Fashion Friday Fashion Rehab: restyling existing clothing

Cold enough for you? (Don’t hate me because we’re having sunny 60 degree weather here in Spain.) Regardless of my location, winter always gives me a little bit of cabin fever, especially February.

The absolute worst days are the snow days when I’ve got a foot of snow to shovel on my football-field sized driveway, and I can’t get out of the garage to go anywhere because we live on a hill and my car doesn’t have four-wheel drive.

You can only read so many books and drink so many mugs of hot chocolate. I need something to occupy my hands and brain so I don’t feel so trapped. What to do?

I know we all got rid of a lot of stuff at the end of last year to make room for new items we acquired over the holidays. But you and I both know that there still is clothing lurking in our closets that we just can’t bear to get rid of.

Maybe you got your first kiss in those jeans, and even though they are covered in rips, you wouldn’t dream of throwing them out. Or perhaps those ballet flats are your most comfortable shoes, even if they are scuffed beyond belief.

You could throw these tired old things out or you could exercise a little tough love and put them through rehab instead.

Look jeans, we’ve been through a lot together. I know you find it really hard to believe right now, but the only reason I’m coming at you with these scissors is because I love you and am willing to do whatever it takes to set you on the right track fashion-wise, even if it hurts us both at first.

It’s hard for me to do this, but I wouldn’t be ripping you apart if I didn’t care for you so much. Sometimes you have to tear something down in order to build it back up.

Your jeans will thank you for the intervention and come out the other side of the experience recommitted to giving you their best.

Here are some reasons to rehabilitate your clothing:

1.It’s cheaper than buying entirely new items.

2.It’s better for the environment.

3.Fashion changes, your style should evolve along with it.

4.It’s just so dang creative and fun!

So, dig through your stash of sentimental clothing and let’s get our craft on.

DIY glitter shoes: Dorothy had them, you can too.

Supplies: Pair of old shoes, fabric or tacky glue, big ol’ jar of glitter (single color or rainbow), small paint brush and a sheet of newspaper.

Directions: Use the paint brush to apply a heavy coat of glue to a section of the shoes, cover them in glitter over the sheet of newspaper.

Allow that section to dry and repeat the process on each section of your shoes until they are beautiful, sparkling and completely glitterfied.

Note: You might have to retouch them after a couple of wears and you will be trailing glitter like a good fairy everywhere you go.

DIY high-low skirt: An edgy way to show off your gorgeous gams.

Supplies: Skirt (knee length or longer), scissors, sewing machine, thread, pins, tailor’s chalk

Directions: Mark off the highest length you want your skirt to be and add an inch for the hem. Start at one side hem and cut an upside down U-shape to the other side hem.

Turn the piece you’ve cut upside down and pin to the back of the skirt. Sew it so that the U-shape is now at the bottom of the back of the skirt.

Pin up the hem of the skirt all the way around and sew it. Voila! You’ve made a high-low skirt.

DIY bleach painted colored tank top: Bring out your inner artist.

Supplies: Fabric safe bleach, synthetic paint brush, small glass bowl, colored cotton top, white towel, white chalk, cardboard.

Directions: Slide a flat piece of cardboard inside your tank top to create an even surface. This will also prevent any bleach from bleeding onto the backside of the tank top.

Fix the tank top to cardboard with rubber bands or binder clips. Draw your chosen design onto your tank top with chalk, it will wash out, don’t worry.

Fill your bowl with bleach and have your towel at the ready to catch any drips.

Dip your brush into the bleach, brushing it on the edge of the bowl to get rid of excess bleach.

Using steady strokes, use the paint brush to paint over the chalk lines of your design. You’ll need to re-dip your brush to maintain an even line.

Easy does it, go slowly until you have completed your design. Give the bleach a little time to react with the fabric and look at your tank top.

Touch up any uneven or light spots. Place your tank top in the sun for at least an hour. Rinse and hand wash your tank top. Hang it up to dry.

Your new bleach painted tank top is now safe to wash with other like-colored clothing.

Note: For ease and more precise results, you can also use a bleach pen.

DIY Daisy Duke’s jean cutoffs: Lace makes everything prettier, even your sad, old denim.

Supplies: A pair of jean cutoffs, 2 feet of crochet or lace trim, straight pins, needle, thread and scissors.

Directions: Cut a triangle out of each side of your cutoffs making sure the top most point of the triangle is centered on the side seam. The triangle should be a little shorter than the height of your lace.

Cut out a piece of lace slightly larger than the triangle on your shorts. Pin it on top of the triangle and sew it to your shorts, tying knots at the ends to secure your sewing.

Remove the pins, trim the ends of the thread and rock your new lacey cutoffs. (Insert wolf whistle here.)

Note: You also could use lace trim around the edge of your cutoffs, leaving the frayed edge on top.

You might have to buy more than two feet of lace (depending on what size the leg openings of your shorts are) and use a more narrow width. Pin, sew, rock.

Wow, your well-loved clothing has new life, you have some new looks to strut your stuff in and you’ve helped save the environment. Now, don’t you feel accomplished?

McKinney may be reached at diystyle@

Her column is published on the second Friday of each month as part of the Lifestyle section’s “Fashion Friday” features.