7 Tips To Completely Revamp Your Summer Aesthetic On A Budget By Upcycling

7 Tips To Completely Revamp Your Summer Aesthetic On A Budget By Upcycling

Say goodbye to fast fashion and hello to creating your own clothes.
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Summer is right around the corner (especially for us college student who are on a semester system) and if you are anything like me, summer makes you want to buy a completely new wardrobe. If you are even more like me, you don’t have anywhere near the amount of money that it would take to completely revamp your look.

To remedy this situation I present to you upcycling. Upcycling is defined as the ReUse of discarded objects or materials in such a way to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. In the terms of higher quality and value in monetary means I'm not sure this definition holds up, but in personal value it is huge. I upcycle my old clothes and thrifted clothes into new more stylish pieces.

Not only is upcycling cost-effective and environmentally friendly it also allows you too experiment with your look and generate completely unique pieces that you would not typically find in stores. In the days of fast fashion, the thought of making your own clothes can be intimidating to a lot of people. I'm here to say that anyone can upcycle and with a few quick tips you'll be on your way to your new unique summer aesthetic.

1. Purchase fabric

At the end of at the end of your project, you will most likely end up with a completely new garment then you started with. This means that the garment you purchase can be viewed as only fabric. Look for high-quality fabric with as little damage as possible. This also means you will most likely need to look in sizes larger than your own to ensure you'll have enough fabric for your new garment and seam allowances.

If you find a fabric you really like but you don't think you'll have enough search for a complimentary fabric you could add into the Garment to ensure a good fit. For example, I made shorts out of a Hawaiian shirt but didn't have enough fabric so I cut up a black tank-top I had an added side panels to the shorts. You can also look for fabric and other places than the clothing section of thrift stores. I have seen shirts made out of pillowcases. Dresses made out of bed sheets and jackets made of quilts.

The more fabric the better. Unlike making clothes from scratch you cannot just go back to the store and purchase more of the same fabric you originally were working with.

2. Always have a plan before you start cutting

Because you only have a finite amount of fabric, it is important to plan your entire and product out before you start cutting. Like I mentioned above you can't go back to the store and find the exact same fabric you originally were working with. Is important to double-check all your measurements and seam allowances before you make your first cut.

3. Use clothes you already own as your pattern

My favorite thing to do is to make shorts out of Hawaiian shirts. I'm a huge fan of flowy shorts but up until last summer, they were pretty hard to come by. When I first decided to do this I simply trace the one pair I already had by each panel of fabric and cut it out. Taking a close look at the clothes you already have and how they are constructed it is easier to anticipate how to construct your own shorts are simple. Without pockets, shorts are only four panels of fabric. Two front pieces two back pieces. With this in mind constructing a garment can be a lot less intimidating.

If you are using a piece of clothing with an elastic band, make sure to stretch the band and trace the fully extended length of the fabric.

4. A straight stitch is your best friend

Let's be honest most people my age did not grow up making their own clothes. Many people don't even know how to sew, but many people have access to a sewing machine. When it comes to a straight stitch, the sewing machine does most the work. Search for patterns where most of your sewing is along a straight line or only slightly curved line. For beginners, this will result in a cleaner garment while they practice their sewing skills.

5. Don't worry about the lining

You don't need fancy sewing skills to make something that is cute and comfortable to wear. At the end of the day, if you are making casual wear, it is not the biggest priority to have the cleanest seams and lining on the inside of your garment. As long as it is comfortable to wear, most people will not notice and you will save a lot of time and headaches from skipping this step.

6. Looking for a beginner project? Just start with cutting

Try cropping a shirt with a pattern you like. Turn those old Levi jeans into cute high-waisted shorts. Just changing the length of something can dramatically change the Garment. Another way to another way to upcycle without knowing how to sew is just to wear a garment in a way it wasn't intended you see this most frequently with long skirts that are turned into cute strapless dresses belted at the waist.

7. Youtube is a great resource to get inspiration and learn skills

It is okay if you don't know where to start. Youtube is a great place to see what is in the realm of possibilities and to see how others troubleshot problems in previous projects. I started upcycling after watching the channel Coolirpa's "Thrifted Transformations" series.

With these tips, I hope to see all of you in your new upcycled fashion this summer!

Cover Image Credit: Godisable Jacob

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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What's Up With Love and Hip Hop Atlanta

Skin color issues, parenting issues, cave man issues and more...

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So, I managed to peep the episode of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, which aired on April 15th. Tokyo Vanity went to meet a trainer, Ace. He told her what she should and shouldn't eat. Che Mack met with her man Made Man. It was his birthday and he wanted to hang out with his friend. She called Shekinah to hang out with her. Che Mac wanted to go back to work, but apparently, Made Man preferred her to stay home. Why can't men just let women have their careers and their families? I'm shaking my head over this story line.

Then we have Spice, who went to chat with Joc. She talked about leaving her kids in Jamaica. She also talked about her desire to change her skin color. She said that in Jamaica when you bleach your skin, it is praised like that's a good thing. Wow, that is a big cultural difference. Spice explained that she wanted to use her platform to tell other dark skinned women that they could overcome obstacles that they may have because of their skin-color. Joc told her that she should go on with her plan as long as she is prepared for it. It's so sad that people look at others negatively or positively because of the color of their skin. That's really crazy when you think about.

Anyway, Mimi later met up with Spice in the Sweet Auburn district Atlanta. The Sweet Auburn district was full of African American businesses during the Civil Rights Movement, and Mimi took Spice to the Madame C J Walker museum there. Madame CJ Walker was the first back female millionaire in the USA. She made her millions in the beauty industry. Still, though, Spice argued with Mimi and the tour guide and didn't change her mind about changing her skin color. I hope that she was ready for the backlash from people who would not care so much about her point of raising awareness on this issue. Folks will just go in on her because she lightened her skin.

Another interesting scene was when Kirk met up with his sons' grandmother, great-grandmother and Jasmine, Kannon's mother. There had been some concerns about Rasheeda's and Jasmine's different parenting styles. Kirk had some thoughts about Jasmine's parenting of his son, also. He arranged to meet with Jasmine's mother and grandmother, because they spend a lot of time with the boy, but he didn't' expect Jasmine to pop up. It's a good thing that she did, because she was able to hear first-hand what Kirk had to say about her parenting. Now, commenters on the show, chuckled at Jasmine's hair style in her scene with Kirk and her family, but I think that Jasmine raised some good points. If Kirk had just became a part of Kannon's life, if the boy had recently (on the show) been allowed to spend time with Rasheeda and Kirk in their home, Kirk shouldn't have too much to say. The child was healthy, well-fed, and happy. They shouldn't argue about petty things like Jasmine going out once in a while or the baby wearing pull-ups. I think that they will continue to disagree, just like Momma D and CeCe, but I'll have to wait and see, won't I?

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