DIY: Give your worn out clothes some love!


Why you shouldn't ditch your old merinos! The new life of your under garments! Long live merino under garments! I had a lot of fun headlines for this post. But in short, it all comes down to up-cycling old woolen clothes.

Wool is wonderful in any ways, it keeps you warm though damp, it doesn't stink as much as equal garments in synthetic fibre. With soft merino wool closest to your body, you'll be snug and warm outdoors. But. They're expensive. And they wear out eventually. Especially if you like me live in your merinos 24-7 for 6 months a year. I patch my merinos as far as possible, sometimes the garment is more patches than original. Sometimes not, but I don't throw them away just yet. They get a new chance, a new life - up-cycled into new garments. In this post I'll share with you how I made my half mittens, hotpants and a sports bra. All of it from broken merino leggings.

Hot pants 

Let's start with the easy ones! As long as the crotch is intact, simply cut the legs off and zigzag the cut edges. Done! If the crotch is broken, you can take a patch from the rest of the leggings, pin it in place and zigzag around and across the patch.

Half mittens

I cut off the last 20 cm from a pair of merino leggings. Then I zigzagged the cut edges, folded them in, pinned them and sew a straight seam to fasten the hem. Then I put one of the tubes on with the original wristlet first, pinched the hem between my thumb and my indexfinger and put 2 pins there about 5 mm apart. I took the mitten off, sew straight between the pins, back and forth. Then repeated on the other. Making these "thumb-holes", helps the half mitten to stay put on your hand, neither slipping nor twisting.

Sports bra

This is a far too big project to write out, especially without pictures. I made a highlight on Instagram from the stories of today, where I tell you more about the sewing process.

Here are my three best tips for those who want to sew a sports bra:

  1. Copy a bra that you already have and like. Feel along the seams with your fingers. Where did they put elastics and where did they not?
  2. Draw seam allowance on your pattern! Especially if cutting the pieces from old clothes. In previous projects I've missed or compromised with seam allowance, resulting in slightly too small and uncomfortable garments.
  3. Go, go, go! It's not that hard really, as long as you're methodic and have some patients.


While I had the sewing machine up and running, I up-cycled my old favorite woolen sweater to a sweet cardigan. Using stripes of old merino leggings for edging.

Have you done any up-cycling project lately? Please share in stories, tag @tracelessintiveden and we'll help each other out to inspire more people to get creative!

Up-cycle in peace!


Would you like to read more about crafting your own gear?