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Repurposing & Upcycling

Quick Tip: Scarf to Skirt in 60 Minutes

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A couple of winters ago I tried on the most awesome woolen skirt but I convinced myself it wasn't practical and didn't buy it. This year, I thought I could recreate a similar look by re-purposing a woolly winter scarf. It's a budget-friendly way to update your seasonal wardrobe with an item which is cheaper than a ready-made piece. I picked up a great Navajo pattern scarf but it would also look great with an intarsia reindeer pattern or with a silky print scarf in summer.


Supplies

scarf to skirt supplies
  • Scarf. You will need one that is wider than your widest part and long enough to give a decent length.
  • Elastic, approximately 2 inches wide.
  • Matching thread.
  • Scissors.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Pins.

Step 1: Establishing the Cut

scarf to skirt step 1

If you have a patterned scarf, lay it down and work out where a suitable pattern match occurs so that the pattern joins up at the seams. If you have a thick scarf, like mine, you might need to trim the sides down too. If you have a centred pattern you will need to trim both sides (unless you want an off-centre pattern). Also consider how long you want it to be and trim it appropriately, allowing a few extra inches for the waist and hem.


Step 2: Prevent Fraying

scarf to skirt step 2

If there are any raw edges, sew a zigzag stitch along them to prevent fraying.


Step 3: Sew Side One

scarf to skirt step 3

Lay down the two sides with the pattern you want on the outside facing together. Pin one side so the patterns line up and sew down the side.


Step 4: Sew the Waist

scarf to skirt step 4

At the top, turn over enough fabric to accommodate the elastic you have. Pin it down and sew a straight line.

Then pin and sew the open side of the skirt, leaving a space to insert the elastic.


Step 5: Hem the Skirt

scarf to skirt step 6

Fold a small section at the bottom into the inner side and sew a straight line.


Step 6: Insert Elastic Into the Waist

scarf to skirt step 7

Measure the elastic around where you want the skirt to sit - tight but comfortable. Give a little extra and thread through the loop you have made for it. The easiest way to do this is to take a safety pin and fold over the edges to feed it through. Once it is all the way through, sew both sides together on the machine. A couple runs will give it extra strength.

Once the elastic is threaded through the skirt, you will need to hand-sew the hole in the waist.


Step 7: Iron the Hem

scarf to skirt step 9

Iron the hem (between a pillow case) to flatten any bulging.
Now your lovely new skirt is ready to wear!

scarf to skirt step 10

All photos of skirt being worn taken by Donald Michael Chambers.

Have you ever re-purposed a piece of clothing? Made a top from a pillowcase? Or like us, made a skirt from a scarf? We'd love to hear about your projects in the comments below.

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