So my husband is really picky about his clothes, but absolutely hates shopping. So he'll wear his clothes out, literally, before he'll go shopping. He's also pretty hard on clothes. This has created a little bit of a problem, because he would need new clothes, but couldn't be convinced or coerced to go shopping. I finally decided to take his worn out clothes and cut them apart and use them for patterns to make new clothes.
I've been making jeans for him using a worn out pair of jeans for a pattern for about three years now. This is the latest pair (actually made this spring, I just didn't get around to blogging it). I also made his shirt from an old one that he got paint on.
I've found that some of my most successful sewing projects have been items I've sewn using an existing item of clothing for the pattern. The fit issues are already worked out, and the style issues are as well. It's actually really a gamble to pick up a pattern and invest hours into sewing something that you don't know will fit or suit you. When you use an existing item of clothing, at least you know what you're getting. The drawback is that you don't have instructions, but if you've sewn similar items, it usually turns out okay.
The jeans were made with a denim from my local fabric store. I was a little concerned initially, because the denim had a little stretch to it, but it has not been an issue at all. I used three different colors of topstitching thread, but the details are a little hard to see here. Also, my husband was working in the yard just before I took the pictures, so disregard the dirt on the knees of the pants :)
The shirt went together pretty easily, also. I remember being totally intimidated by button down shirts with stand collars, but they're actually not terribly difficult to sew, if you use good methods. I've found this tutorial to be really great for achieving a professional looking result. Also, I've used interfacings from Fashion Sewing Supply and found them to be really excellent. I used to be hesitant to even use interfacing, because it inevitably either bubbled or was stiff as a board, but these are really excellent interfacings. I've got quite a few in different weights and they do a fabulous job.
I also used this tutorial for the yoke, and it worked out really well. It gives a great, clean finish on the inside and outside of the shirt and is easy to do. I got this fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club. It claims to be 100% cotton, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is, because it's a little stiffer than a 100% cotton should be. I'm not complaining, though, because it doesn't wrinkle much.
Now, I've just got to put together a few more of these to replace some of the more offensive shirts in my husband's wardrobe.