Upcycle Clothes – together with the Funky Peas


My kids are hopefully going to stop growing soon. Not only because my eldest, who is now 10 is almost as big as I am (!) but also because of the amount of clothes they go through is just simply extraordinary. I was talking to my friend Michelle about this the other day and we started thinking…

Michelle is a veteran fashion designer, turned wardrobe stylist who runs a company called the Closet Guru here in Paris. She basically whips through her clients’ wardrobes and without getting them to buy more, she recycles their clothes and alters them so that end result is a totally new wardrobe without spending a penny.



I am a bit of a green freak at heart, so this holistic approach toward clothes and the aspect of “up cycling” clothes rather than getting rid of them and buying new, really struck a cord with me. Together with Michelle and the super talented children’s wear designer Camila, from the new label the Funky Peas, we set about trying to see how to make children’s clothes by re-using old clothes. One of our main aims was to do it simply, something that most parents could do without too much effort. Camila came up with some great designs and we hope you like them as much as we do.




So without further ado, here are some very simple pieces, in this case, mostly using men’s t-shirts!


We used a standard, round neck T-shirt size L for this one.

  • cut the T-shirt from half the height of the armhole
  • on the bottom of the T-shirt, cut a half circle in the middle
  • on the bottom of the T-shirt, sew together both ends
  • on top of the T-shirts, sew each end to create a pass-through for the ribbon
  • insert two ribbons of about 50cm on each end and tie them in a bow them on top of the shoulders

Alternatively, you can leave the bottom of the T-shirt as is to create a dress or cut it shorter to create a top



We used a V-neck T-shirt, size L for this one.

  • cut out the the armholes
  • cut a strip of fabric from one of the sleeves – 10 to 15cm
  • you can either sew the underarm or leave it as is
  • wrap together the back of the dress with the strip of fabric you cut from the sleeve and sew it together by the two ends to create a ring, pulling together the back of the dress



We used a standard, round neck T-shirt, size XL for this one (this is the right size for a 10-year-old. You can use a smaller size for younger kids).

  • On the bottom of the T-shirt, make a small and very narrow V cut on the two sides of the T-shirt (10cm high)
  • Start from the round neck and cut diagonally, cut out both sleeves. You can decide the angle depending on how large you want the pants to appear
  • From the bottom up, make a deep V cut to create space for the legs
  • sew together front and back to create the trousers’ legs
  • Knot together the external ends of each leg



We used a standard, round neck T-shirt, size L.

  • cut right under the armholes
  • on the front only, make a small V cut
  • sew all round to create a pass-through for the ribbon, on the west
  • insert a ribbon and lace it on the front

You can also use this skirt as a top for bare shoulders, by using a longer ribbon and tight it first together and then under the neck




We used a standard, round neck T-shirt, size L. (You might need an XL one for older kids)

  • cut the T-shirt right under the armholes
  • cut a half cercle in the middle, on the bottom of the T-shirt
  • on the bottom part, sew together back and front of the T-shirt to create space for the legs
  • cut 3 thin stripes of fabric from the upper part of the T-shirt that you had cut out
  • create a braid with the 3 stripes
  • Sew the center of the braid on the a on the back of the pants, on the upper side, in the middle so that you won’t lose it




Comments (2)

August 8, 2016

So clever! I love this idea! What sweet models. I thought the little guy was balancing a cucumber on his head then realised it was part of a leaf!!

March 14, 2017

I just made the combi as a dress and added a pocket using the material from a sleeve (makes the upper edge already hemmed). Here is a picture:
I’d love another of these posts! So fun to use up Daddy”s old t-shirt that had worn at the neck but the rest was still good.

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