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How to Refashion Last Year’s Wardrobe

When it comes to swapping our closets over for the seasons, we often find that there are at least a few pieces that we’re just not sure we’ll wear anymore. Usually we’d donate these, but this year we couldn’t help feeling like we actually  would wear them if we could only change them up ever so slightly, just to keep things feeling fresh and new. That’s why we’ve been on the lookout lately for awesome clothing altering techniques that will help us refashion last year’s wardrobe a little bit, saving some pieces from the donation pile and maybe even saving us some money on new things!

If you’re feeling just as excited as we were, if not more, about the idea of refashioning last year’s fall wardrobe to be worn again this year only differently, check out these 15 awesome ideas, designs, and tutorials that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration and guidance.

1. Plain jeans to lace printed jeans


Do you have a pair of jeans that fit just fine but that also look exactly like one or two other pairs of jeans you have, and you just can’t picture yourself needing all of them? Then perhaps adding some visual texture and lightening the colour would encourage you to wear them more often! We’re basically in love with the way Creative Fashion Blog used bleach and pieces of old lace to print the lace’s pattern all over their jeans in lightened tones.

2. Turn a plain red sweater into a pearled sweater


Maybe you’ve got an old fall sweater that’s a decent colour and you don’t mind the fit, but you just can’t help feeling like it’s still a little too plain for your tastes? Well, if you’ve ever liked the classy appearance of pearls even half as much as we do then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how The DIY Girl embellished the shoulders, neckline, and sleeves of their sweater with pearled beads that are quite simple to hand stitch on!

3. Turn a pullover into a cardigan


Maybe the sweater we mentioned before almost fits just right but you’re just not sure that you like wearing it as a pullover after all because you don’t like having to pull it over your face and hair? Then perhaps you’d get more use out of it as a cardigan! We love the way this tutorial from I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar breaks the steps for making that transformation happen down into fewer easy steps than we had originally thought it might be.

4. Oversized top to cute peplum top


Have you actually inherited a couple things from a neighbour or friend that don’t quite fit snugly enough but that you love the colour of and could totally picture yourself wearing in the office this fall if it only fit right? Then perhaps you’d get along a little better with something like this tutorial from Merrick’s Art that teaches you how to turn a very loose blouse into a more fitted peplum style top that’s very flattering indeed!

5. Gathered back t-shirt refashion


Rather than a sweater that you don’t mind but that you feel is a little too plain, have you actually got a long sleeved shirt that you’re debating donating? Well, if you think you might wear it if it had a little more visual detailing to it, then we think you should at least consider this lovely gathered back and bow refashioning from Mabey She Made It that shows you how to adjust the fit and details using a nicely contrasting fabric!

6. Little black dress makeover


Perhaps you live somewhere that stays a little bit warmer all year round so dresses are still something you can wear in the fall but you’re still not sure about keeping that little black dress because you’re worried that it might be a little too short to wear to work? In that case, we think you’ll really appreciate how clearly Creative Fashion Blog outlines the steps for adding several under-layers to the skirt to extend it until it’s a longer dress and slightly more appropriate for sitting at your desk in!

7. Large thrift shop sweater and old top to pretty classic cardigan


Did we actually really catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of turning a pullover sweater into a cardigan but you can’t help feeling a little bit curious about whether here isn’t a way that you can add a little bit of contrast or detail to the new design? Well, The Renegade Seamstress was clearly thinking along the same wavelengths as you, because they show you how to use pieces of an old shirt to add some trim and elbow patches to the cardigan once they’ve cut it properly!

8. Cute denim jacket ruffle trim refashion


There’s always something so classic about a plain denim jacket in the fall, bu that doesn’t mean that it’s to everyone’s tastes. What if you’d rather add a little bit of colour and detail, just to keep things interesting looking? Personally, we love the way Live Love Sew added a little bit of girlish whimsy to theirs by creating a colourful ruffled fringe, which they show you how to recreate in just a few simple steps.

9. DIY studded sweater update


Rather than altering the shape of the sweater that you’re debating about keeping, would you actually just rather add some edge to it in order to make it feel a little more your style than it looks while it’s plain? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Creative Fashion Blog added some simple metal pyramid studs, making the look immediately a little more hardcore than it was before.

10. Cute lace trim sweater refashion


Perhaps you’ve got a sweater that you really like the colour and style of and it its quite well as far as width is concerned, but you’ve got quite a long torso and it’s ever so slightly too short? Well, what if we told you that you could lengthen it in an awesome way rather than getting rid of it? Take a better look at this tutorial from FashionToppings to see how they did it with eyelet lace!

11. DIY pearl accent jeans


Did we actually really catch your eye when we started talking about the concept of embellishing things with pearls, but you’d either like a matching set of pants to put with your previously mentioned sweater, or you’d like to add peals to your pants instead? In either case, we think you just might be the perfect person to take a look at how Creative Fashion Blog used simple hand stitching techniques to create these lovely pearled jeans in just a few simple steps!

12. Feather stamp tee refashion


Are you all for the idea of embellishing a top of in some way but you’ve never really liked hand stitching so you’re on the lookout for a different technique that’s still eye catching? Well, if you’ve never tried fabric printing then we’re very sorry indeed to tell you that you’ve been missing out on something totally awesome! Fix that right now by giving this lovely feather stamped long sleeve t-shirt project outlined in detail on Sincerely, Kinsey a try.

13. Dress to romper refashion


Have you come across a dress that you normally love wearing in the fall, since you live in a warmer place, but that you’ve had for a very long time now and you can’t help feeling like you’ve been seen in it exactly how it is about a million times? Well, if you’ve ever been a fan of rompers (we’re basically obsessed with them right now), then we think you’ll get a real kick out of the way Trish Stitched shows you how to turn your dress into precisely that!

14. Dress to blouse refashion


Did we actually really catch your attention when we started talking about blouses because you could really use a few new ones for the office this fall? Well, if you can get your hands on a few old dresses that you’re not planning on keeping, particularly if they’re a little bit too big for you, then Swoodson Says will show you how you can make those new blouses instead of buying them!

15. Ruffle trimmed pea coat


Did we actually really pique your interest when we started talking about the idea of adding some kind of ruffle to your coat but it’s not a denim jacket that you have in mind and you’re hoping for a ruffle that’s a little larger than what you saw before? In that case, we think you simply must take a look at the way Tater Tots & Jello guides you through the unexpectedly easy steps for ruffle trimming an otherwise slightly too plain fall pea coat!

Have you made other kinds of DIY refashioned thrift shop projects before that you were very pleased with indeed and that you still wear but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you created and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!