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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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


  • Wonder-woman3_large

    Jan 29, 2011, 04.38 PMby simonewarrior

    Well the main part of the outfit is usually from scratch but there are other components that go with it and sometimes those components are refashioned secondhand items. In the end my outfits are awesome and that I like. So I’m okay with either starting from scratch or altering second-hand garments.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.36 PMby funkyteal

    I prefer to work from scratch when I’ve got a specific idea in mind, but there’s a real excitement in finding a piece that you know has some serious potential to it.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.30 PMby nuttmaeg

    While I do prefer starting from scratch, with all of the adventure of finding the perfect fabric for that pattern or vice versus, I occasionally rework pieces.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.21 PMby rachelnicole

    I make clothes from scratch, but am inspired by this summer & ruby team to try being more thoughtful while vintage shopping, to throw back that outdated dress but try to improve on it.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.16 PMby trumbelina

    I prefer making things from scratch, but I’m always open to an upcycle. Right now, I’m in the process of learning about fit and how to fit myself properly. Once I have that mastered, I think the sky will be the limit.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.15 PMby Natasha Venzke

    I’ve never made clothes, so I want to start practising by altering old clothes. I also don’t have money for new fabric right now, so updating my closet full of old clothes is the way to go.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.10 PMby Elisa Silvia

    I’d rather construct garments from scratch because I’m just a beginner so I need to practise more before try and do something without pattern.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.04 PMby puffling

    I started off remaking vintage, because I usually have to take in the bodice a bit. That was my intro to sewing, but now I do both. Making from scratch is rewarding when you find the perfect pattern and fabric, but sometimes you find a gem at a second hand store that just needs a little tweaking….you’d never find vintage fabric like that in stores now!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 04.00 PMby veronika33

    I prefer to make my projects from scratch, but I am open to alter an old garment that hasn’t been used for ages to give it a bit of spark.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.49 PMby Tricia Marshall Jones

    I love doing both, but the great thing about restyling an existing garment, is that half of the work is done for you. Utilizing waistbands, plackets, and hems saves quite a bit of time.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.35 PMby Bronteroo

    I like making projects from scratch using vintage material. I’ve had a much harder time altering vintage garments!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.30 PMby gonewandering

    From scratch! Although altering something to fit is also satisfying – I like being able to take something that I like but that isn’t quite right and tweak it slightly to fit me better.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.17 PMby foxyminx70

    i love reworking garments, it’s great to think that it has a history or a story to tell, and now it will have a new story to tell. i usually end up having fabric left over aswell so can make matching accessories.xxxxx

  • Missing

    Jan 29, 2011, 02.59 PMby liffythe

    With as much fabric and yarn as I posses, you’d think I’d be an exclusively made from scratch sort of crafty cat. And for things like home goods I am, generally because I’m making the pattern up or the dimentions are particular. For clothing however, in part because my work sends me across the country with only a suitcase, and partly as an embrace of the recycle upcycle restyle authenticate movement, I take gray pleasure and pride in altering off the rack and especially second hand clothing to fit both my body and my flare. Also I think being able to say to non sewers and those who might be intimated by making things from scratch “I made this fabulous with little technical risk or specialized equipment” encourages the “you can do this too” ethos that the crafting community is based on.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.49 PMby coffeeaddict

    Oh definitely from scratch, I love fabric shopping and then coming home and going through my Burdas to decide on which pattern to use. Such a great giveaway!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.41 PMby kkhb

    I lack confidence! So I like re-making clothes. It starts out as something I’m not going to wear anyway, so if I mess up I haven’t lost anything! With more experience I will get the confidence to start from scratch. Also, it’s a cheaper way of getting experience, not having to buy fabric.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.34 PMby variantvi

    I like to make a new project. I really don’t like up-cycling as much

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.33 PMby karbj

    I prefer to remake clothes. I love to see how clothes changes and become somthing new!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.33 PMby carmencitab

    Both offer possibilities, if there is a spark of creativity with the existing clothing or the fabric, it becomes a garment for me.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.30 PMby Laura Bolčina

    I prefer making clothes from scratch, but sometimes alter vintage clothes, too. :)

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.17 PMby lionsforlove

    I almost always refashion things. Maybe when I’m not a poor college student buying new fabric will have its appeal. For now I am loving free tables and goodwill!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.04 PMby libra-s

    I prefer to make garments from scratch. Although, sometimes I make new things out of old stuff!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.04 PMby himechan

    I prefer making them from scratch, but remaking stuff can be fun too!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.00 PMby leashbean

    sometimes i am motivated to rework, and other times i want to start from scratch. I guess it depends if i find the right piece to re-fashion and if my imagination is highly active when i see it!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.29 PMby marionouchka

    Well, from scratch obviously… you can choose any pattern any fabric and let your imagination and you magic fingers do the rest. But I also find it very funny to turn my boyfriend’s sweater into a very girly top!

  • Missing

    Jan 29, 2011, 01.23 PMby lbmamakat

    I love sewing from scratch. But to be able to recycle and save money would be awesome. I have an old yucky Brother that breaks everytime I use it and I can not afford a new one(all my extra money goes to my kids needs) . I would love to sew something from a 2nd hand store for my kids and save money.

    1 Reply
    • Dsci0410_large

      Jan 29, 2011, 11.37 PMby momsgotanewhobby

      I noticed that you are just south of us here in Culver City. I use a forum called Freecycle and it allows people to give things away (for whatever reason) and I’ve seen plenty of posts over the last few months of people giving away sewing machines, mostly because they have updated to a newer machine. Give it a try, you might find a better machine (and kids clothes are being given away ALL the time) and you can always post that you want a machine. Good luck!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.10 PMby sinophie

    I started sewing only because I wanted to alter my old stuff, and although I’ve started now making clothes from scratch, I still prefer the good old eco-friendly way.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.33 PMby littlemisssew

    there’s nothing more satisfying then altering a beautiful vintage dress. Makes it personal and unique,and most importantly,truly yours :)

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.08 PMby queenvanilla

    I most often make my projects from scratch. That way I can be more creative and choose my own patterns. Sometimes I altern minor things though: like hemming a skirt or tucking in a waist.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 11.47 AMby p1ppy1

    There’s a lot of satisfaction making things from scratch, but with today’s economy I really enjoy shopping second hand stores and remodeling the treasures I find.

    • This is a question
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