Meet Sarah Tyau, the mom who is saving you a ton of money while helping out the environment through fashion. The mother of three is setting a new trend not just in the style of clothes she creates, but in the way that she creates them. As opposed to running out of the door with the credit card to snatch up the hottest new trend in clothing, she is keeping high costs out of it by hitting the thrift stores.
Unlike other designers, she is reworking the old with a touch of the new to prove that “fast fashion” is both a waste of time and money. Not only does it put a serious hurt on the wallet, but it’s a major player in environmental degradation. So much so, that the fashion industry is second only to oil in terms of pollution.
Ever since her first child was born, Tyau has been transforming ungodly clothes (think oversized shirts, skirts, and shoulder pads from the 80’s) into fashionable wear for herself and her family. Her clothes are so stylish, in fact, that she has built up a following of more than 135 thousand people on Instagram. Encouraged by her followers, she now even has a Youtube channel where she posts tutorials for other people who want to break free of the money-blowing habits that come with looking good. Check out some of her best work, and you’ll be subscribing to her channel in no time.
1. A Touch Of Lace
Tyau shows us just how easy it is to glam up an otherwise drab outfit. Just sew on some lace in a few well-chosen spots, and that’s it! Now you have a whole new, cover-page-worthy, dress to show off.
2. From Unused To Unbelievable
If you’re rummaging through the thrift store, don’t pass over the clothes you think are too big for you (or your kids)! One of the best parts about alteration is that any size can become the perfect fit. All Tyau had to do was take in the dress on each side and use the scrap pieces to add length to the sleeves.
3. From Out-dated to Date Night
If you’re looking for the perfect dress to wear to a special outing, don’t go and blow your budget. Create something classic from on old or oversized dress. In this piece, Tyau deconstructed the dress to turn it into an asymmetrical fit and used the suit to create the cute sleeves and gorgeous petal design.
4. Medium Size T-Shirt Meets “Jacket Dress”
If you find a pattern you love on clothes that just won’t do, cut it up and sew it in! Tyau simply took it in several inches on each side for the right fit. She then created a detachable bow for flair from the leftover fabric! Another shirt saved from the landfill, and one happy little girl.
5. There’s Another Option For Your Mom’s Old Wedding Dress
It’s always tough when you have a different taste in fashion than your mom. It becomes increasingly so when she wants you to wear her old wedding dress when you get married. Skirt the argument by accepting the dress and giving it a makeover! Something old and something new gets tackled with one item!
6. From Ugly Old Night Gown To Casual/Formal Attire
You’ve seen those ugly old baby-doll nightgowns, right? Well before you say hell-to-the-no, bust out your sewing machine! With a few stitches, you can shorten those sleeves and gather it in for a perfect fitting dress. You can add a necktie into the collar for added flair!
7. Turn That Outdated Jean Dress Into A Trendy Denim Jum Suit
Good denim is expensive, so it can be torture to throw it out or donate to the thrift store. One of denim’s best attributes though is its versatility. Don’t let the pants-making intimidate you. You can easily transform a jean dress into a jumpsuit.
8. Turn A $4 Dress Into A High Fashion Peplum Dress
If you love the look of a peplum dress, but don’t want to shell out the dough for it, no worries. Head over to the thrift shop and grab a standard dress of your liking. Then you can fashion it into a detachable peplum dress for next to nothing.
9. Turn A Worn XXL Men’s Shirt Into A Bell-Sleeved Dress
Before you toss your husbands oversized, worn out shirt, consider refashioning it for your or a friend’s daughter. It’s easier than you think and you can save BIG time on school clothes. Check out Tyau’s tutorial here.
10. Refashion A Sad Business Suit Into A Trendy Suit Dress
Being a businesswoman doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sense of fashion. You can easily take an ugly women’s business suit and transform it into a well-fitted piece that you’re coworkers will ogle. Tyau was able to fashion this outfit without even using the jacket!
11. Repurpose A Men’s Shirt Into A Pinafore Dress
There are so many options for repurposing men’s button-down shirts! If you find a cheap (or free) one in a color or pattern you like, try repurposing it into a pinafore dress! Tyau’s design includes a detachable bib, so if you aren’t feeling the pinafore that day, you can opt to wear it as a skirt.
12. From Vintage To Vogue
Although a dress might be vintage, it doesn’t mean it’s fashionable. Thankfully, those drab styles can be totally transformed with just the tiniest bit of vision. Tyau has that vision and makes it easy on you by sharing it! See her tutorial here.
13. Turn Your Grandma’s Old Favorite Dress Into Your New One
Vintage is called so for a reason, so don’t toss your grandma’s old goodies just yet. Tyau turned this vintage, albeit ugly, gown into a beautiful dress with a few minor alterations. She ditched the buttons and collar, shortened the length of the dress and sleeves, and refashioned the some of the lace for the sleeves.
14. Turn That Frown Upside Down With A Trouser Overhaul
If you think your relationship with your polka-dot trousers are numbered, breathe new life into them with a little makeover. I mean, you never wanna ditch the polka dots, right? Revamp them into an overall/dungaree style skirt. Check out Tyau’s tutorial to see how you can make the bib detachable so you can wear it as a pencil skirt as well.
