Sewing skills empower you with an ability to dictate your wallet and your wardrobe.
If you are a beginner with basic sewing skills, you will realise that you can create your own fashion accessories at very low cost.
You may have clothes you no longer wear and want to give away. I regularly give away clothes that are in good condition and need no repairs. But there may be pieces with minor damage and you just don’t feel right about donating something you yourself wouldn’t like handed down, neither can you throw them away. That’s when you up-cycle your clothes.
A few weeks ago I decided to purge myself of junk from my wardrobe because there was simply no space. It was a very satisfying experience. What I found were a couple of pretty old kurtas, a skirt I never ever wore ever and a few old dupattas. I turned all of them into scarves, and with very little wastage!!! I even found an Anarkali salwar kameez which i turned into a skirt.( I will share the tutorial in my subsequent blogs) I really loved the outcome!
So this is how i turned a satin kurta into a scarf. I hated to throw this away because I like the print so much though i didn’t fit in it anymore.
So here’s what you can do. This is a kurta 36 inches long. (If your kurta is shorter, it’s ok, I’m going to show you ways to to lengthen it). Fold the Kurta in half and trim along the seamline.
Spread out the kurta so that the front and the back are separated. Cut horizontally, as close to the neckline as possible.
Do the same for back although you may arrive at a longer length if your kurta has a collar like mine does.
Lay both the vertically folded pieces on top of each other and trim the sides to get a perfect rectangle.
Now get equal lengths of fabric, do not discard the excess from the back part. You can see that I just added it to the ends with a lacy fabric in between(The lace fabric was part of my scrap box). Don’t let anything limit your creativity.
The next step is to flat fell seam each of the pieces. if you find that your fabric is unruly baste it by hand first or pin them together. To create this seam, lay the pieces right sides facing together. The lace on the top is placed at about 1/4th inch away from the satin. Sew with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Iron the seam so your fabric behaves. Spread the fabrics out and fold the allowance over the lace. Pin to secure the fold. Remove the pins as you sew every inch. Iron once you’re done.
Once you get the pieces joined, trim the frayed threads and check for uniformity of width. just double fold to 1/8th inch and seam the edges.
Alternatively you can also hem the edges by hand. Hand hemmed scarves look even neater but I had so many scarves to finish that I found machine sewing less time consuming.
The effort is so worth the reward. I loved reusing my sister’s gift and now I can treasure it longer. I’m sure you have clothes in your wardrobe you just can’t trash. Just re-invent them into a fashion accessory and you’ll discover how proud you will feel of yourself!! This kurta hung over in my brain for two days before I decided what I wanted to do with it. So don’t be in a hurry, neither let it sit in your scrap box forever.
I will post pictures of at least four of my new handmade scarves next week with tips on finishing. Do tell me if you found my up-cycling idea inspiring at all. If you have better ideas, please do share.