Archive for the tag “upcycled clothing”

Rainbow Twirling Skirt – Tutorial

It has been a very long time between sewing projects for me and I’ve had this idea in my head (and all the fabrics ready) for at least six months. It was so lovely today to have the house to myself for an hour or two to get it done.

And the best part for me is that all materials I needed were bought from the op shop – hooray! The rainbow silk was found first and it made me think how it would make a beautiful skirt for Miss 5 who loves rainbows. I’d also been wanting to make her a fairy dress, but wanted something nice and simple to make. So when I saw the purple singlet the idea popped into my head to put them together.
Here’s a bit of how-to if you’d like to try it yourself:

  • Stretchy singlet or t-shirt in your child’s size
  • floaty fabric for the skirt, I used squares pieces that were 85cm in length.
  • sewing machine (though it could be hand stitched), scissors, measuring tape, pins.


I followed this tutorial on making a circle skirt…

I made a few changes though.

Instead of attaching it to an elastic waist band, I attached the skirt to the bottom of the singlet.

I also left my fabric square at the bottom as the rainbow silk was already beautifully hemmed by hand. I offset it with the jade fabric, firstly because the silk was see through. And also because I like the draped, flowy effect of the points the squares make at the bottom of the dress.
Here are some photos of the process and a few extra pointers…


  Take your child’s waist measurements and make a paper pattern as per the instructions in the circle skirt tutorial (link mentioned above).
Cut the corner off.

Repeat  for the 2nd square of fabric if you are using one.

Lay them on top of each other to make a star shape as shown in the photo above.

Pin the two together around the inner circle.

With right sides facing pin the skirt to the singlet top.

Using an over locker stitch all three layers together. I also add an extra straight stitch on my regular machine for extra strength.

Hem the bottom of the skirt to the required length.

And you’re done!

Happy twirling !!




Upcycled Wrist Warmers

There’s a few tutorials out there for upcycled wrist warmers – this one includes instructions for lining them.

So I had a lovely stripey jumper that I just didn’t wear that often and I thought it was perfect for wrist warmers.

I already have a pair so I used one as a guide for the size. I lined it up and just added extra length on either end to allow for seams.

Next you need to try it on and mark where to sew to make a thumb hole. If you’re going to line them with other fabric you’ll need to allow extra width to account for the extra layer of fabric. I only just added enough, next time I’ll add more.

Also mark with pins down the side of the arm if the jumper is quite roomy. I made it noticeably wider here to allow for the lining fabric. It’s best if you do the pinning with the sleeve on inside out as I had to redo it after I took the photo!

Stitch where you have pinned it. I used the overlocker for the side seam but it really wasn’t necessary. A straight and zig zag stitch is fine. Then snip out the ‘V’ at the top, taking care not to snip the stitches.

Next you need to cut out the lining fabric. This can be a bit of trial and error due to the difference in stretch of each type of fabric. I used microfleece which wasn’t nearly as stretchy as the jumper and the first one I cut out was way too small. To get the measurement right I put the wrist warmer on and measured how wide it was when being worn – hence the difference you can see in the photo. Mark and stitch as you did for the outer fabric.

Next turn the outer fabric the right way out and slide over the lining fabric so the right sides are together. Pin and stitch the raw edges together.

Then turn the lining inside the outer fabric and stitch again about 1cm from the edge.

At the bottom end you will need to turn in approx 1.5cm of both fabrics and stitch them together.

The thumbs are the trickiest part. I cut off about 1cm of the lining and folded the outer fabric inside, covering the rough edge of the lining. I then handstitched the seams.

And there you have it! Lovely, cosy wrist warmers for the winter!

The Sound of Music Revisited

I’m on a roll…two upcycled items in one week! My latest piece is a summer top made from a curtain, it is floral but I think it’s a bit more stylish than the Von Trapp kids – although Maria did a great job getting all those outfits from one set of curtains!

I used the Newlook 6895 pattern, quite simple and easy to make. I made it a size bigger than I normally wear as the measurements for the waist seemed tiny. But I ended up having to take in the side seams so next time I’ll make my usual size.

The back is easy too as there’s no zip just a simple opening and button.

Can’t wait to make some more!

Upcycled T-Shirt Undies

I have a few t-shirts in my wardrobe that for some reason or other I don’t wear anymore. This one was a present from my brother and I love it but this colour looks so wrong on me. So now I’m transforming it into underwear, it feels great to be finally putting it to use.

There’s a few tutorials out there for upcycled t-shirt underwear and this is my version. I wanted to see how it would work using only the t-shirt and no other elastic or ribbing etc,  so it would be 100% upcycled. I think the result has worked quite well. I used an overlocker but you could get the same result with a zig-zag and straight stitch.

1. Firstly I got a pair of undies I really like and unpicked all the seams. I then used the pieces to make a pattern which I pinned onto my t-shirt, making sure I lined up the writing where I wanted it.

2. I used the back of the shirt to cut bands for the legs and waist. The leg bands were 7cm width (cut 2) the waist bands were 9cm width (cut 2).

Bands for legs and waist

3. I began by sewing the back, middle and front pieces together. I had marked which edges to sew together with an ‘A’. Put the front and back pieces together, right sides facing and the middle piece on top of the back piece. Overlock/finish the narrow edge of the middle piece. (Sounds confusing but see photo below – I always pin first to check I’ve got the pieces the right way round).

4. Pin together the side seams of the front and back pieces (right sides facing) and stitch.

5. Now for the leg bands. To make sure the are the right size stretch them around your leg until they feel firm. Mark the place where the ends meet and sew together the short ends.

6. And fold in half to form circular bands.

7. Take the undies (inside out) and pin the leg band to the inside of the leg hole with the raw edges lined up. Now because the leg bands are shorter in length than the leg holes you will need to stretch them as you sew. To make sure they are stretched evenly I mark the halfway points of the leg bands and leg holes and match them up.

Don't forget to stretch as you sew.

8. You also need to make sure you catch the edges of the middle piece as you go round (pictured above). The undies should now look like this…

9. Now for the waist band. Firstly sew the two pieces together then follow the same procedure for measuring the right length, sewing ends together, folding in half and attaching to the waist. And you’re done!!!!

They did turn out a little smaller than I wanted, so I’ll probably end up adding a couple of cms to the waist next time. The real test will be when I wear them tomorrow…

Goody goody yum-yum!

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