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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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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 29, 2011, 12.46 AMby Seeks Corey

    I like recreating pieces from older pieces. Not only do I feel better about reusing preexisting materials, it ties things back to a history of craftsmanship and style. I’m not a fan of alterations, but I am a fan of “upcycling” and reinterpreting.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.36 AMby astroknot

    This is a great video! I’ve just been trying to get into upcycling and remaking old clothes and this gives me lots of ideas! I do love making things from scratch because I love the feeling of building something from the bare basics and creating a finished project – so much fun! But I think remaking old clothes into something new and interesting is better; better for my budget, and I’m reusing and making the most of the materials on hand. I think it’s much more challenging to turn something old into something new! Plus, it’s sustainable; I’m not going to be throwing out old clothes that I don’t like anymore. It gives me more of a chance to experiment, too.

    By the way, is this Summer Phoenix the one who is related to River Phoenix?

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.36 AMby kelepso

    I enjoy alterating and upcycling garments to create new ones.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.28 AMby Patricia Ferman

    I love make new things with old fabrics, old clothes… And I loved the easydress that was made!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.20 AMby Teresa Higgins

    I like to modify vintage pieces as I love vintage prints and styles!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.15 AMby whenallelsefailsdance

    I prefer to make garments from scratch; I especially love creating my own patterns. Sadly I often end up making new pieces out of second hand clothing simply because it is easier and I, being a full-time student, I do not have enough time right now to create my own patterns.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.08 AMby Crystal Henson

    As a beginner I am slowly getting used to my machine. Altering garments comes easy to me. I prefer to alter men’s tailored shirts into shirts for myself and then try my hand at a BurdaStyle free shirt pattern.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.05 AMby taransa

    I am not a very experience sewer overall, so I would definitely say altering/upcycling is my preferred method! I like shopping if something is on a good sale, but you don’t always get the most form-flattering stuff that way – quick trip to the sewing room and I have a custom-fit, which I love!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.58 PMby pigsinpajamas

    I prefer making garments from scratch since then I have more control over the finished product.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.57 PMby baohee

    I like doing both. I love thrifting and usually the pretty vintage pieces are a tad larger for me so I always have to alter it. Starting everything from scratch always make me feel like I accomplished something great. LOL.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.53 PMby nubcakesx33

    Both. I really can’t decide. Making garments from scratch allows you to do anything and reconstructing things from old garments can be challenging because you are limited in supplies. Both are fun to do ! =)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.53 PMby chaospanic

    I’m a mishmash sort of sewer – somethings are from scratch, and most are old-made-new-again!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.39 PMby Sadie Fox Metter

    I enjoy both for different reasons. I love sewing from scratch, but there is something very fulfilling about recycling an old garment that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Vintage pieces are the most fun for repurposing because you can find great patterns, buttons and design details.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.34 PMby Xenia phillip

    i prefer to altering something, but i would LOVE to learn how to make my own clothes from scratch

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.32 PMby Sister Sew

    I love what the girls did with those old dresses, but I prefer to make my projects from scratch. I have used the material from older fabrics for some of my new projects, but that’s as far as I’ve gone with recycling clothes.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.31 PMby mishe12

    depends on the garment….i love making things from scratch because you get to choice everything and make a completely unique item. but i also enjoy re-working an existing garment to make it something better.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.29 PMby altheacat

    I almost always create garments from scratch… It’s just how I learned I guess. I would LOVE to try my hand at altering someday!! This dressform is something I need SOOOOO bad… I have been dying to get one since, well, my entire sewing career!! crossing my Fingers!! :-)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.27 PMby TearlessPanda

    I prefer starting on my projects from scratch. But I tend to find most of my inspiration from the fabric itself. As where I live atm doesn’t have any places to get vintage pieces, and my mum, aunt and grandmother haven’t been the ones to keep hold of their clothing over the decades, I haven’t really gotten an opportunity to get inspired to altering existing clothing.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.21 PMby sewlame

    I love altering! Altering garments forces you to be more creative. You have to be resourceful which I find both challenging and fun. And the ‘before and after’s make you feel awesome :)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.19 PMby bellecat

    I usually make projects from scratch. I love discovering a fabric pattern that inspires me!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.18 PMby distie

    I like making garments from scratch! It feels like more of an accomplishment when it is all done, and then it’s totally my creation!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.17 PMby blackorchidjd

    I LOVE creating from scratch, sometime when I start something I get creative as I go, and it comes out better then what I envisioned it.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.12 PMby neama

    I love the idea of both, but at the moment am enjoying a lot of upcycling as my sewing skills are still quite basic! I love the feeling of creating something new and funky from an old shirt / dress / pair of jeans. The possibilities are endless :)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.08 PMby dnembhard

    I’m a fron scratch girl, but I’m slowly getting in to re-working garments.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.05 PMby bonsai fojas

    When I have some time away from my busy schedule, I make clothes from scratch. Reworking vintage clothing, I do when I come home from work. Sometimes I take pretty bits from vintage clothing and turn them into hats :)

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.03 PMby diane-s

    I definitely like to make my clothes from scratch!!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 11.00 PMby Jaxmom

    I love to refashion garments! That’s how I started to really sew. I love this site!

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    Jan 28, 2011, 10.59 PMby hovis1971

    I have always made garaments from scratch, but I am being drawn more and more to trying out altering second hand clothes especially have watching this.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 10.58 PMby suebee2

    I prefer from scratch. I have used worn out jeans for quilts, the amount of wear still left justifies the work of construction.

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    Jan 28, 2011, 10.43 PMby Gina Marquis

    I don’t think I’ve altered clothes that much before. I love starting from scratch because it’s 100% my own that way! I can get as creative as I want from the beginning!

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