jeanette Moss Matlock u3a

A Quilt Made from Old Shirts & Jeans by Jeanette Moss Matlock u3a

This is a quilt made from my husband's old shirts and my daughter's old jeans. My husband designed the bits of white embroidery as the quilt is to keep his legs warm on cold winter evenings. The quilt is made from cotton scraps cut from worn out shirts and holey denim jeans.