How Do You Give Old Clothes a Second Life?

by Nicole

Do you have old clothes that you no longer wear?

I sure do! Most of the time I’ll donate them, unless they are in pretty bad shape.

Take these jeans, for instance.


I wore these jeans during my pregnancies to the point where they had holes in unmentionable places.

I picked them up yesterday and decided to give them a second life as a skirt for my youngest daughter.

I came across the Music Class blouse and skirt pattern by Oliver + S and fell in love with the outfit.

With seam ripper in hand, I unpicked the seams of my jeans and laid the legs flat on my cutting table.

The most challenging part of the process was figuring out how to lay out the pattern pieces to make the most of the fabric. I decided where I was going to cut which pieces of the pattern, taking into consideration the size of the pattern piece and the darkness of the color wash on different parts of the denim. I also made sure to line up the pattern piece along the grain so that the grain would go in the same direction for all the pieces.

You can see that the largest pattern piece just fit the width of the leg of the jeans. The only part of the skirt I had to piece together was the waistband, which was wider than the width of the legs.


After a little stitching and pressing, the Music Class skirt was born!


I am completely smitten with it. I love the pleats and pockets on the sides. It’s a classic pattern that I know I will turn to again and again.

I’m already planning the next one, which will be for my oldest daughter. And I know exactly which pair of pants will get a new life: hubby’s!

I loved reusing the fabric from my old jeans to make my daughter’s skirt. Not only did it allow me to entertain my sentimentality about my maternity clothes, but it also saved me money since I didn’t have to buy new fabric. That’s a combo you can’t beat with a stick!

How about you? How do you give old clothes a second life?

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Debbie May 1, 2014 - 4:41 am

oh the 'new' skirt turned out SO cute!! Clever girl you are! 😉

ipatchandquilt May 1, 2014 - 6:31 am

I donated two large bags full of clothes to a local charity just yesterday. I have not attempted to make new clothes from old ones like you have done here, but it is an AWESOME idea! Your little girl will be very happy with this cute skirt!

Stash Avalanche May 1, 2014 - 6:52 am

I make trousers, sweatshirts and t-shirts for my boy (when I have the time!). And I have a beautiful quilt my mother made which has lots of pieces from my childhood clothes sewn into it.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter May 1, 2014 - 7:37 am

That is very cute!! Top re purpose!

Megan May 1, 2014 - 10:05 am

I love that little skirt pattern, so cute!

Liz May 1, 2014 - 10:08 am

Fantastic job Nicole – it looks great. I'm sensing a new pattern in my future!

DeAnna S May 1, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Oh so cute! I was in my closet yesterday thinking the same thing…but then walked away…lol.

AuntieCrafty May 1, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Wow! The skirt looks like it's made from brand new fabric. I love it!

O'Quilts May 1, 2014 - 4:48 pm

very cute!!

Leslie Ferguson May 1, 2014 - 8:31 pm

Absolutely adorable! Love, love, love your blog!!

Nini May 2, 2014 - 12:34 am

So darn cute! Wish my daughters were not so old now….

Karen May 2, 2014 - 12:05 pm

What a cute skirt! Nice to upcycle 🙂

Dodo May 2, 2014 - 6:37 pm

I have just started to re purpose clothes. I have made a couple of tops from my son's shirts for my 2 year old granddaughter. I am thinking of seeing if I can make her 1/2 tank top and connect strips of fabric to make a ruffled dress.

pandchintz May 2, 2014 - 10:25 pm

That is the sweetest little denim skirt I've ever seen!! I hope your daughter get lots of wear out of it and loves it as much as her mum does!

Lea May 3, 2014 - 2:45 am

What an adorable little skirt.

Suzanne May 4, 2014 - 11:36 am

Your stamina and ingenuity are impressive. I have intentions of reinventing some of my boys' clothes as quilts but I doubt they are interested in having one of my skirts made into a pair of pants. 🙂

Katy Cameron May 4, 2014 - 9:41 pm

Very cute :o) I recycle my old clothes

Cheri, the Quilting Nanny May 6, 2014 - 11:36 pm

By the time my jeans "wear out" they aren't fit to recycle into anything, but I do buy them at a thrift store and make jean purses from them!

Lisa Lisa May 19, 2014 - 5:19 am

This is so dang cute! I bet your daughter loved it! I give away most of my clothes or take them to the consignment shop. However, I've been holding on to all of my old jeans, as well as my husband's and son's. And I've also cut up a couple of my dress shirts (cotton, of course!) to use for quilts 🙂

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