Friday, November 6, 2020

A Better Stripe: How to Upcycle a Miniskirt into a Pinny Apron

What might a modest woman do when she's given a miniskirt?

She might upcycle it. Here's the miniskirt I was given...

It looked worn and dirty, stapled together at the front, saggy and stained at the back. But the label said linen/cotton
, so I thanked the giver with delight and gave the brief little skirt and its self-fabric tie belt several rounds of attentive laundering.

Many of the stains remained, but for what I had in mind for it, they would be in good company. With a crisper fabric in hand, I deconstructed the skirt, removing the side zipper and back pockets and unpicking the side seams.

Here's how I reconstructed it, turning a miniskirt into a pinafore apron.

1. Shape sides of pinny bib. Keeping the skirt front in same position for pinny, use the skirt back for the pinny bib. Flip the skirt back topside-down so that the waist band stays at the waist and the skirt hem is now under the chin. Fold under the extra width until it's a good fit at the shoulders, and stitch these flaps down the sides at the seam edge (but not across the top).

2. Reattach pockets. Cut and stitch linings for the two pockets, then sew them to the bib.

3. Shape upper edge of pinny bib. Pin about 5 inches of 1 inch cotton tape at centre front on the reverse side to stabilize the fabric (the linen had stretched and warped where the skirt got sat on). Sew a gathering stitch down each side of the tape, securing the stitches at the bottom end. Pull up the gathering threads, arrange the gathers, and handstitch the threads to secure the gathers.

4. Prepare skirt front. Stitch any seams or hems that were opened during the deconstruction phase. (Do this also with the waist edges of the bib.)

5. Join bib to skirt. Lay the bib waist on top of the skirt waist, making sure they are centred. Pin and stitch together.

6. Prepare straps. Cut tie belt at the halfway point. At upper edge of bib, insert raw ends of belt into the outside corners of the facing created when folding in the bib sides. Pin. Stitch across upper edge of facing.

7. Add hanger loop. Using a strip of cotton tape or bias binding, attach a bar behind one strap so you can easily hang your apron on a hook.

8. Sew button holes. Use an interfacing on the underside to give the buttonhole stability. Mark location for buttons and stitch on buttons.

I like that this apron style is cool and light, no bands around my waist, no dragging at my neck. I tried fastening the straps with just the button in the centre, but the apron shifted around too much as I worked. Adding the side buttons improved stability. If the apron needs to accommodate more bulk under it (likely in winter, when I wear more layers), I could place buttons at the hips and not use the upper and centre buttons.

The flower was glued to a button, which was glued to a felt dot, which was glued to an earring clip.

Now you know how to upcycle a miniskirt into an apron. I hope you've been inspired today to look at old garments as new possibilities.

Look out for more Boutique Narelle posts detailing liberating modest fashion techniques.

Fiat lux!

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