Before you throw out that old work shirt, read this.
One crafty mom in Utah is turning her husband's button-up shirts into adorable dresses for her daughters. It all started this spring, when Stephanie Miller of Salt Lake City noticed that her husband was throwing away a shirt she'd bought him last Christmas.
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"I was like, 'Why are you getting rid of that? I bought that for you!'" Miller, 27, told TODAY Style. "He told me it shrunk. So I said, 'Why don't I keep this, and I'll try to make something out of it.'"
She did — a little blue gingham dress for one of her daughters, and it's as trendy as anything you'd find in stores.
"She wore it for three days straight," said Miller, who has four children. "She wanted to sleep in it."
The dress was a hit with her daughter and on social media, too, where Miller shares before-and-after photos of her designs. She's since made several more, all from her husband's old shirts.
Miller insists they're not as hard to make as they look. Since the shirts already have hems and buttons, she keeps those details in place, which saves time. She can make a dress in about two hours.
"The part that's really fun for me is the limitation of only using the shirt to make the outfits work," Miller said.
She added that creativity is important. Miller, a former art teacher, used to paint, but stopped when her first baby, a boy, was born nearly 6 years ago.
"We were living in this little basement apartment and it didn't have good air flow," she said. "It was just so tiny and I was afraid the oil paint and the fumes would affect him, so I stopped."
She'd also gotten caught up in the whirlwind of motherhood.
"My whole life was changing," Miller said. "So to stop painting ... it felt like a loss of identity. I was also struggling with postpartum depression."
Her husband had an idea, though. One day he surprised her with a $50 sewing machine. Miller taught herself how to use it by watching YouTube videos, and soon enough, she was "hooked," she said. She started making stuffed animals and clothes from patterns, but didn't experiment with her husband's old clothes until this year. Now he's happy to scour his closet for shirts she can reinvent.
"He sees how much creativity helps me be so much happier," Miller said. "It's a huge outlet for me."
And she has a valuable message for any other moms who might have lost sight of their passions.
"I think its important for parents to have an outlet, and to be creative in their own life ... and to have things that interest you outside of your own children," Miller said. "Our kids are so important, but we also need to take care of ourselves sometimes."
"For me, making these outfits is about the creativity," she continued. "And it's about me finding time to be creative, outside of my children."