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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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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, 08.08 PMby Poodysmum

    Definitely from scratch. The fun of picking the pattern and the fabric, the whole process of making the piece, then the reward at the end of having something that is unique, and the pride in knowing that YOU made it for you and that there is no other like it :)

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    Jan 29, 2011, 08.07 PMby euma

    I prefer sewing from scratch, but nowadays I’m getting used to transform old garments into new ones.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 08.03 PMby elegantthreads

    I like to start from scratch. If I start from scratch, then I know that the garment that I create will be something done entirely by my own effort. I like the idea of that.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 08.02 PMby Alexis Mizrahi

    I usually tend to make garments from scratch after being inspired by a fabric or pattern, but I never pass up an opportunity to revamp an old piece of clothing! Vintage finds that may be a bit out-dated or not fit well just need a little TLC to make it brand new :)

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    Jan 29, 2011, 07.33 PMby emerald787

    I love making old bootleg jeans into flares by simply adding a triangle of really cool printed fabric along the seam from the knee to the hem!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 07.17 PMby tifa333

    I think I prefer making projects from scratch because I’m afraid of irreparably damaging clothes that might otherwise be ok. I guess I’m a fraidy-cat like that.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 07.16 PMby elisabetsy

    I like all types of creative sewing, so it is hard to pick a favorite. Altering second hand is really satisfying to know you’ve created something wearable out of something that’s original shape potentially wasn’t for you. Choosing fabric and completing an item from scratch is also a wonderful feeling! I’d be wary of remaking a true vintage item for fear of messing it up. I like to wear vintage pieces as originally intended, with only necessary mending and slight alterations like adjusting a hem line.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.59 PMby dejanu

    I love to make projects from interesting vintage and retro materials but prefer to make them from scratch. My favorite projects I have made from old neckties.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.54 PMby manthmoo

    I love making clothes from scratch! Usually when i try to alter things it turns out badly…

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.51 PMby tarrita

    I do a mix of both, especially since I’m on a budget. I recently cleaned out my closets and found some things from high school! Although the designs are very dated, some pieces had great fabric, like burnout velvet and silk. Then again, I love finding great remnant fabrics at a reduced price and keeping them in my stash until I find a good use for them.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.45 PMby ducksrow

    I like to sew from scratch but also love the challenge of repurposing one thing into another. Often I combine new with old and get the best from both worlds.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.40 PMby sbergeron00

    I’m a from scratch sewer mostly. But I do LOVE taking vintage fabrics and making something totally different with them.!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.25 PMby revolution9

    I have yet to find a vintage garment with enough fabric to make something new out of – that or I feel guilty destroying something that someone else made – so from scratch it is.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.21 PMby leighr

    I prefer working from scratch.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.18 PMby AmyNicoleStudio

    I got my start altering vintage/unused/resale pieces. And its still my favorite thing to do. Working from scratch is fun, but theres something about watching the transformation of something from old to new that really takes the cake :) … and who doesn’t love cake!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.17 PMby Jeaniech

    Going to the fabric store priceless. Scraps from new items are used for softdolls, dollclothes and all sort of fabric gifts.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.15 PMby dabura

    I think I prefer the to create something from scratches. It’s funny to picking out the pattern and the fabric and too see how to from individual components something a whole clothes is produce.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.12 PMby dabura

    I think I prefer the to create something from scratches. It’s funny to picking out the pattern and the fabric and too see how to from individual components something a whole clothes is produce.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.09 PMby dabura

    I prefer the to create something from scratches. It’s funny to picking out the pattern and the fabric and to see how from individual components a whole clothes is produce.
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    Jan 29, 2011, 06.09 PMby dabura

    I prefer the to create something from scratches. It’s funny to picking out the pattern and the fabric and to see how from individual components a whole clothes is produce.
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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.53 PMby digitalangel

    It’s definitely both for me. Making something from scratch is much more of an “okay I want to make this garment” and going at it. Reworking a vintage piece is much more like a puzzle, and always ends up taking me so much longer than if I made the garment from scratch. It’s worth it though!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.48 PMby campanella

    So far, I have only created new clothes from scratch, but I am planning to rework one of my husband’s old sweaters.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.43 PMby aerianaeve

    Since I’m such a beginner, I love to reconstruct garments. Taking them apart gives me a hands-on lesson on how they’re put together in the first place. The first real, wearable thing I ever sewed was a major alteration on the cast t-shirts for my high school musical. Since we were allowed to wear it as part of our uniform, I got an XXL and radically altered it using only the extra fabric I cut off it. It was excellent, for a couple months I had the best uniform piece in school. I think after I improve my sewing skills I’ll turn more towards creating garments from scratch, (I’m trying to learn more about knits right now) but right now I see more inspiration in a butt ugly skirt or a plainly cut top than a pile of fabric.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.32 PMby assamthee

    i tend to make more clothes from scratch. i used to buy some vintage clothes to re-work into something wearable, but they usually ended up half-finished on my to-do pile. after this tutorial i will definitely try again!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.27 PMby toko-rific

    Definitely altering – it usually turns out much nicer, and I don’t trust myself to make something from scratch!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.22 PMby Christi Woglemuth

    I like to do both. I have made a couple of items from scratch, but I do a lot with reconstructing clothes from my local thrift store.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.20 PMby parze

    I really like to revamp vintage garments, to see how minor changes like a new neckline or altered sleeves or fancy details like cut-outs and lace can breathe new life into old, unfashionable clothes.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 05.10 PMby hlh

    I love to rework vintage into new pieces. Sometimes the right print or texture is just trapped in another form and needs to be set free!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.48 PMby spetersn

    I have mostly only made clothes from scratch but im wanting to get into upcycling clothes

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.40 PMby amw1dancer

    I usually make my clothes from scratch because I hate cutting up old clothes!

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