15. From Plain Skirt To Eye-Popping Pleated Dress
The thing about this dress is that it’s so classy. Pleats are timeless, and while high-collars are hard to pull off these days, the belted waist adds just enough flair to make it work. Tyua said this only took her ten minutes to stitch up. Simply take the skirt into a nice fit for the dress, and use the extra material to fashion sleeves and a belt.
16. Turn An Oversized Sleeveless Dress Into A Fitted Cap-Sleeve Dress
If you fall in love with a clothing item, but the only size left is too large, don’t let that deter you. Tyau had her eye on this dress for a while. Simply cut out the excess and use the material for cap sleeves. If you want to add length, you can add fabric to the bottom that’s close in color.
17. From Mumuu To Meeooow!
Let’s just admit it, shall we? Some muumuus have super-cute patterns! If you haven’t given up on fashion just yet though, there is still hope. By simply taking the excess off the bottom of the dress and the sleeves, you can turn this shapeless beauty into a gorgeous fitted dress.
18. Refashion A Winter Mumuu Into An Adorable Sweater Dress
If you’re looking for a sweet sweater dress this winter, consider, taking your own on the cheap. Muumuus are generally much more affordable than fashionable dresses. Simply take some length off the sleeves and fashion a belt out of it, and voila!
19. From Plain Jane To Modern Chic
If you get bored with some of your old favorites, don’t toss them just yet. Instead, try to revision it with a few simple changes. By shortening the sleeves and bottom, you can turn your longsleeved, below-the-knee dress into a fitted short sleeve just-above-the-knee eyecather with a bow for extra flair!
20. From Drab To Fab
If you aren’t on the “I let my kids dress like grown women” bandwagon, and you’re looking for a bit of modesty in their clothing look no further than your sewing machine. Go to the men’s section of the thrift store to find the perfect pattern for the dress you’ve always wanted. By removing the collar and excess length of the shirt and sleeves, you can stitch up an adorable cropped shirt and matching skirt for your sweetie. She’ll be covered and still rival any fashionista she comes across.
21. Turn A Men’s Shirt Into A Cute Plaid Girl’s Dress
Yet another awesome inspiration for using men’s button downs! If you’re thinking plaid is in this season, men’s shirts are the perfect source for materials. With just a few cuts and stitches, your girl will be the talk of the school!
22. Bring New Life To An Old Sailor Dress
This the definitely the clothing equivalent of a diamond in the rough. The pattern is there, but the fit and length are all wrong. Not to mention the shoulder pads (yuck)! Before you stash it in your donate pile, though, you can remove the pads and collar, and alter the dress so it’s more fitted to get the adorable sailor girl look you’ve been looking for.
23. Transform Your Halter Dress Into A Stylish Skirt
Let’s just face it, for the most part, halter dresses are on their way out. This is great news for you, though. That just means they will be easily found on the cheap. With a simple cut and hem-job, you’ll have the cutest skirt on the block for just a fraction of the price. Tyau found hers for only $3!
24. Play Mix & Match With Your Scissors And Stitches
If you have a couple of dresses with similar patterns, but aren’t thrilled about the length, there’s a remedy for that. Here Tyau cut a good bit of length off one and gathered it in to form a peplum top. Using the leftover length of fabric, she lengthened her favorite dress by sewing it onto the bottom! Two outfits for the price of none!
25. Repurpose An Old Cardigan Into A New Year’s Dress With Sequins
Having a New Year’s bash this year? Don’t go spending your money right after Christmas on a stunning dress. Just make your own with an old sweater and some shimmering sequins!
26. Alter Your Dress For A Fitted Dress That Feels Like New
If you’ve lost some weight this year and you’re missing your old attire, don’t run for the shopping mall. Instead, make a quick alteration to your dress. Tyau’s tutorial will show you how to get the perfect fitted look in just 5 minutes!
27. Fit Your Fashion
Before you go bashing yourself at a clothing store for having in imperfect body shape, try making alterations to clothes you already own. Tyau points out that learning to sew is not only practical but can work wonders for your self-esteem.
“It helps you to love the body you have now, not when you’re 10 lbs. lighter.”
28. Repurpose Men’s Shirts Into Peplum Tops For An Adorable 4th Of July
Make the best use of those red and blue plaid shirts by turning them into crazy cute tops for your girls. With some well-placed cuts and stitches, you can create sylish little peplum tops with matching headbands. Adding laces to the back and tying them into a bow will really make them pop, too! Get the tutroial here.
29. Tighten Up The Bodice Of Your Favorite Little Black Dress
Gathering in is one of the greatest techniques ever conceived of in the world of sewing. By adding a few stitches around the waist line of any dress, you’ll go from looking like you grabbed the closest fitting dress, to looking like it was tailor-made. See how you can refab your old faves in this tutorial.
30. Tighten And Lengthen All At Once
If you’ve got a dress lying around with tons of potential, but it just doesn’t fit right, you can change that. Again, it’s all about the gathering. Take off as many inches as needed for the perfect fit around the waistline, and use the scrap material to add length to the dress o get that perfect look.