Creative Mom Uses Her Husband's Old Shirts To Create Beautiful Dresses For Her Daughters

“Sewing helped break my postpartum and honestly made me happy.”

You might start to think about old clothes a little differently after you see what this mom does with them. Stephanie Miller, who has four children aged 3 months to 5 years old, uses her husband's old shirts to craft cute dresses for her kids. 

Inspired by DIY bloggers and seamstresses Liz Bryson and Sarah Tyau, Miller decided to make something beautiful out of a less-than-ideal situation. She had purchased a gingham dress shirt for her husband, Jon, for Christmas, but it shrunk the first time she washed it. Instead of letting him throw it way (and further contribute to textile waste), she made new outfits for her 3 and 4-year-old daughters. 


Miller shared before-and-after photos of her 3-year-old in the shirt and refashioned creation on her Instagram account, @mothermakesx4. "She calls it her 'Elsa' dress and wants to sleep in it," she wrote in the post. So, it's safe to say her daughter appreciates the recycled outfit just as much as all the commenters who think Miller's creativity is amazing.  

Miller comes from a creative background, so it's no surprise she's so talented. She enjoyed drawing and painting throughout her childhood and majored in education with a degree in fine arts. Unfortunately, motherhood and postpartum depression caused her to spend less time on her artwork. 

"We were living in a one-bedroom apartment with little space for me to set up my paintings, the oil paints have unhealthy fumes, and it took me too long to set up my paints with a baby to care for," she told HuffPost. "I was suffering with postpartum depression, and with the lifestyle shock of motherhood, I felt a loss of identity."

Jon recognized her struggle and surprised her with a sewing machine in hopes that it would help lift her spirits and reignite her creativity. The $50 gift turned out to be an incredibly meaningful one. 

Miller started off with some simple stuffed animal projects, such as a small, stuffed bird, and was immediately hooked on sewing. 

"That little stuffed bird was a sewing mess, but when I was done, I felt so satisfied," she told Babble. "Sewing helped break my postpartum and honestly made me happy."

While Miller didn't know too much about sewing, she used YouTube tutorials to learn as much as she could. Eventually, she graduated from small stuffed animals and started creating clothes. 

The dresses she makes for her daughters have been a huge hit on Instagram. People are impressed with her creativity and talent — and are glad to see she's not letting perfectly good fabrics go to waste. Kids outgrow their clothes very quickly, so Miller's dedication to refashioning her husband's clothes are a perfect solution. 

Miller credits her upbringing for her creativity and interest in repurposing. She grew up in a family that had little money to spare on nonnecessities. 

"My mom is very creative and taught me to work with what I had," she told HuffPost. "The last few years, as I started to get better at sewing, I wanted to make some of the expensive styles I couldn't afford. And now I love making clothes that are one of a kind; I know I'll never see someone else in one of my outfits."

While she isn't planning to sell her creations any time soon, posting them online might inspire other people to get creative about repurposing. 

"Making and creating is such an important process to me, and I believe everyone can create something beautiful in their life that brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment," she told Babble. "When we take unorganized material into our hands and mold it into something that did not exist before, it invigorates the soul. The more we take time to be creative, the more beautiful the world around us becomes."

Hopefully, a few others will take a page out of Miller's creative book. 


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