Upcycling old silk

As an older babe, I have some history. I also have a bit of baggage, and amongst that baggage there are a few clothes that I’ve carted from place to place for over thirty years.

In 1979 I was a gauche, naive, even ignorant kid from southern Ontario, quite suddenly transported to the foreign enclaves of Beijing, where I was expected to be be matron of a home, representative of my country, frequenter of diplomatic and media dinners and fetes. I had a week in Hong Kong to find a dress. Unfortunately I had no experience at all with fancy dress, so when some other ex-pats suggested having one made, I walked into the nearest dress-makers, chose a lovely silk fabric and a pattern and walked out. I wore the resulting dress weekend after weekend for a year. When I left China, I put it in a trunk. Every few years I looked at it. I returned to the life of a student, which didn’t offer any opportunities at all for such formal wear. Eventually I ripped out the lining, which had become stained. Then I separated the gathered skirt from the bodice. But I still couldn’t think of anything to do with it that would allow me to wear the fabric.

Last week, I had an oddly delayed reaction to the knitting I took up last year. Knitters have been making “infinity” scarves lately. If you don’t know, they’re just a circular scarf, maybe with one twist.

So here’s what I did with the skirt. I simply hemmed the edge that had been gathered and joined to the bodice and threw it over my head.

skirt scarf

I love it. It transforms a simple tshirt into an outfit. I’m wondering how many thrift store skirts and dresses could be turned into infinity scarves. It could be done by people with almost no sewing skills. You really need to be better with a seam ripper than with a needle. That’s the kind of “upcycling” I like 🙂

 

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