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Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London

February 8, 2024

The best recycled vintage clothing online South London. Remaking vintage clothes into something new and unique is the best way to ensure you have an outfit no-one else has. There are several ways to do this.


The first way is to go to vintage stores or go vintage shopping and get several outfits that you like, or at least that there is something about them that you like. And then you perform a great mash up. Take the sleeves of the pretty summer dress from a charity shop and attach them to the cool denim waistcoat. Cut out the flowers printed on the skirt you like, and sew them onto jeans. Take the embroidered trim from the hem of a dress and sew it on a bag. Transform things and make them your own. 

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London – Appreciating History

I think that people often feel hesitant to cut up these pieces of everyday history. And in an ideal world, we’d keep everything ever made intact and cherished. But this is not an ideal world, and very few pieces make it to the fashion history museums. Even those that do are not often put on display. A friend of mine told me that his mother, an aristocrat, had an entire wardrobe tailor made for herself in the 1950s. It was made by a couturier in the finest fabrics.


She had met a Kiwi and intended to marry him and emigrate. So, everything was made for that climate, and she wanted to start entirely fresh, with fresh clothes, taking nothing else with her. However, the man died, she never went abroad, and the whole set of outfits was packed away unworn. When she died many years later it was rediscovered, and offered to many museums. One did eventually take it – but it has never been on display.


My point is that there are many fine and exciting items of clothing out there, and we may as well enjoy them and appreciate them, even if it means cutting them up.

New Patterns from Vintage Clothing

You can also use men and women ‘s vintage clothing as a basis for new patterns. You have a piece you love to bits found via recycled vintage clothing online South London. It fits you just right. If it is too old to be worn, if it is too damaged, or if you want it in a different colour, you can remake it exactly. You need to turn it inside out and then carefully take it apart. Take all the stitching apart along the seams. As you go, label each piece, using masking tape. For example, sleeves, bodice front, bodice back. You need to unpick every seam, even the ones that form darts, not separate fabric pieces.


Then you trace around them to get the pattern pieces. You can get special pattern paper for this, big sheets of translucent dot and cross paper. Trace them exactly, as every inaccuracy shows. You don’t want the finished thing too tight or uneven looking. Cut it out in fabric and sew it up. Remember that commercially-made garments have very narrow seam allowances, and you’ll need to copy that exactly. With experience of doing things this way, you can learn to copy clothes without deconstructing them first. But this is a good way to get a feel of how clothes are put together.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London – Sewing Skills

Hippies - Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London. Photo credit: edlf2005, CC BY 2.0

In general, a few simple sewing skills come in handy for vintage fashionistas. You can use them in the first instance for repairs. If vintage items are otherwise perfect but the button is hanging by a thread, you can just sew it back on and provide a much smarter look. And if there are small tears in the seams you can mend them.


A little bit more ambitious is to do your own alterations. If one of your vintage clothes, say a dress, is brilliant, but too big, it can be fairly easy to get out the sewing machine and bring it in at the waist or make the bust smaller. If it is too small it’s a bit more of a challenge but you can let out the seams a little bit to give yourself a bit more room. You can also convert a maxi skirt to a midi skirt or a mini skirt very easily.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online South London – Decoration

If your flair is more for embroidery or decoration, that’s brilliant. This means that you can take an old pair of jeans and absolutely jazz them up into something new. There are so many embroidery techniques that are useful for covering holes, rips, worn patches or marks.


One is the appliqué technique. You can use this for pretty prints you find on other pieces, but also great embroideries. You’ll find that many high street garments and vintage pieces have the most ingenious, beautiful embroidery, with hand or machine made. But the clothing itself isn’t something you’d feel comfortable wearing. Perhaps it’s a shawl and they are not your thing, or the type of garment that isn’t your style. This is a wonderful way to make the most of some great workmanship.

Making the most of Embroidery

Carefully cut the embroidery out and sew it down, like a patch. You can even get double sided iron on material, which has heat activated glue on both sides. It will glue the embroidery patch to your garment in a way that you can still wash it. To prevent the edges peeling up, it’s good to stitch all around the edges. The fusible material will hold the pieces securely together so they don’t slip while you sew.


Top tip: never get the little dots of glue on your iron, it will make a mess! And you usually have to iron at quite a low temperature to avoid damaging the embroidery, which are often made from man-made materials.


You can also embroider your own design pieces onto a separate backing, and do the same thing of sewing them on to clothing and accessories. This has some advantages over embroidering directly onto garments. One is that using a separate piece of cloth is usually lighter and easier to handle than an entire piece of clothing. And another is that if your embroidery doesn’t look as you hoped, you have not committed it to the cool jeans you picked out and can try something else instead. An extra advantage is that once you have several pieces of separate embroidery you can play with layout and move them around, which you can’t do with embellishments made directly onto clothes. This is a great way to make the most of recycled vintage clothing online South London!


Other place we recommend for great finds: Pop Boutique,  Reign Vintage,  Covent Garden, Brick Lane, East London, Serotonin Vintage,  West London, Paper Dress boutique.