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Conversational Threads

Restyling Clothes

Bruin1973 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Can anyone advise me on a book or articles (such as earlier issues of Threads) on re-making or re-styling clothes?  I have a blazer that belonged to my late husband and want to remake it for myself, but would like some tips and advice before I start.  I retired earlier this year after working for 42 years.  In the past I was competent at tailoring and plan to get back into some of my former interests, such as sewing.




  1. Ckbklady | | #1


    There is one comprehensive book I can think of off the top of my head:

    RESTYLING YOUR WARDROBE (New York, Time-Life Books, 1976) This book is a single volume in a series called The Art of Sewing that T-L put out in the 70s. It looks dated, but the info is still timely and accurate.

    There was also a terrific article in Threads printed back in the early 90s:

    SECOND TIME AROUND: RECYCLING A MAN'S SPORT JACKET FOR A WOMAN'S FRAME (Threads magazine, June 1991, Issue #35, pages 72-76). If getting a back issue is a challenge, you may also find the article reprinted in this book:

    JACKETS, COATS AND SUITS from Threads (New Town, Connecticut, Taunton Press, 1992, ISBN: 1-56158-048-1). My public library still stocks this title; yours may also.

    Also, there is a discussion ongoing here in the General folder called, "Altering a Men's Suit Jacket to Women's" that may be of use to you.

    I think restyling your late husband's jacket is a wonderful tribute to him and I wish you well with it.

    :) Ckbklady

    1. Bruin1973 | | #2


      Thanks for your reply.  I will look for these publications immediately.




      1. Ckbklady | | #3

        Hiya - great! I hope that's helpful. I bet others have good suggestions too - anyone out there?

        Happy sewing!

        :) Ckbklady

  2. Beth | | #4

    Wardrobe Quick-Fixes by Jan Saunders has a variety of suggestions for altering clothing. I have used it for ideas to solve fitting problems. It includes ideas for tailored garments. I suggest your public library to see if this book would be helpful.

    1. Bruin1973 | | #5


      Thanks for you reply; I will check at the library today.  Apparantly I am doing something right, because the June 1991 issue of Threads  that was recommended by another reader was in my attic!  I was more than surprised since I moved to this house in 1998.  I must be more attached to some things than I realize.

      This question was my first foray into any communication with "the world at large" but it has been fun.  On the other hand, readers of Threads is hardly "the world at large."


      Mary Burt

      1. starzoe | | #6

        The longer you join us here, you will find that although we are not a large part of the population, our members are scattered over the planet, so I would say we were part of the world at large.There is a world of experience and expertise gathered here, welcome to it.

        1. Bruin1973 | | #8


          You are right.  I guess we probably represent many different parts of the world.

          Mary B, Bruin1973 in Macon, GA


          1. KharminJ | | #9

            Greetings, and Welcome!I just found this thread, and couldn't resist plugging Gailete's suggestion of Gladrags - pub. 1974 by Simon & Schuster into Amazon ~ here's the link to "10 copies available used":http://tinyurl.com/yaxa8apMay have to pick one up, myself - I have a couple pairs of my Dad's dress pants, saved for just such an inspiration!Bright Blessings and Happy Sewing! Kharmin

          2. gailete | | #10

            I think one of the reasons I kept my copy is it had the instructions on turning pants into skirts. I have some corduroy pants that were falling off me last winter, I can't even imagine how they will fit after having lost another 20-25#! But the fabric is still good and I wouldn't mind a funky skirt or two for around the house. I found corduroy skirts with my support knee socks are pretty much as warm as long pants, but more comfy. I have to sit a lot with my legs up and that makes pants uncomfortable after a while.


          3. Bruin1973 | | #11


            Many thanks.  Just the nudge I needed.


            Mary (bruin1973)


          4. Teaf5 | | #12

            So, does your forum name mean that you graduated from UCLA, class of 73?  (Asks a Bear from the class of 75!)

          5. Bruin1973 | | #13


            No, I am Wesleyan (first college to grant degrees to women) in Macon, GA, class of 1960.  Did most of my work at Furman U in Greenville, SC.  Name is from a Welsh Corgi I got in 1973 and named Bruin.  I kept getting rejects on other names for whatever this is, so finally was cleared using this, but it works well. 

            MAB and Bruin1973

          6. Teaf5 | | #14

            Glad to hear that the Bruin comes from a dog rather than the school; otherwise, we'd have a NoCal/SoCal rivalry to overcome for our shared interest in Threads!Sorry I can't help with your re-styling project; my own loss is too recent to contemplate touching his blazers, much less restyling them.

          7. Bruin1973 | | #15


            So sorry.  It has been four and a half years, and it's is different but not always better.  If you turn to books for solace as I do, try The Heart of Grief by Thomas Attig.   I have also kept journals for several decades and it has been very helpful to remember more than just the last few months when he was sick.  I also find the process of writing now is helpful.

            Bruin 1973

          8. Teaf5 | | #17

            Thanks. Sorry to distract the topic of the thread.

          9. Gloriasews | | #16

            Bruin73 suggested that you read books on grief.  It really is a help.  I found that 'Widowed', by Dr. Joyce Brothers was a help for me.  I luckily found it a week after my hubby died, & it was the only copy on the rack - almost spooky, as if it was meant for me. She had written it after her own hubby had passed away.

          10. Teaf5 | | #18

            Thanks. I will look for it.

  3. gailete | | #7

    Not sure if it would help (I'm not on the same floor as the book currently) but I have a book from the 70's called Gladrags on restyling clothes. Probably where all the hippies got their ideas. If they would republish this book, it would probably get teen girls sewing again.

    Something else you might want to look for. Many of my sewing books from the 40's during the war showed how to cut down men's clothes into women's and children's. Those books were chock full of advice for stretching the fabric ration coupons and would be a good place to look for that aspect of what you want to do.

    What a sweet idea too.

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