Today is the day I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting: the premiere of Season 9 of Project Runway!  (I know, new episodes of both PR and Design Star!  Time to make some room on the DVR!)  Watching Runway always makes me want to break out the sewing notions and juice up my wardrobe with some DIY looks.  Know the feeling?  Next time you get an itch to make your own clothing, check out these free patterns and tutorials lovingly gathered from the far corners of the ‘web.

Tops and Dresses

Anthro-Inspired T-shirt
by iCandy Handmade

Who doesn’t love a good Anthropologie knockoff?  Jen from iCandy Handmade spotted an Anthro shirt that was just begging to be DIY-ed.  Using a pair of matching t-shirts, she tore one apart, sewed it to the other, and BAM!  All of the look at a fraction of the price.

One-Shoulder Tank  Reconstructed Shirt by Closet Obsession

When Rassisa accidentally shrunk her boyfriend’s comfy gray t-shirt (oops!) it was suddenly too small for him but still to large for her.  Not willing to throw out a perfectly good t-shirt, she whipped out her scissors and in about 15 minutes ended up with a no-sew, one-shoulder tank that’s totally rocker chick chic.  She shared her creation at Closet Obsession, where you can also find a ton of other great projects and inspiration!

Men’s Button-Down Shirt Turned Dress by JasmineAnnnnn @ Polyvore

Not only is JasmineAnnnnn’s men’s-shirt-turned-dress adorable, it also requires zero sewing!  That’s right, you can raid your man’s wardrobe for this project, but one you’re done wearing your dress you can slip his shirt back into his closet because you haven’t actually altered it!  I found her easy-peasy tutorial on Polyvore via Pinterest.

DIY Sheer Lace Shoulders by Ali Foster Patterns

I used to work at a coffee shop where our uniform consisted of any solid-color t-shirt.  Hence, I now have a drawer full of plain, boring shirts in just about every color in the spectrum.  If you have a similar drawer of dullness in your dresser, you can add a little character by sewing lace panels into the shoulders, as did Ali of Ali Foster Patterns.


Gathered Skirt Tutorial by DIY Couture via Etsy’s Storque Blog

I was never much of a skirt person until fairly recently, when I found that I prefer them to shorts on 90-degree-plus-humidity days.  Now I want more of them!  Enter Rosie of DIY Couture, who wrote a wonderful gathered skirt tutorial for Etsy’s Storque Blog.  This is definitely one of those basic building blocks that is essential in your wardrobe.

Button-Down Shirt Skirt by Monoxious

 Here’s another no-sew project using a men’s button-down shirt, and one again, since there are no alterations made to the garment, it’s still a shirt when you’re through wearing it.  Arissa from Monoxious used simple draping techniques to give it an interesting, high-fashion look with an asymmetrical hem.

Ruffled Charlotte Russe Knockoff Skirt by Sew Dang Cute

Tam from Sew Dang Cute has mad seamstress skills that I make me completely envious.  While she loved the ruffly design of a Charlotte Russe skirt, she found it to be a little on the short side.  (I totally agree – you shouldn’t have to worry about peeking cheeks if you drop something while wearing a skirt!)  Not to be deterred, she ran with the idea and customized it to a less revealing length.