What do you refashion men’s shirts into? Refashioning clothes into a Kamino

May 6, 2019

Did someone mention a challenge which involves refashioning clothes? I can’t resist taking part in the local social enterprise New-u‘s request to refashion men’s shirts into something suitable for the catwalk. New-U are hosting a clothing swap event, encouraging people to appreciate preloved clothing. The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water, producing 20 percent of all wastewater while also generating more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

The impact of fast fashion on our finite world’s resources is enormous, one way of reducing the impact is to buy less, to rethink our wardrobe’s. Can you recycle old clothes into something new? Working with a selection of preloved clothes brings challenges, are the weight of the clothes similar, do they coordinate, how much fabric is there in reality when you take the original garments apart?  Do they wash well?

If you love working with preloved clothes check out all my refashion posts. Or if you are looking specifically for shirts check out my niece’s gorgeous refashioned men’s shirts toddler dress.

My initial thoughts for this challenge re the men’s shirts are to use the fabric, unpicked, to simply cut out new pieces for a top for myself, but I soon realized the shirts were not wide enough for the patterns I had in mind (I always turn to my pattern stash from magazine subscriptions). 

Next thought – how about creating a patchwork kamino? Using the wrong and right side of the fabric from two of the shirts to make a patchwork fabric for the main panels of the kamino, then using the pale shirt for the cuffs and front edging panels.

 

Learn how to refashion men's shirts into a stylish kamino - this refashioning tutorial teaches you how to divide a pattern into blocks, plus how to sew up blocks of new fabric from old clothes, perfect for refashioning clothes which are too small #refashion

 

Learn how to refashion men's shirts into a stylish kamino - this refashioning tutorial teaches you how to divide a pattern into blocks, plus how to sew up blocks of new fabric from old clothes, perfect for refashioning clothes which are too small #refashion

Refashion Men’s Shirts into a Kamino

To refashion garments you may wish to think about your new garment in blocks, this enables you to plan the garment with different fabric from old clothes, you may also wish to create new fabric from patching together pieces of preloved clothing.

For this pattern, I decided the main body of the Kamino is one fabric type, to create the appearance of cuffs using the same fabric as slim front panels, and finally the bottom panels in a third fabric.

I started by sewing up the main panels of patchwork fabric. Using two of the shirts, wrong side and right side to give four different textures/colors I cut strips of fabric using a rotary cutter and quilters ruler. These were then cut to different lengths of blocks and sewn together into strips.

Once each strip was sewn I zigzagged the edges of the seams.  I then sewed up strips of fabric to create a block of patchwork fabric big enough for one pattern piece.

If you are making your own, ensure you allow the seam allowance when arranging your strips of fabric roughly over your pattern piece.

 

Having cut out the panel I then created the opposite front piece and the back panels.

With all these seam allowances it is best to line the kamino – this particular pattern is super easy to line. Sew up the lining the size of the body of the kamino, pin around the neck and sides, baste in place.

Add the front edge panels, which fold over to the wrong side. hand stitch with a slip stitch the edges of the cuffs and front edge panels enclosing the raw edge of the lining fabric.

 

 

Lastly add the bottom panel, following the pattern instructions to gather the panels in between the notches. My original plan was to add the checked shirt on the right side and wrong side for the bottom panel but it just did not look right, so I pinched a little plain navy fabric from my stash keeping the checked shirt for the inside. 

Learn how to refashion men's shirts into a stylish kamino - this refashioning tutorial teaches you how to divide a pattern into blocks, plus how to sew up blocks of new fabric from old clothes, perfect for refashioning clothes which are too small #refashion

 

and here’s the back,

Learn how to refashion men's shirts into a stylish kamino - this refashioning tutorial teaches you how to divide a pattern into blocks, plus how to sew up blocks of new fabric from old clothes, perfect for refashioning clothes which are too small #refashion

Learn how to refashion men's shirts into a stylish kamino - this refashioning tutorial teaches you how to divide a pattern into blocks, plus how to sew up blocks of new fabric from old clothes, perfect for refashioning clothes which are too small #refashion

If you love upcycling, refashioning, sewing and a little bit of DIY thrown into the mix sign up for my fortnightly newsletter. 

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If you are looking for further ideas to refashion men’s shirts check out Stephanie’s great roundup of refashioning men’s shirt ideas. If you have created blocks fo fabric whilst refashioning I would love to see them, drop a link in the comments below.

11 comments so far.

11 responses to “What do you refashion men’s shirts into? Refashioning clothes into a Kamino”

  1. Karen says:

    It’s gorgeous Vicky and I will now be looking for a similar pattern so that I can recycle some of mine and my hubby’s clothes – thank you for the fabulous inspiration x

  2. Vicky says:

    So glad you are inspired karen πŸ™‚ It took far longer to make than anicipated, once I broke it down into sections it was fine:)

  3. Julie says:

    It’s absolutely lovely Vicky. Well worth all the effort πŸ™‚

  4. Betsy says:

    You did a great job and it looks lovely on you. Very modern. I have a loom so I use the old clothes to weave rugs , placemats and table runners. I also make potholders by paperpiecing scraps together. Like you I donate or repurpose.
    Nice cotton pieces I use in my quilts

    • Vicky says:

      A loom is a fantastic way of reusing fabric, although I’m not sure I would have the patience!! I am sure you love the creativity of reusing fabric as much as I do πŸ™‚

  5. It’s beautiful! I like yours so much more than the original pattern version, and your idea to make faux cuffs through color blocking was fantastic!

  6. Do you cut each piece on the straight grain? Does the jacket hang right if it is not on grain. I am new at this and hope the question is not dumb. They always stress straight of grain. Also when you quilt does everything need to be on the straight? Yes you jacket is so beautiful and you are very clever. Please email me with the answers I am not very good with the IPAD and I may never find your article again. Thanks so much. JBM

    • Vicky says:

      Hi Judith, Yes I have followed the grain on cutting out the fabric and when following the pattern, I am sure it helps it hang well. Enjoy your sewing πŸ™‚

  7. Looks lovely on you, Vicky!! Great idea to use both the right and wrong sides of the fabric. Showcased today…
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Showcasing ~ Patchwork Kamino ~ Business Shirts RefashionMy Profile

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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