5 DIY-Fashion Makeover Ideas for National Clean Out Your Closet Week

10 Mar

Before doing your Spring Cleaning, consider these DIY-projects.

{5 DIY-Fashion Makeovers Ideas for National Clean Out Your Closet Week}

With seasons changing and National Clean Out Your Closet Week starting on Sunday, it’s time to cut the bulk.

But before donating the excess and buying anew, consider these DIY-projects to give your wardrobe an updated look you’ll love wearing.

Crew Neck Sweater
It’s a classic winter staple, but really quite boring. Although, you might love how comfortable and warm it is, you might be ready to be both practical and stylish.

  1. Draw with chalk, pencil or a marker a line from the center neckline to the center hemline.
  2. Fold over the edge and hand stitch a roll hem.
  3. Try it on and pin it in a ballerina-style where you want the waist line tacked. {KEY} Be sure to try it on again, slipping it over your head, like you normally do with sweaters because you want to make sure that the tailored waistline is still wide enough to get over your shoulders.
  4. Follow the lines which you just pinned and make the tailoring permanent with a whip stitch.
  5. At the neckline you can have fun — just take the collar back, make a fun new shape, add in some details, like buttons or beads. Really, just listen to the fabric and follow your creativity.

Bolero Jacket
Your New Year’s resolution has been successful — you’ve been hitting the gym, eating better and loosing weight {congrats} and naturally you want to shed your old clothes. But, what if some of your favorites could stay with you in your new size?

Before & After

This XL bolero I inherited, which clearly didn’t work for my shape — however, I was in love with all the detail.  So I did some altering to bring it down to my size. Here’s how you can do the same:

  1. Look for is a jacket that has a wide interfacing lapel — the fabric on the interior of the jacket’s lapel is the same as the finished visible side of the label/jacket.
  2. Pin the lapels back at the desired folded angle.
  3. Using a whip stitch, sew brand new roll line, which takes in a couple inches and create a sexy new line.
  4. To further tailor the jacket, add a button, or hook-and-eye closure or snaps to close the jacket.

Vintage Secretary Dress
The Secretary Dress and Blouse is “in” right now … and you might have some originals yet hanging in your closet which can be brought up-to-date with a couple fun alterations.


I got this dress from my favorite vintage boutique in New York — Arts Echo. While the color was amazing, the cut was certainly not young or hip. So here’s what I did:

  1. Because of the very, very light and delicate weight of this material, instead of cutting and hemming this dress, I decided to tack the hem up underneath itself to create this soft balloon look.
  2. For the neckline, I simply folded back and then tacked the button row, making a nice keyhole neckline.
  3. The arms I altered because, well, I have ape arms and it looked like I was expecting a flood. So I just made a straight cut at the elbow, then folded and hemmed the edge with a whip stitch.

    CLICK to see more images of this transformation!

Drab Shoes & Heels
These shoes I wore with the teal dress for being on The Nate Berkus Show and because of the time line for being on the show, I didn’t have time to go out and find red heels. {My Solution: I shopped my closet} I took these distressed brown heels and just spray painted them with glossy apple red.

  1. Pick a pair of scuffed shoes or just a pair that you’re tired of as-is.
  2. Determine what color would really make some of your wardrobe’s outfits really pop.
  3. Visit your local hardware store and purchase an all-purpose spray paint.
  4. Tape off the soles and the interior, then stuff the shoes with newspaper.
  5. Follow the spray painting directions on the can — don’t skip steps, ie let the shoes completely dry before wearing, at least 48 hours.

{Thrifty Tip} Certainly this takes less time and money to do that than to go out shopping for a pair of green or metallic ballet flats.

Stained & Discolored Dress
This dress that I wore today on NBC Philadelphia’s The 10! Show is a “save” because the skirt became stained and discolored — a total loss. But I was reluctant to throw this dress away.

12 million tons of textile waste end up in landfills each year and with each garment taking hundreds of years to decompose, it’s a good idea to see how we can make-do and re-use whatever we can.

{My Solution} An old tattered lace panel curtain which I cut out the lace design. I pinned it around the skirt, strategically covering up the spots and then sewed it along the edges and through the pattern creating a whole new dress.

{Style Bonus} This is the hottest look right now with lace being the big new trend appearing on runways during New York Fashion Week.

Upload your DIY-Fashion Fix on the Thrifty Vintage Chic Facebook fan page.


All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are shot in the context of real life. All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are free from post-production “airbrushing” or touch-ups. All images and written copy on Thrifty Vintage Chic are copyright protected and may not be used without first gaining written permission.


6 Responses to “5 DIY-Fashion Makeover Ideas for National Clean Out Your Closet Week”

  1. Maria Parsley March 10, 2011 at 11:29 PM #



  2. Jen March 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM #

    I love the lace!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic March 12, 2011 at 2:37 PM #

      It’s fun, isn’t it? The reactions to this piece leave me pondering original designs and selling the pieces …


  3. kris March 12, 2011 at 3:12 PM #

    The dress transformation is amazing and so beautiful on you!



  1. Goodbye, Year of the Rabbit; Hello, Year of the Dragon! « Thrifty Vintage Chic - January 1, 2012

    […] NBC10 some of my DIY ideas for making over “old” clothes for a complete new wardrobe. (CLICK the image above for my Top 5 DIY ideas for giving your old clothes new […]


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