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Upcycling: Excess Skirts Become Flattering

I’ve long been a keen bargain hunter, haunting op-shops (thrift) well before it became trendy to do so. I began my passion because of: financial needs, the fact I rarely find anything I like in the ‘regular’ shops and shopping centres put me on sensorial overload.  Whilst I’ve long had a discerning eye for a bargain and am selective in what I bring home, it wasn’t until I discovered the world of ‘upcycling’ that I discovered ‘a whole new world’.

No longer do I discard fabrics, prints or outfits I like with a sad sigh because they are: too big, shapeless, fussy, too whatever’s. Instead I now stop and assess; can I unpick that ruffle, cut that skirt down, convert that dress to a skirt, snip, tuck here and there, or use the fabric and make a whole new outfit for myself or a child? Fabric is so expensive to purchase and it is far cheaper to search the op-shops for sheets, doona covers or rip apart an outfit and reuse fabric, or make a slight conversion to an outfit.

I can now happily gravitate towards the fabrics I like and happily purchase regardless of overlarge sizing, confident I can convert to the wearable.  This weekend I spent a short but happy time converting a few skirts from the excess to the flattering.  I simply turned the skirt inside out, laid it flat on a table, then placed a favourite skirt on top, using it as a template I marked an outline with a crayon. Pinning the skirt together, matching the stripes, I ran up the seam/s, cut off the excess material, edged and I was all done:) I’m in love with upcycling!
* Truly I’m much happier than I look, being behind the camera is easier than being in front;)

A similar but shorter version. Ever since I read Dressing Your Truth and found John Kitchener, I realise I gravitate towards cotton and soft fabrics. That has been immensely helpful when assessing clothes for myself, I’ve also been rather daring and trying stripes and discovering I like them.


This skirt? It was a spaghetti strap top, a simple snipping off of the straps and we have a young girl’s skirt.
Easy, quick, my kind of projects.
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  • Laura Pearl

    I love this post! It gets me inspired to hit Goodwill.

    It's true: fabric is expensive, and it's hard to even find some of the types they use in store-bought clothing.

    You look great in your new skirt!

    • Erin

      Enjoy shopping, and you might find some coats too:):)
      I think as less people sew the fabric range has reduced. And thank you:)

  • Mary

    The skirts look great! So do you!
    I save things for redo but don't get to it so my daughter picks through for her projects. Thanks for the motivation!
    Baby in pic#1 is precious!

  • Anonymous

    My niece used to earn pocket money by converting quilts etc into pretty summer dresses, and selling through a boutique on the Sunshine Coast, Very creative. Cheers, Sherelle NQ

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