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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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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, 03.56 PMby alex1104

    definitely altering, I find it more challenging and definitely more GREEN, which I try to be in my small ways…

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    Jan 30, 2011, 03.15 PMby miktha

    from scratch

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    Jan 30, 2011, 03.08 PMby jessdunstan

    I have always preferred creating something from scratch but lately I have been experimenting with turning old items I find into something completely new and different.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 03.03 PMby cocogone

    I sometimes remake my own hand-sewn garments that either did not suit me, or I’ve gotten tired off, or are worn out and create something new. Then I feel virtuous because I usually need more than one old garment to make something new so I end up with either the same number of clothes or less.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 02.34 PMby Lucia Rusnáková Domorádová

    I prefere to make it new from scratch. I like it more.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 01.16 PMby sborgatti

    Although I do like sewing from scratch, I really enjoy finding the hidden beauty of gargage sale and thrift store finds. Repurposing requires creativity and problem solving; like a mystery or puzzle. It’s fun and I am keeping one more object out of the waste stream! Having a new dress form would make repurposing much easier!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 01.14 PMby chooocooolateee

    I usually use scratch for my projects, but once in a while, if I find an absolutely adoring fabric I use old clothes.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 12.43 PMby ananae

    I prefer to start from scratch , but i sometimes use old garments for pockets or inner detailing and lining.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 12.38 PMby koh

    Not only do I love altering vintage finds but I also do a lot of trolling in second hand shops for vintage fabric from older sewers who have given up their sewing machines. Altering is just so quick and easy and life is always so busy.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 12.38 PMby koh

    Not only do I love altering vintage finds but I also do a lot of trolling in second hand shops for vintage fabric from older sewers who have given up their sewing machines. Altering is just so quick and easy and life is always so busy.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 11.57 AMby erizah

    both! im a big hoarder of clothes and fabrics that i may someday use, so up until now i’ve pretty much only redesigned items either entirely or using aspects to create something new, but i’ve just recently gotten into making pieces from scratch. i just finished testing out the first pattern i designed myself, it’s a really great feeling!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 11.37 AMby luliaaaa

    altering old clothes to make them look like “new” bought ones but still having a vintage charme is the best!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.58 AMby simonerosalie

    from scratch!!!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 10.37 AMby mixtlii

    I prefer scratches… I never know where I’m going when I’m altering something, and very often I cut too short!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 09.37 AMby schong

    both are fun but u get to feel much more triumphant starting from scratch :D

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    Jan 30, 2011, 09.30 AMby mahaila

    I prefer to make garments from scratch, though I do sometimes alter garments. I find that garment alteration is a good way to see and learn how garments can be constructed.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 08.36 AMby chinty

    I prefer to make things from scratch because I can choose to make the clothes I want, even though I do love searching for vintage clothes it’s just too hard to keep waiting to find the perfect item or alter something that isn’t really what I want.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.42 AMby amylassen

    I think I would sway more towards the redesigning side of things. However, when I redesign things, I often take them apart and then use patterns to redesign them. So my leggings, for instance, are made of extra huge knit mens’ shirts. I can also get old clothing for much cheaper than new fabric. And it’s eco friendly!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 07.27 AMby Shira B

    I usually make projects from scratch :)

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    Jan 30, 2011, 06.35 AMby Dasha Megan Kirkland

    I like to thrift my fabrics since it seems that they often just don’t make them like they used to. Sometimes I get lucky and score fabrics by the yard but more often I am reconstructing an older garment that has some element or fabric that I can’t get out of my head.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.59 AMby velvetbird

    I guess I would have to pick from scratch, but preferably with as many reused materials as possible like zippers or thrifted fabric.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.12 AMby 00nihila00

    Oh, I would like a dress form to play with! I especially love treasure hunting for neat vintage fabrics, so second hand is my first choice. Though, I find that working around the original seams can be frustrating!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 05.02 AMby onlyoneme

    from scratch, but I am trying up-cycling a lot more. it’s such a waste to throw things out

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    Jan 30, 2011, 04.35 AMby x3sunnybunny

    I really do love making projects from scratch because normally that would be when I’ve found fabric that I would like to use in a future piece. But, altering second-hand garments can also be just as fun!

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    Jan 30, 2011, 03.55 AMby sewsusan

    I prefer starting from scratch but it is sometimes fun to give an old garment ‘new life.’

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    Jan 30, 2011, 03.32 AMby sunintheclouds

    I’m a from scratch girl, but I keep telling myself I’m gonna hang out in a second hand store with the sole intention of looking through re-do eyes.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 02.57 AMby nellyvdb

    So far I make everything from scratch, I like the thought of new fabrics, rather than something someone else has worn before, but I would have no problem refashioning something from my own wardrobe.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 02.53 AMby pigletsfloating

    I like to make projects from scratch, because it’s very rewarding to see the finished product when it had only existed as an idea at first.

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    Jan 30, 2011, 02.27 AMby karasumegami

    I love doing both! Scouring Goodwill, looking for a garment to upcycle is just as fun as picking out the perfect fabric for a project :)

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    Jan 30, 2011, 02.18 AMby Syl .

    I prefer to make clothes from scratch but I am also customizing bought garments

    • This is a question
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