Reducing Landfill Waste
In my bid to make this a sustainable living year, I decided to re-purpose an old item of clothing and up-cycle it to a new piece. This helps reduce landfill and provides a new item of clothing to wear and enjoy.
With a small piece of elastic, a skirt like this can be made in less than half an hour!
I took an old wrap around skirt, now completely out of fashion, and an infant girl’s dress, and up-cycled them to make a fashionable one size fits all skirt for the modern young girl. Suitable for ages 8 to 20 something, I think.
What you need:
A large rectangle of remnant fabric or older piece of clothing large enough to re-model into a skirt of the length you desire
20 mm wide knitted black elastic
Sewing machine and matching thread
What you do:
- Take a measurement from your waist downwards to where you want the hem of the skirt to sit and add 2 inches or 5 cm to this measurement (for a hem and seam allowance).
- Ensure the piece is at least 1.5 times the width you want the final skirt to be (this allows for gathering), and cut.
I like to be different and a little bit lazy, when it comes to sewing, so I chose to use the old wrap around skirt for the fabric piece. This lent itself to cutting into one long piece. I thought great- there would be less hems to come apart later. In my case, the length was 1.8m long. Therefore, if cutting two pieces they would become a front and back piece, each at 90 cm wide plus seam allowances.
3. Sew the side seams wrong side out, press and turn right way out.
4. Hold the 20 mm wide piece of black elastic around your waist to get an idea of how tight or slack you want the waistband to be. Add 1 ” or 2.5 cm to this measurement and cut to length.
5. Join and sew the ends of the elastic with a solid stitch. I overlapped them as I wanted less bulk at the side of the skirt where the join would sit.
6. Using a long stitch length, run around the top of the main skirt fabric. Then pull the ends to gather it in to your desired width.
4. Divide this edge of the waistline, into quarters and mark with pins. Pin between marker pins adjusting the tension and gathering evenly.
5. Do the same with the joined piece of elastic. Then match corresponding pins to each other, so that the bottom edge of the elastic is pinned to the right side at the skirt top.
6. Sew using a strong triple stitch around the bottom of the elastic where it was pinned to the skirt edge.
*Make sure the elastic is sewn to the right side, otherwise the elastic will try to flip over and not sit flat when wearing it. See below.
7. Sew the hem if you haven’t done that already.
8. Voila… skirt in less than 20 mins….
The Prototype is revealed.
Cost: Electricity for the machine, 20 minutes of my time, 80 australian cents for the new elastic…
Benefit: Fashionable skirt that will fit a primary student/teen/twenty something…
Satisfaction: Clearing some fabric from my scrap basket!!
I then began to wonder what other kinds of potential upcyclable clothes may lay hidden in my bundle of unwanted clothes. Either that or I will be making a whole lot of Dog bandanas!
That gives me something to ponder about…