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How many times have you stumbled on a gorgeous vintage print, only to find that the garment itself looks like your great grandmother’s muumuu? Summer Phoenix and Ruby Canner, the girls behind Some Odd Rubies vintage clothing store in NYC, have come to the rescue to show you how to revamp a frumpy second-hand find into a fabulous new piece on this segment of The Martha Stewart Show. For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®. With a few simple steps and quick stitches, you can have a whole new look!

So tell us, do you prefer making projects from scratch or altering second-hand garments into new pieces? Leave your comments here by 9am EST on Monday, January 31st for your chance to win a SINGER® Dress Form! And don’t forget, you only have four days to comment to win a brand new SINGER® sewing machine, a SINGER® Home Essentials™ Expert Finish™ Iron or a SINGER® Home Essentials™ SteamWorks™ Pro Iron! Winners of all of the how-to Martha Stewart video series will be posted Feb. 1st on the BurdaStyle blog and in our newsletter, so leave your comment on the other posts for your chance to win!


SINGER® is sewing made easy™. To learn more about SINGER sewing machines and SINGER retailers, click here!

Tune-in to The Martha Stewart Show, airing weekdays at 10 a.m. ET/9 a.m. CT on Hallmark Channel.

SINGER, the Cameo “S” Design, MODEL NAME, SEWING MADE EASY and SINGER IS SEWING MADE EASY are exclusive trademarks of The Singer Company Limited S.à r.l. or its Affiliates. ©2011 The Singer Company Limited S.à r.l. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved.


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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.44 PMby tokyocherry

    From scratch! There’s just something about lovely new fabric….

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.37 PMby campergirl

    Definitely from scrap but love to use vintage to tweek here and there

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.10 PMby fruitaburst

    I’m a beginner, so I’ve had the most success altering something that’s already been made. Not everything has been a success, but I like adding my own touch to an old frock. It’s fun. :)

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.03 PMby cocorara

    Definitely altering. I have a bunch of vintage dresses that I bought for the fabric but are way too big for me. I’ve been too chicken to alter them in case I ruin them, but now after that video I think I’m ready to give it a go!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 09.48 PMby snowpants

    From scratch :D

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    Jan 30, 2011, 09.32 PMby 1sewingprincess

    I prefer making clothes from scratch but I recently started to upcycle men’s shirts. It’s nice to be environment friendly

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.43 PMby lanamarie6

    I love doing something from scratch, but if I happen to see something in a thrift store where I love the fabric, or if time or spending money is a factor I’ll go for altering something second-hand.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.37 PMby gibbylet

    I’d say from scratch, as I can’t solve existing problems yet. Once I get the hang of that though, I might love buying all those things at the store that “don’t quite” fit, and making them perfect!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.23 PMby edconnol

    I like to start from scratch, but I like working with vintage fabrics!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.20 PMby monikago

    I like altering old garments to make something new. My current projects are a 50s full taffeta slip that I will extend to my size by inserting panels. Also my deceased mother’s dirndl dress arrived in time for my birthday. I am inserting side panels in the bodice so that it will fit me. She started on the skirt decades ago, I will pleat the top of the skirt and finish it. I will sew the blouse from the BURDA Wiesn dirndl pattern, preferably with some lace fabric. And I am looking for eyelet lace fabric for the new apron (I had to cut up the existing apron for the additional side panels.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.20 PMby vbugge

    Both are fun, but I have a lot more experience sewing from scratch. I started altering things to wear as a teen and then did quite a bit of it for community theatre. I Love vintage clothes and it’s fun to rescue damaged pieces by finding a new way to use them.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.11 PMby lwood

    I prefer the blank canvas I have when I start from scratch, but I enjoy occasionally making something new from something old (not necessarily clothes).

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.05 PMby artemis-ivorywings

    From scratch, but I would like to get more experience in altering.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.56 PMby maybelle

    I love the challenge of making new clothes from old. Old clothes have lots of interesting details and quirks that provide inspiration. You end up creating something totally unique.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.54 PMby redbean009

    I prefer making from scratch. It takes skill and courage to cut into a piece of still wearable clothing.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.40 PMby Meg Pinney

    I usually sew from scratch, but I’ve been recycling old fabrics and notions to make cute little notebooks. It’s fun to incorporate old things that catch my eye.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.35 PMby fosteretalk

    I prefer to start from scratch. I have cut down things that my husband or I “grew out of” to fit our children when they were little. The process of the garment from beginning to end making it just the way I want it is what brings me the most enjoyment.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.15 PMby mirryswt

    I have to say that I like both, because each method has its sparkle. When i start a project from scratch, it might get a little tricky for me, but every project is always so fullfilling at the end. Also, when i alter an old garment is nice to see that it looks much more modern and so not like it used to.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.02 PMby tinaalexis

    I like altering old clothes! When you get an idea, taking out something old and start right away, insted of waiting to buy a fabric just makes the result so much better. I otherwise forget very easy!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 06.42 PMby Juniperlore

    I’m a re-fashioner. I love the problem solving that is required to find a new, current, garment in an old one.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 06.36 PMby alana23

    I love making projects from scratch, because I enjoy the entire process from start to finish.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 06.36 PMby leashbean

    I don’t think my first post worked but i flip and flop between the two. sometimes i have an idea that i get inspired to make from scratch, and other times i see something at the thrift store (or my own closet) and feel the need to jazz it up! each project is unique!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 06.32 PMby RetroDivaSSC

    I definitely prefer making new things from scratch. It helps me learn new techniques and how to use tailoring tools. Also, I don’t think I could bear to chop up vintage! Not quite brave enough yet!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.47 PMby paperbackmummy

    I like knowing exactly what I’m going to get working from scratch with a pattern but also love the challenge of reworking a found item.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.17 PMby tessisthebest

    I like making patterns from scratch, but adding a vintage detail. Like an old fabric or a little doily or buttons!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.05 PMby patternjunkie

    I prefer starting from scratch, though I’m curious to try some refashioning!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 04.32 PMby mwelland

    I think I prefer altering, if I HAD to choose. I feel a different kind of satisfaction from making things from scratch versus altering and remaking. Making from scratch feels so creative, but there’s something great about knowing that you’ve taken an old piece of clothing that you don’t like and given it a whole new life.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 04.16 PMby tryxfailxrepeat

    I really enjoy both but there is something wonderful about breathing new life into an old, outdated garment and re-inventing it.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 04.10 PMby krystean

    i dont like to throw old clothes even excess cloth when i am sewing because from old clothes i could make something useful out of it…like what i did with my old blouse that i turn it into a bag…and excess cloth as a design….from trash to a beautiful abstract design….who knows that it was only a supposed to be trashed..but it is still useful…:)

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    Jan 30, 2011, 04.08 PMby magnolia729

    From scratch!

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