Recycling the sewing way!

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June 4, 2010 by Janna Roznos

Re-use, recycle, repurpose, redo.  There is a lot of chatter/blogging about recycling clothes but not a lot of ‘how to’ on how to go about recycling a garment.  Maybe because this ‘recycling a garment’ falls into the sewers’ nightmare of alterations!

Well, I figured that I would dip my toe into this area of sewing –not that I haven’t done a lot of alternations over the years (My brothers ears should be burning!)

I purchased this for $5 at our local Goodwill!  It is a RTW size 16, which fits well in my hips, but not the shoulders (I am more of a RTW size 12 in the shoulders).

I removed the lining and set it aside to use as pattern for new lining.  I removed the shoulder pads and the sleeves.

Removing the lining.

And then the sleeve.

I  pinned traced the new armscye.

 I don’t have a pattern for what the armscye should be for me or for anyone else for that matter, but I do know that the front of my armsyce is smaller than the back from years of sewing and always fussing with the fit. I then re-inserted the sleeves – aligning the plaid of the sleeve with the plaid of the body.


Since I have ‘extra’ at the at the sleeve head I just made a little pleat at the top.  I could have cut the sleeve head down, but I was hesitant to do so, especially because I wanted to make sure to get the plaids to align across the garment.

In the end it was a challenging recycle. I had some great advice from the Tailoring Class (Thank you! Thank you!). 


I finished the blazer with new buttons (loved that last sale at Jo-Ann’s) and some wild and crazy lining, too, which was gift from my Tailoring Instructor.

Would I do this again?  As frustrating as I found this project, I think I actually might do another. I just have to think about it and let the idea stew for a bit.  I do like how this fits and, of course, I love the plaid. The reason why I wanted this blazer in the first place.


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