Guest Interview: Brigitte Short: Re-Purposing

Every once in a while I’m impressed with someone’s ability to be creative, save money, and turn one used into something brand new!

Brigitte Short is one of those inspiring people.

It’s not rare to see Brigitte’s posts on Facebook, showing some shirt of her husband’s that she’s turned into a dress for her daughter or a pair of jeans she turned into skinny jeans for herself.  Check out some of her projects below!

added borders on the towels and shower curtainsweater turned to child's sweaterSweatershirt turned child's sweaterAdult skirt turned child's shirtMan's polo shirt turned child's shirtMan's polo shirt turned woman's shirt

After months of watching her creativity abound, I asked her a few questions to help those of us (like me) that are inspired by her creativity and would love to do the same but don’t really know how to start.


Full Name:
Brigitte Short

I am a 20-something gal married to her favorite guy ever! We met in at our college WOW (Week of Welcome/ Orientation) group, 6 years ago, and now have two beautiful girls. We recently moved from LA to a small, small town. It was a huge culture shock for me, but the Lord was good in moving us, and we are really loving it.

Ugh- I hate to tell the truth here. But I must. I am 1/2 of a class short of getting my BA in Liberal Studies, and 4 classes short of getting my BM in Vocal Performance. I know, I know… having our eldest sweet girl caused some changes in my academic path, but I WILL be finishing my BA.

I have many passions/ hobbies.I enjoy pretty much anything out doors: hiking, camping, gardening. And I love water, lakes specifically. I grew up water skiing and have been slalom skiing since 5th grade. My summer is not complete without being able to break out the ski. I also love singing and sewing. And am a near compulsive organizer. I love it!

Favorite Bible Verse/Passage:
Philippians 4:5-6. Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Obscure Fact about Yourself:
In the 3 1/2 years I have been married, we have lived in 6 different places. All, except for the initial move of our married life, have been done while pregnant. Yes, I am a master of packing and unpacking while with child.

You do a lot of re-purposing….

Why do you re-purpose?
For so many reasons. It doesn’t matter if you mess up, because you didn’t spend a ton of money on fabric, it’s better than throwing that old shirt away… But mostly- I love to create on the cheap.

What was your first project?
Oh, goodness- I have no idea. I made some lace curtains for our bedroom out of an old lace tablecloth/drape (?) of my grandmas. Or maybe it was a dress out of an old dress shirt of my husbands.

Where do you find ideas?
I’m mostly an idea stealer. I see things I like in the stores, online, or other blogs and either re-create them or sew something similar. Sometimes I feel like I come up with something “original” but most of the time I’ve seen something somewhere that has sparked me.

Do you create your own patterns or just free-hand cut?
Completely free-hand. I am not a fan of patterns, although I know they are necessary at times. I try to avoid those times. =)

Do you hang on to old things for future possibilities or look for items to re-purpose when you find a task you want to do?
I mostly hang onto things that I think I can re-use. Materials I like or that are in really good condition still. But sometimes I want to make a particular something and will go shopping at a thrift store or garage sale to find an item to re-purpose.

Which project are you most proud of?
I just made the girls matching Valentines Day outfits. The shirts were made out of an old Ann Taylor Loft skirt, given me by a friend. With embellishments out of red left over material. The pants were made out of an old Gap shirt of mine. I love how it all came out. I also took the old bedding from my room growing up and used it in making the bedding and room decor for the girls room. I am quite proud of how that turned out.  I like the bows on the pants and the hearts on the shirts… it’s the little things that make me happy.

What is your favorite part of re-purposing projects?
I enjoy seeing old things become new again. And I love making fun things for the girls to wear and not having to worry if they get ruined, because they didn’t cost me but a few cents and a bit of time.

Have any of your project flopped? What happened?
Hmm… let me think. I’m sure many have flopped, as I’ve figured out how to perfect my pattern-less sewing skill. I made pants once that turned out to fit a baby doll rather than a NB size. And I’ve sewn my fair share of sleeves and pants legs inside out.

Does re-purposing save you money?
It certainly does! If I need pants for the kiddos, I generally have enough on hand to just whip some up for free (minus the elastic and thread). And I am able to make new cute clothes for the girls without spending money. And in the case of making the girls bedroom decor, using the bedding from my room growing up and finding some materials at garage sales cut the cost by more than half. I also found many decorations at garage sales and goodwills to make over for a fraction of the cost of buying them new.

Have you ever made your projects to sell?
I have not made re-purposed projects to sell. I do it mainly for my own enjoyment. I have been told my many a person that I should start an Etsy shop and it may be in my future. But right now only friends and family see the fruits of my labor.

Any other projects you’re working on? What is on your re-purpose bucket list?
My mom just went through her closet, so I just got a lot of new material to work with. And I’m going to start sewing some clothes for a summer wardrobe for the girls soon. That should be fun. And I don’t think the day is long enough to tell all that is on my bucket list. I have a ton of pictures saved on my Pinterest of things I like and want to use as inspiration. But I do have a few items that I got at goodwill to re-purpose for myself. I have a pair of red flare jeans that will be turned into skinny jeans, a funky-ish old lady button down that will be turned into a shell, and an ankle length teal skirt that needs to be turned into a short skirt. I’m pretty excited about those upcoming projects.

What would be your biggest counsel to someone wanting to start to repurpose?
Be creative,think out of the box, have fun and don’t worry if you mess up. There are also so many blogs that walk you through DIY’s and Re-purposing projects, step by step. Check some of those out. I have found that with clothing- there are so many ways to start small and get the hang of how to best reuse your materials. You can build confidence with those small tasks and then move to bigger items and expand your expertise. As with anything- the more you practice, the better you get at it.

Feeling inspired yet?  I know I am!

Let me know what crafts/repurposing/creative projects you do!

1 thought on “Guest Interview: Brigitte Short: Re-Purposing”

  1. repurposeing??hummmmmmmmmm i wonder how i can repurpose beaver and muskrat carcases???? now you got me wondering!!!

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