Upcycling, so now I know!

“Upcycling is the art of reusing unwanted items by converting them into something better.”

SOooo,  that’s what I was doing when I made this evening dress from a second-hand silk chiffon sari I bought at a market for 30£ a few years ago!

Though I wouldn’t say ‘better’ I’d say ‘something else’. It’s all relative, the better-ness or not of things isn’t it.

When I bought the sari I had no immediate plans for it, it was just a lovely fabric and appealed to the magpie in me …. I love a bit of sparkle n’ shine.

However the bias dress possibilities were immediately apparent once I began wafting it around and draping it against myself and this dress was made in a day. Careful cutting out to get the motifs well placed on my pattern took the most time and a couple of extra motifs needed to be cut out and hand appliqued in place to fill gaps as well as the edging which I cut off and hand sewed on the seam below the bust.

The bodice is on the straight grain and the two piece skirt on the bias with a side zip up to the armhole. I machine pin-hemmed the neckline and armholes and that was it.  A very simple make as the wonderful fabric does all the work. And enough left to make a large stole.

While looking at it the other day to do this photo I realised that the chiffon around the neck and shoulders is now so fragile it’s finally coming apart. So some backing with flesh colour chiffon or complete replacing with new black is in order but not very high on my list at the mo.

I made a couple for friends after this one out of sequined thin cotton saris as nylon ones just won’t hang well and the dealer had no more silk chiffon ones. Very pretty as well but more ‘bare foot & festival’ in feeling whereas this one actually passed perfectly as a 1930’s evening gown when all dressed up with the right hair and accessories. The local sari dealer is unfortunately gone now and I’m not happy to buy  from the internet as I like to actually feel the weight of fabrics and see how they hang before I get my wallet out. I know if I ever make it to India what my suitcase will be stuffed with when I come home.

The little bag in my photo is from Accessorize a couple of years back. A good place to find vintage style accessories… especially bags.

some of the bags I like from the current Accessorize collection and the decade I imagine they’d work with style-wise.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pierre
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 03:00:25

    pure genius !

    Reply

  2. jadestar003
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 11:17:18

    Wow! I love your ‘upcycled’ dress. It’s absolutely fabulous. I can’t believe it only took you a day. I’ve thought about using sari fabric to make something, but I’ve never had such a luxurious fabric to inspire me. Well done you!

    Reply

  3. Tracey
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 17:01:38

    Very nice,

    Reply

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