Pretty Up Your Thrift Store Swag with Crochet!

It’s National Second Hand Wardrobe Week and we’ve got some great options for our readers on embellishing, patching, and bringing a personal touch to that sweet thrift store find.

Are you bicraftual? Head over to the knitting feed and see what they have in mind for those vintage items that need just a little extra love.

We can’t wait to try these suggestions from Associate Editor of Interweave Crochet, Sara Dudek!

I don’t know about you, but I LOOOOOVE shopping at thrift stores.

Fast fashion—clothes made quickly and cheaply—causes quality to suffer and die. I much prefer secondhand clothing stores for building my wardrobe. I find clothing just as affordable as fast fashion prices, but much better made. Then there’s the added bonus of saving clothes from a landfill, plus putting money into a charitable cause instead of giving it away to a massive clothing company. If you have the patience to dig through a lot of secondhand clothes, you can find some true treasures.

Best of all, if you’re crafty (as I know you are—thanks for reading our crafty blog), your skills can make secondhand clothing truly special and one-of-a-kind. Read on to discover THREE crafty ways to dress up an old pair of secondhand jeans.

1.     Use a swatch to patch it up.

How many yarn swatches have you made since you became a crocheter? I’m guessing a ton. Any good crafter knows to swatch for accurate sizing. If you have a swatch sitting around that you love, sew it onto your jeans. Swatches can be used to cover holes on your knees or just to add some decoration. Repurpose a swatch you already have and make your secondhand jeans uniquely yours. If you want to make an extra-decorative swatch in preparation for a terrific project, look at the Reindeer Woods Blanket from Interweave Knits Holiday 2016 or the Blomma Cowl from Love of Crochet Winter 2016. Any loose ends from the colorwork can be woven in or tucked behind the swatch when you sew it onto your jeans.

2.     Fix holes with lace insertions.

Jeans with holes are pretty trendy right now, but holes can get too big to be practical. When I wore some holes in the knees of my favorite pair of jeans (beloved since my freshman year of college), I didn’t really want to cover them up. However, my knee kept poking through, just making them worse and shortening the life of my pants. To add a creative twist to my holey jeans, I sewed a white cotton crocheted doily to the inside of my jeans. It still looks like my jeans have holes, but now the crochet lace shows through! (Also, this fix stopped the holes from growing.) Try the same technique with knitted lace, though remember that knitting stretches a lot more than crochet. For lace patterns to sew into your jeans, try the Catalina Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2016 or the Limpet Lace Top from Interweave Crochet Summer 2016. Even better, work a mandala from our newest issue of Love of Crochet.

3.     Add a flower for a feminine touch.

Many high-end fashion companies currently sell jeans with flower embroidery. You can replicate this look easily by creating yarn flowers to sew onto your secondhand jeans. My fellow editor Dana modified the flowers from the Garden Buddies pattern in Love of Crochet Spring 2015 to cover a hole in her older jeans. Also look at the embroidery chart from the Hustle Shrug in knitscene Spring 2017 for more inspiration. Keep it simple as Dana has, or go crazy and replicate what some of the fashion houses do. For best results, use a yarn you can wash and dry by machine like acrylic or cotton. To protect your added flowers, turn your jeans inside-out when you wash them.

I love repurposing old clothes! Take advantage of National Secondhand Wardrobe Week and get inspired by these projects for dressing up an old pair of jeans. Which project will you try first?

—Sara Dudek

Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet

Give It A Try!


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