DIY clothes: How to create couture fashion on a college budget

Being on a budget doesn't have to translate to poor fashion sense.

Being on a budget doesn’t have to translate to poor fashion sense.

College days often mean living on a budget. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress in style. Do-it-yourself, (diy) clothes are the rage. You can also make a fashion statement and create your own couture clothing on a budget. You might even decide to start your own fashion line. A little creativity and a lot of imagination is all you need to rival the most famous fashion designers. You don’t need a big budget. A little lace, a few beads some fabric glue and dye can work wonders on old clothing that you thought was headed to the trash bin. Open up your closet and let’s see what you can do.

DIY clothes

It helps if you know how to use a needle and thread, but you can still create fashion without fancy skills. You don’t need to spend a lot of money either. In a June 11, 2013, article for, “27 Useful Fashionable DIY Ideas,” FashionDiva outlined what it takes to get started.

“DIY fashion is not for the rich and famous. Instead, you can gather a few affordable items like lace, beads, and bits of brightly colored cloth. Put them in an interesting way and be rewarded with the very latest fashionable garment,” she explained.

FashionDiva’s simple ideas for creating fashion included:

  • cutting your old jeans into shorts and leaving the threads hanging out
  • weaving a beaded line into a plain blouse
  • adding sequins to a shirt

When you have a pair of shoes that’s broken in but looks worn out, just add lace using fabric glue. Your flats will go from funky to fabulous.

Transform your skinny jeans

Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans. Now you can add some glitz and glamour with images of jewels. In an October 29, 2012, post for, “Jewel Print Pants,” you’ll find the instructions.

To get started, find earrings, bracelets and other jewelry that catches your eye. Then take pictures of them with your smartphone.

“Print off the image on a dark fabric transfer sheet, you may have to repeat the photo. Cut out the jewels and place them on the pants to create an unique print. Peel the backside of the transfer and iron as directed. P.S. – to prevent fading, dry-clean only,” the author advised.

New life for damaged goods

Ever get a stubborn stain on your favorite shirt? Don’t throw it away. Turn that shirt and its stain into a fashion statement. In a September 5, 2012, post for, “Inkodye a stain,” you can learn how to incorporate the stain into a new design using clothing dye.

According to the author, “I pulled out Inkodye and printed out the Nirvana smiley face. Inkodye is a light sense dye that’s definitely a lot more fun (and experimental) than just straight up RIT dyeing. Because Inkodye can be used with a ‘resist’, we thought it could be an interesting way to create a one-off band shirt… fast.”

Your future in fashion

After creating your own fashion couture you may decide to try your luck in designing your own fashion line. In that case you’ll be interested in reading “How to Launch Your Own Clothing Line” by Nicole Fallon for In this September 20, 2013, article Fallon recommends websites like How to Start a Clothing Company (HTSACC).

“HTSACC, is one of the largest resources for people looking to create a fashion brand. Aspiring designers can find articles on startup costs, design copyrights and licensing, manufacturing, and other information specific to the clothing industry,” Fallon said.

In an April 3, 2009, post for, “Costs of starting a clothing company,” Ray Masaki, owner of Lowdtown Friends & Freaks, described the first steps in starting an indie fashion company.

According to Masaki, an “indie” clothing line is one that provides high-quality products and will expand as the brand grows. He estimates that one would need anywhere from $500 to $10,000 to get the company off the ground.

“You don’t have quite enough money to pay the rent to a brick and mortar store, but as long as business goes well, it isn’t impossible to do in the future. Between $500-$2500, is probably where most indie brand owners land. You’ll have enough to get a solid group of shirts for your launch,” Masaki stated.

Do you create your own clothes? What tips and tricks can you suggest to others? Tell us in the comments below.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *