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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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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 31, 2011, 06.11 AMby ruth-zehntner

    I like to make projects from scratch, but I always like to buy old garments and resize them.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 06.00 AMby cellarstella

    I like to make small items from undamaged parts of old garments, but I haven’t remade a full adult-sized garment yet. They are so often either too damaged in key areas, or the fabric is fragile or cheap (on modern RTW) and wouldn’t withstand my tough old vintage sewing machine combined with my novice sewing!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 05.17 AMby Ophelia K

    I prefer making from scratch! But if I fell in love with a garment doesn’t fit me, I would enjoy altering it in my size. Good old fabrics has such a nice used look. I also love that.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 04.36 AMby kanamithedreamer

    I can’t really upcycle pieces very well (I’ve tried), but I am in school learning to make clothes from scratch, and I love it! I really want a dressform so that I can do this from home.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 04.33 AMby daharadreaming

    I like (and do) both equally. From scratch because fabric needs to be turned into something! And refashioning or altering something vintage is just fabulous.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 04.17 AMby psquiros

    I really like the process of creating from scratch. There’s something about seeing a pattern and then finding the perfect fabric to go with it.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 04.07 AMby table-calender

    i love to work both ways. the satisfaction of making something from basic materials and altering my old clothing for my son / cutting up once pre-loved clothes for a new project, different but immense. (‘o’)/

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    Jan 31, 2011, 04.06 AMby chieflotsahair

    Thus far, I have enjoyed making projects from scratch. I will on occasion upcycle a worn out item. When I buy something premade, I don’t like to have to alter it in any way.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 03.20 AMby runt

    i love taking gently used clothes and turning them into unique items, baby clothes, burp cloths and bibs, dog clothing etc, you name it, i will try to make it! i have made clothes from patterns but found them too stress full. i would love to just drape a piece of material over a dress form and see where my imagination takes me!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 03.15 AMby channyn

    I prefer to start from scratch – my weird proportions make alterations to existing garments almost impossible.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 03.08 AMby rachelgren

    i like to make things from scratch using recycled fabrics from old garments.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 03.04 AMby jennismith

    Both! My latest project was taking a pair of $4 pants from a closing Talbot’s outlet that didn’t fit well and making them into a GREAT skirt. I embellished with upcycled wool and cashmere sweaters I felted from Goodwill. I’ve got some great fabric from my local quilt shop to make into dresses. Come on SNOWDAY! This dressform would be incredible to win. Pick meeeeee!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.46 AMby heavenlygurl

    Actually I prefer to upcycle. So many vintage fabrics are superior to today’s. Some of the best florals are no longer available. It’s exciting to have a one of a kind outfit. I also like to take old custom tailored garments apart to get new techniques. I do the prelim workup while I’m watching my soaps. It’s always fun.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.34 AMby visualcircus

    When working with finds from a thrift store, often I set the expectation that sometimes I won’t find anything. When I do, it is important to be flexible and creative, exploring the different options available. The nice thing about choosing fabric is that it can match what I’ve imagined it to be!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.34 AMby j-willfromj-ville

    I love to sew old clothes and make them new because pinning and cutting fabric is part I dislike the most of making clothes! I want that dressform!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.28 AMby stephaniematos

    I prefer altering second-hand garments, making it into something new and modern

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.27 AMby Stin86

    I like both, but thrifting for re-constructable pieces is a blast.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 02.10 AMby hopepolo

    I prefer altering second hand items. It’s a much quicker way to get a new garment!

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    Jan 31, 2011, 01.42 AMby elysia

    I like making stuff from scratch. I normally don’t buy anything that I have to change to wear or use. If I get inspired by something I go home and make exactly what I want from scratch. That way I don’t have to worry about how much fabric there is or the shapes I have to work with.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 01.14 AMby gortonfish

    lately I have been making garments from scratch because I am trying to learn different techniques but after I get a better understanding of sewing I plan to recycle old garments. So far I have only done one but I love thrift shopping so it is my goal to up-cycle/recycle clothes.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.56 AMby jessio

    Most of my projects are from scratch, usually inspired by a new fabric or pattern. Although I do enjoy doing a big op shopping day and selecting a heap of pieces (not worrying if they fit or not) and revamping them into new, modern clothes. It’s nice to bring them back to life.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.54 AMby sarahwau

    I usually make projects from scratch but I’d love to learn how to alter retro and vintage clothes. It’s on my list of things to try this year. It makes so much sense to use old materials both environmentally and budget wise.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.51 AMby oraxia

    I’ve done a little of both, and while altering has probably gotten me better results (because I’m not that good yet), I like creating garments from scratch better because you’ve got a lot more flexibility :)

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.48 AMby pkobrien

    i have always worked from scratch, but this gives me some confidence to work from a different perspective.

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.14 AMby tievoli

    From scratch- i have attempted to remake a few items and have not yet proved successsful other than just minor alterations. i like the whole process of finding a pattern and fabric to make an item. Tievoli

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    Jan 31, 2011, 12.01 AMby khyell

    I like to create projects using both methods. From scratch I have total control of design, fabric etc. However, with recycling I have to be more creative and I love the challenge.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 11.48 PMby nyphertiti

    I tried getting into deconstructing clothing for awhile, but I definitely prefer doing it all from scratch.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 11.24 PMby vanillasapphire

    I think altering a second hand garment is not only earth friendly but more challenging. It may take me a while, but in the end an idea can pop into my head and I can turn something that has no more use and would be thrown away into something great. I just love that it brings my creativity into play.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 11.00 PMby Leah Guinn

    I like reworking old finds…it’s like recycling, just with fabric and hardware!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.46 PMby deliab

    Making something from scratch is always such a rewarding feeling but renovating something really brings out your creativity.

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