When it comes time to clean out the closet and get rid of old clothes, most moms will donate their old unwanted items or use them as cleaning rags. This crafty mom has come up with a better solution to put these outfits to better use.
Stephanie Miller is an art teacher and mother-of-four from Utah. She has found a unique way to save money on her daughters' wardrobe by using items she already has around her home: her husband's old work shirts.
While her husband was sorting through the clothes he no longer wanted, she decided to re-purpose a brand new shirt that had shrunk in the wash.
She was then able to create rompers and dresses out of this menswear for her girls aged 3 and 4.
This is my very first sewing machine, Jon sold it on KSL for the same price he bought it for me 5 years ago🙌. I can't believe how much I have fallen in love with sewing since then and I felt really sentimental as the new owner walked away with it. "Sew" many wonderful memories these past 5 years and I'll always be grateful for that 2-stitch machine I learned to sew on. (Even more grateful for those two little girls!😍😍) #sewing #brother #learntosew #sewmanymemories #sew #mothermakes #sewingmachine #twostitch #brothermachine
Stephanie took up sewing after the birth of her first child when she was experiencing postpartum depression. This creative outlet allowed her to to feel happy again in the couple's one bedroom apartment.
“We were living in a one-bedroom apartment with little space for me to set up my paintings, the oil paints have unhealthy fumes, and it took me too long to set up my paints with a baby to care for,” she told HuffPost. “I was suffering with postpartum depression, and with the lifestyle shock of motherhood, I felt a loss of identity.”
Since they were living in tight quarters with a newborn baby, Stephanie wasn't able to paint, which was her former passion. That's when her husband Jon went and bought her a sewing machine, which she became 'hooked' on as her new hobby.
With the help of YouTube tutorials, Stephanie, who now has a 5 year old son, 4 year old daughter, 3 year old daughter and 5 month old son, was able to focus her creativity into something that would help save the family money at the clothing store.
I'm so excited be featured on babble.com (@babble) this morning. I started this Instagram two years ago to document what I was making for my children and feel humbled that so many would want to follow along with me. I hope to inspire others to create beautiful things in their own lives and feel the joy that come along with it. If you want to read the article check out the link in my bio.
In March, Stephanie shared her first refashioned creation for her youngest daughter.
Continue to the next page to see her creations.
“Three months ago, my husband was getting rid of clothes and on top of the pile was a shirt I had just given him for Christmas,” she explained. “I was frustrated at him for wanting to get rid of something so new, but it had shrunk. I kept it and a few of his other shirts in hopes of making something out of them. I follow some other seamstresses on Instagram and saw some of their refashions and thought, ‘I could try that.’”
Her first attempt was a success!
With no surprise, her daughter was excited with the result, and ended up calling it her "Elsa dress". She loved it so much that she even wanted to sleep in the new outfit.
That's when Stephanie put together more outfits for her girls and the results are adorable.
I've loved transforming men's dress shirts into dresses for my girls. It is a faster way to finish a project because the buttons and hemming is already done on the shirt. Also, fitting clothes on little kids is so much easier than on myself. I made both of my girls pinafore dresses and it only took me a hour on each dress. The girls love their dresses and didn't want to take them off to sleep which made my tired mama heart swell. #pinaforedress #sewing #sew #refasion #transformation #beforeandafter #sewfun #mothermakes #diy #quicksew #quicksewing
I love the look of rompers but we've had too many accidents standing in front of the toilet because the romper couldn't come off fast enough...and that is why I made her a shirt and short combo instead. I used the original bottom hem of the dress shirt to make the bottom of the shorts and added pockets on this one. I love this look but it wasn't a hit for her and she didn't want to wear it past the pictures, I guess you win some and loose some. 🤷♀️
Another refashion from one of @letsbuyutah's shirts. I let her pick out the shirt she wanted and I think this romper turned out so cute. This was my first time making shorts and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. #littleromper #littleromperbabes #sew #refashion #transform #transformation #diy #red #sewing #sewingproject #diy #mothermakes #newoutfit #mensdressshirttogirlsdress #mensshirt #mensdressshirts #daddysshirt
I really love this dress!! This is my favorite dress I've made in a long time. I've been wanting to try out this sleeve and I'm so happy with how it turned out. #bellsleeves #whitedress #wedding #flowergirl #transformation #refashion #remake #mensshirt #girlsdress #sew #sewing #sewingproject #nopattern #inventive #create #mothermakes
My baby woke up early this morning so I sewed in the early morning hours. She was a good sport letting me try on the dress (only 2 time😂) to cut and fit the sleeves. Once I made her a dress two years ago and kept fitting it on her to adjust the dress, by the time I was done she wouldn't wear it. I decided to not make my kids clothes at that point. Now they ask me to make them dresses and never want to take them off. It is much more rewarding. This shirt was her daddy's shirt that shrunk, @letsbuyutah. #sew #refashion #refashioned #refashionista #sewing #sewingproject #diy #beforeandafter #mothermakes #oldshirt #newdress #dresses #littlegirl #littlegirldress #onehour #onehourprojets #quickneasy #sewforfun #sewfun
I have a little tutorial coming of how to make this dress yourself. It is so easy and so cute. Also, I love having these two girls only 12moths apart. They are such great friends and I'm excited to see their friendship grow as they get older. #sewing #sew #diy #diysew #dyisewing #mothermakes #refashion #sewfun #mensshirt #beforeandafter #beforeandafter #doityourself #crafts #quicksew #quicksewingproject
Stephanie grew up in a family where there was little money to spare, so her mother was an inspiration to her savvy creations.
“My mom is very creative and taught me to work with what I had,” she said. “The last few years, as I started to get better at sewing, I wanted to make some of the expensive styles I couldn’t afford. And now I love making clothes that are one of a kind; I know I’ll never see someone else in one of my outfits.”
She chooses men's shirts for her creations, because she feels it's a fast process and the transformation is always drastic.
So....every year I make a family themed costume, going on 6 years now, and this year I decided to take an "off year". Well, that didn't really work for me (I was dying a little inside) and Sunday after church I decided to make a themed costume before a party that evening. I used supplies I had and enlisted the kid's help. We are a landscape. We have the sun☀️, pine tree🌲, clouds☁️with rainbow, mountains⛰, and dirt (my boy thought it was so funny that dad was dirt 😂) The kids helped paint and color parts of their costumes, like the little bird in the tree's nest, rainbow, and the accidental coloring on the top of my mountain. We pulled it all together in 3 hours and it was so fun to be creative as a family. Happy Halloween!! #halloween #halloweencostume #landscape #ilovedirt #littlesunbeam #pinecone #rainbow #diycostume #familycostume
However she agrees that white dresses are not always the best choice because somehow they always find a way to spill something on it.
This particular dress she made for a wedding somehow ended up with blue nail polish stain on it during the last hour of the reception. Now she is considering another way to re-purpose the mess; by tie dying it blue.
I've loved making dresses for my little girls out of men's shirts because it is pretty fast and the transformation is always drastic. I tried so hard to keep my kids clean all day to preserve their dresses but she some how found nail polish and spotted her dress in blue the last hour of the wedding reception. I tried everything to get the spots out without success so now I'm thinking of tie-dying this dress blue. White is such a hard color for kids. #sewingproject #nopattern #transformation #repurpose #whitedress #flowergirl #littlegirl #littlegirldress #sew #sewing #weddingdress
What a smart way to use the resources you have to make something useful and enjoy some creative time.
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