Fashion upcycling, slow clothing and creativity
Making things makes us feel good. Sewing and stitching aren’t usually day-to-day tasks anymore, nor is the humble skill of mending. We think we don’t have time to mend, yet often it takes a whole lot more time to shop for replacements.
Wearing second-hand or upcycled clothing is sustainable and there is nothing more organic than choosing to reuse what already exists rather than buying new.
You know those gorgeous long skirts that were once fashionable? We can turn them into cool summer dresses with just the slightest of tweaks. The body circumference under your arms will most likely be equal to or less than the circumference of your waist – you may already know this from wearing elastic-waist skirts as strapless dresses. Here are some suggestions:
CHARCOAL LINEN SKIRT
Find some similar or contrasting strips of fabric (potentially from old garments, doesn’t need to be new fabric) – attach these to the front and back of the dress with decorative hand-stitching, buttons or even safety pins. Consider crossing straps over, tying bows or knotting them for interest.
BEIGE SKIRT TO SWING TOP
If you are really adventurous, you can tilt the skirt on its side to become a swing top by opening up part of the side seam (begin midway down one side and open just enough to go over the head) to become the neckline. The old waistline becomes one sleeve, while the old hemline can be fastened (with a safety pin or hand-stitches) to create the other sleeve. Best worn over tights and T-shirt.
WHITE SKIRT TO DRESS
If you are ready for a little more sewing, you can turn a full skirt with a narrow waistband into a cool strappy shift, by cutting out D shapes below the waistband and using bias binding to finish these cut edges.
PHOTOS: TIM SWINSON PHOTOGRAPHY