Found money - making new clothes from old clothing

New accessories from old plaids: How to use worn old clothing to sew something new (1950)

Okay, Rock Hudson here wasn’t originally part of this article, but he is wearing plaid… and how much more interesting would this be to think of making a scarf or a bow tie from one of the movie legend’s old shirts?

Rock Hudson in plaid from 1950

New accessories from old clothing — refresh your plaid

Especially in a season when everyone is tartan-conscious, plaids left over from your last Highland fling become costume extras. A moth-eaten bathrobe and skirt, an outgrown blouse, knee-worn slacks were converted into sparkling new accessories.


Cummerbund and dickey from an outgrown blouse

The dickey, with its pretty bib effect, was cut from the front of the bouse. The pattern was placed over the existing closing, making use of the original buttonholes; the dickey could also be cut from the side fronts. The sleeves furnished the collar and bias facings.

For the cummerbund, two 8”-wide pieces were cut from the blouse back, joined at one end. The two, combined, equaled waist measurement plus 2-1/2″ for seam allowances and overlap. Three 1″ pleats were centered horizontally along the length of the cummerbund. The edges were stitched, and hooks and eyes sewn at the side closing.

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New accessories from old clothing: Hat, cuffs, scarf, bow ties from a worn bathrobe

The perky pillbox (see diagram above) was lined with buckram and a 1″ grosgrain band was stitched around the inside edge for better fit and finish. Our diagram is designed for a 22″ head size, but, during basting, hat can be made larger or smaller to fit individual sizes.

Matching bias cuffs were made and sewed on a pair of dark shortie gloves. The turned-back cuffs were cut 5″ wide and as long as the edge of the glove cuff, plus 5/8″ seam allowances.

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New accessories from old clothing: Sewing a plaid scarf

We also managed a plaid scarf, 16″ square, with a 14″ diagonal slash from one corner to just beyond the center (see diagram at left). Scarf edges were turned under and double-stitched, and the slash edges hand-rolled for a fine professional finish.

How to make a plaid scarf - sewing from 1950


Matching bow ties out of extra tartan fabric

For a final fillip, matching bow ties (see diagram) were made for a husband-and-wife team. The diagram was designed for a 15-1/2″ neck, but it can be altered at the fold to the desired length. Be sure to use a fine worsted plaid for these ties, as heavier wools would be too thick and bulky.

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Found money: Fitted weskit and collar and cuffs from moth-eaten shirt

A too-short pleated skirt provided, despite moth holes, almost two yards of usable material. First, the waistband was removed, pleats released, and material pressed flat. Then we cut a scoop-necked weskit, using WD Pattern 3253, and eliminating the collar. Special care was taken to match the plaid.

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New accessories from old clothing: A blouse collar and matching cuffs

With the remaining material, a round collar and bias cuffs were made, to spice a tired jersey blouse. The cuffs were cut in a bias strip 4″ wide and as long as the blouse cuff edges, plus 5/8″ seam allowances.

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Rock Hudson in a plaid shirt - upcycle plaid










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