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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 For this project the girls show you step-by-step how to take a vintage skirt and rework that outdated shape into an adorable and modern silhouette using one of the new Heavy Duty sewing machines from SINGER®.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, 03.50 AMby tobogon

    I prefer to alter second-hand garments mainly because I can only afford the fabrics that I want from thrift stores and not fabric stores. Kinda creepy, but even when washed the old ones still retain some “old lady smells”, it makes me wonder about where it’s been all this time and what’s been done in it.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.26 AMby lisamarie

    I prefer making things from scratch. I feel a bit limited when I use old clothing to create something. However, I have a huge collection of old clothing that I haven’t gotten rid of yet because I just might make something out of it someday. I like the idea of using the old stuff.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 03.14 AMby emjay417

    I prefer from scratch, but I think it’s more challenging to refashion!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.58 AMby elisana

    I’d rather start from scratch, or to upcycle a garment into something different. I was never drawn into altering clothes.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.55 AMby Ruffles Gazebo

    it just depends on whats inspiring you at the time! sometimes a fabric can make your mind run wild with ideas, a picture, another garment, or even an old item which you can see new life in! Im not going to lie though, it is always satisfying using something old and turning into something new, especially when its from an op shop, and only cost you a dollar!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.49 AMby Dani G

    I’m not sure, but I think that altering second hand garments is called refashioning??? If so, I am soooo a fan of altering anything into something more chique and cool. Ever since I discovered Newdressaday.com, I am addicted to try out sewing as a new hobby of mine. I have no clue how to sew, but changing a garment into something different is definitely easier than starting from scratch. I’ve been going to thrift stores and altered extra large men’s jackets to look more feminine and fit me. I’ve turned a huge granny moomoo into a nice, short, and funky dress.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.41 AMby cocovibe

    I look to make things for scratch. I’m not really one to shop thrift stores, etc.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.38 AMby lints

    I prefer to start from scratch. I really like picking out fabrics that I want to use!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.32 AMby caseywife

    I like the creative challenge in re-making an “old” item into something new and interesting. It’s my favorite from of recycling.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.31 AMby LéonaDy

    I prefer making from scratch to have total freedom, But the most fun is digging into the surplus bin at the fabric store and trying to be creative with what you have.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.29 AMby emilywirt

    I mostly make projects from second-hand clothes – it’s much cheaper fabric (often I take my own or family members’ clothes to make new projects), and I like the idea of repurposing something already produced rather than consuming more products to make my clothing. Most projects I complete are from recycled vintage clothing.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.23 AMby kimdewolff

    From scratch, but with thrifted or repurposed fabrics rather than new.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.21 AMby itisoktosew

    Making it from scratch offers so many possibilities. Both a remake and item from scratch are special though.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.14 AMby hatchie

    I love the idea of making something new out of something old, but have yet to have any success. So I’m making from scratch out of vintage styled fabrics instead, until I figure it out.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.05 AMby marinaglory

    I love taking second-hand fabrics or old garments and creating new pieces from these “found” materials. Sometimes I forage through my attic and emerge with my arms full of clothing. It’s a satisfying and nostalgic experience to give those fabrics new life!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.00 AMby mrschamp-1

    I love sewing from scratch, but am getting more and more inspired by all the talented people on here that provide a new lease of life to old garments that I am going to have to give it a try!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 02.00 AMby sparkledust1287

    I think a project like this would be a good way to start making clothes since I’m a beginner ! Can’t wait to visit all the thrift shops near my house!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.57 AMby crackerhouse

    New seems easier, but old fits more with why I started sewing in the first place!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.57 AMby rshelly13

    I enjoy being able to rework old clothes to make new designs. It also is a small step that one could do when thinking about the environment. I do now love making new clothes, but sometimes with vintage fabric.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.44 AMby aluckmann

    Unless re-attaching buttons and fallen hems count, I have never done any alterations, so I like making a project from scratch.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.44 AMby minkbikini

    I love to give old things new life, so much fun and so much better for the environment than always buying new.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.41 AMby yays

    I love making garments from scratch, mostly because I really can’t find vintage stuff that’s my size! So I end up making dresses and tops using vintage patterns and new fabrics… I do get inspired by vintage items I see, but there is never a thing that fits me!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.32 AMby laken

    I used to only prefer making garments from scratch, but after experimenting during times of low cash flow, I get this wonderful feeling, a sense of great accomplishment after turning something unused, unwanted, and most-times ugly, into something amazing I will use or wear. Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy making clothes from scratch, but re-makes also make my greenie-side happy!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.27 AMby brandivenable

    I would have to say from scratch! But I did my first remake from an adult shirt to a kids dress and I loved the outcome!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.26 AMby sewhappy-1

    I like doing both — like the challenge of refashioning something old into something more “now”, but I also love having a fresh new piece of fabric to play with.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.25 AMby mollyliz

    diffidently from scratch!!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.10 AMby dupcodeb

    Choosing between old and new is like trying to pick your favorite kid! I like them both equally.. It just depends on the day!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 01.09 AMby ckinger2817

    I love making new things from the old. And it is SO much fun to go to a store like goodwill and try to recreate a top dress or skirt from fashion inspirations!

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.52 AMby pink-cornelia

    I prefer doing projects from scratch, I dread the idea of using my seam ripper and altering the garment.

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    Jan 29, 2011, 12.48 AMby Natalia *

    I love making things from scratch. I feel extremely proud when I make things completely from scratch -everything from cutting the pattern, and fabric to piecing it together to make a real garment. Maybe one day I’ll even be able to draft my own patterns which would make the garments even more special. I also really enjoy refashioning old pieces. I think its fun to find an old garment with a cool pattern or colour and make it into something new. Its a great way to recycle clothing and reduce waste.

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