Revive Brisbane happened last Friday & I was fortunate to be one of the speakers, talking op-shop shopping, 2nd clothing and keeping unwanted clothing out of landfill. Brisbane City Councils Waste Management department is behind the Revive pop-up fashion festival because Australians currently send 6,000kg of clothing to landfill every 10 minutes! Seriously what!

I walk my talk so could wear anything from my wardrobe but thought if I demonstrated what was possible and included it as my commentary, it would have a better impact. So I set myself a challenge: Find an outfit from an op-shop to wear and refashion it in some way.

Monday July 20, I volunteered at Suited to Success, so afterwards I shopped in their store.

img_1269I found a backless dress, fully lined with some long fringing at the hem. New with tags sold to me for $10.

Now the thing I LOVE about upcycling things is that most of the fiddly sewing has already been done for you.  The lining is made, the zip is installed, buttonholes are already stitched and hems are in place.  All I had to do was a little tweeking to fit me. So you can do this yourself, here are the steps I took.

Step 1 Lie the dress flat
Step 1 Lie the dress flat
Step 2 Draw a straight line from side seam to side seam.
Step 2 Draw a straight line from side seam to side seam with chalk.
Step 3 Add 3 cms to your waist line and cut
Step 3 Add 3 cms from your waist line – (this allows for fitting) then cut along the line.
Step 4 The dress top has been removed and you are ready to create your skirt top.
Step 4 The dress top has been removed and you are now ready to finish your front waist ‘band’.
Step 5 Unpick the front side all the way to just beyond the side seam.
Step 5 Unpick the front side all the way to just beyond the side seam.
Step 6 Measure the waist and compare it to your waist.
Step 6 Measure the ‘skirt’ waist and compare it to your waist measurement – so the skirt fits you.
Step 7 Front waist darts
Step 7 Work out the difference between the actual ‘skirt’s waist measurement and your waist measurement. Use this difference (7cms in my case)and divide in half (3.5cms). This measurement will become the size of each of the 2 front darts you add to the front of your skirt. Find centre front, measure about halfway towards the side seam. This is where your dart will sit. Square a line down about 11cms. Measure either side of this line to meet your 3.5cms you need to create the dart. Draw a line to meet at the 11cms point down. This is your front dart. Recreate the same dart on the other front side panel. Repeat on the lining.
Step 8 Sew your darts
Step 8 Sew your darts. Press towards centre front.
Step 9 Front waistband finishing.
Step 9 Turn under the front waistband (front and lining) and top-stitch down, side seam to side seam. Press.

I also bought the t-shirt from Suited to Success for $5 – a Aniye By already upcycled by the designer, but a great example of what you could do at home.  Matched with my own Gucci shoes bought in Florence back in 1993.  Walking my talk!

I hope this inspires you to do some refashioning yourself at home.  Maybe you have a garment in your own wardrobe you would like to change into some thing more wearable.  Challenge yourselves this week to upcycle something and enjoy wearing it.

Enjoy your week.

Cat xo

Posted by:catcarew

Brisbane Personal Stylist + Wardrobe Curator + Fashion Up-cycler + Helping women express themselves stylishly, sustainably, without the clutter.

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