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Published on july 14, 2020

Upcycle Your Closet: How to Make Your Own ReFashion Outfit with Zero Waste Daniel’s DIY Tutorial

written by Team thredUP

Did you know? One in two people throw their clothes straight in the TRASH. To start a movement to end throwaway culture for good, we’ve partnered with designer Zero Waste Daniel to create, ReFashion, our limited 100% secondhand collection that inspires fashion lovers to choose used. Meet the man behind the clothes, and shop ReFashion or follow Daniel’s DIY tutorial to make your own ReFashion piece!

Psst, here’s a well-kept DIY secret: with just basic sewing skills, YOU have the power to transform a blah closet into something fresh. Shopping secondhand aside, the single best thing you can do for the planet is to keep your clothes from landfill, even items that you no longer wear or maybe aren’t in great condition. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about saying, “Oh this? I made this.”

Not a pro UPcycler? No problem! This DIY tutorial by our favorite eco-friendly designer, Zero Waste Daniel, will teach you how to turn an everyday tee into a summer-ready tank, AND use the leftover scraps for a cute patch pattern too. Get your sewing kit out, hold your scissors pointy sides out, and get ready to ReFashion your closet with Zero Waste Daniel!

How to Turn a T-Shirt into a Tank Top

Step 1: Draw the Armhole

Start on one side. Draw where you’d like to cut so you have a visual guide.

Step 2: Start Cutting

Flatten the side seam of your top and cut straight through avoid creating a point.

Step 3: Trace the Cut-Out on the Other Side

Use your freshly-cut piece of fabric to trace on the other side so you’ll have an even look, then repeat step 2.

Step 4: Pinch and Pull the Sides

Take the armhole by either side and pull. This will make the fabric edges curl a little and stop them from fraying!

How to Upcycle Your Scraps into a ReFashion Piece

Step 1: Cut the Sleeves Open

Take the freshly-cut sleeves from your former T-shirt and cut them open along the sides and shoulders. Stack the two pieces.

Step 2: Create a Pattern

Get creative! Draw a pattern on (recycled) paper. Your patch could be a palm leaf like our Refashion Collection, a star, a cat… literally ANYTHING you can draw. If you’re not an artist (guilty), print a pattern you like.

Step 3: Cut Out Your Pattern

Stack your fabric pieces and use your drawn pattern as a guide to cut. Use pins to hold your fabric in place!

Step 4: Pin the Patch onto Your Piece

Pick anything from your closet that needs a refresh! For this outfit, Daniel chose shorts to match with the newly made tank top. Secure the patch’s position with pins.

Step 5: Stitch the Patches Down

Here’s the hard part, but anyone with basic sewing skills can do it, we promise! Use a sewing machine, or stitch them by hand (we recommend a basic running stitch). Use tonal thread or pick a contrasting color for a fun pop!

Upcycling never looked and felt sooo good. Comment below if you have any DIY tips. Following Zero Waste Daniel’s tutorial? We wanna see what you make! Share your ReFashion pieces on Insta with the #thriftmoretossless and @thredUP. For every public post, we’ll donate $1 to the Circular Fashion Fund dedicated to supporting sustainable fashion efforts worldwide.