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10 March 2010

The Shirt Off Grandpa's Back


Both my grandmothers grew up in orphanages, worked hard, married and each raised five children in small homes with small budgets. Both were a wealth of frugal ideas. When one of her five kids needed a new dress, I hardly think Grandma drove her SUV to the local Fabricville and handed the clerk her charge card. I think she took an old shirt of Grandpa's

Laid out some well-worn pattern pieces
And made clothes.


She reused buttons She whipped up little pairs of pants

She laid her pattern pieces over the breast pocket panel of Grandpa's shirt. Instant pants pocket. If she had a skirt that someone had outgrown, she reused the fabric the same way.New pants.

New outfits. Total cost: only some thread and her time. Frugal fabulous.
For more refashioning inspiration, be sure to check out Wardrobe Refashion.

14 comments:

cara. said...

been following your blog for months and this may be the first time i've actually commented. . . you are so inspiring! love this! thanks for posting what you make.

BJ_Mama said...

That TOP is ADORABLE! LOVE IT! Did you use a pattern for that, or just wing it?

Posie Patchwork said...

That post is the essence of what i think handmade is all about!! My parents were born in the depression & lived through rations in the war, very wealthy now but never silly with money. We had handmade clothes for sure, but we got to go to private school. For them education was our gift. Needless to say we've all gone on to be over achievers - 3 medical & 1 ballerina. Love the post & handy work too. Love Posie

Melissa said...

Brilliant post. And brilliant clothes. That top is gorgeous but I love the pants from the skirt too it is a nice change from smaller skirt from bigger skirt. Apparently I need to learn how to make a peasant top. I am frugal out of absolute necessity but it has made my eyes open to the utter consumption of today. p.s. I did not receive an email to post on WR did you?

Lise said...

These are beautiful! :-)

knitkariknit said...

I love this purple shirt, will it or the pattern be in your etsy shop?

sjones said...

Great post! I love how you said Needed a new dress not Wanted.

Mama Lusco said...

Lovely! I really like the ruffles on the top. I just joined Wardrobe Refashion and plan to try these for my kiddos summer clothes. Thanks for sharing!

K. M. Steddum said...

Wow--this is a great post! As a child I had a Raggedy Ann that my Grandma made, heart on the chest and all, and my mother recognized the dress on the doll was made from and old dress that she and her sisters wore. I have a 2 year old Grand-daughter now, and I would love to make clothing for her like this. Thank you for the ideas, and thank you for visiting my blog too. I have only one up-cycled item on my blog that I made for her birthday in February. Time to make more.

mary'smom said...

This is the type of sewing I would do if I had a machine and could sew. I just discovered your blog. I love it.

Sally said...

And when they only had little scraps left, they made things like hexagon quilts! Your post made me recall a quilt we had that my mom's grandmother had made...and she would always say, "My grandma had a dress made of of this fabric", etc.

Melissa said...

You are such an inspiration! (read:I am so copying that shirt with the ruffles and buttons=)

Andrea on Third Street said...

So nice! You are so talented - I love everything you make!

* said...

I love the shirt! My husband jsut gave me a pair of his pants that he stained. Thanks to your inspiration I'm off to try recycling them into a fun outfit for my little girl. Did you use a pattern for the shirt? I would lvoe to learn to make it!