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Urban Renewal Diary: The Start-to-Finish Process

&itemCountThe Urban Renewal team is a proud recycler of gently-worn goods that are used to create all the wonderful one-of-a-kind items you see in our stores and on the web. Here is a sneak peak at two of our new items—the Denim Patchwork Short and the Polka-Dot Headband—soon to be heading to a store (and website) near you! 



For the shorts, we first source and order a bunch of vintage Levi’s that we purchase by the piece. When ordering, we set up a specific “grade” that we want. A grade is the specifications in the item such as quality, size, colors, fabric content, etc. They come shipped to us in bales of 100lbs., and this (above) is what it looks like after the bales have been opened.


Next, the jeans are measured for our desired shorts-length and hand cut, and washed to get that frayed look at the hem. Then we dig through bales of vintage “remnant” fabric to find the best prints to make the patches out of. Each set of patches is arranged one by one and pinned onto the shorts for sewing.


And then, voilà, a finished pair of shorts!


The polka-dot bow headband is created out of an assortment of printed tops, skirts and dresses that we bought mixed by the pound. Since the headband is small, we also use scraps from other styles we have made to help reduce waste and utilize as much of every garment as possible. 


Once all the pieces are cut out, they are taken to sew and assemble the headband. Elastic is put in, the bows tacked down and threads are clipped…..all by hand and one at a time!


And here is a finished product. Hard to believe this started out as a frumpy '80s dress, right? So adorable!—Urban Renewal
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