Photography by Stephanie Olani Reyes
Confession, I may have cheated. And by “may have” I mean I totally did. I thought I would be able to go a few more weeks without giving in like a closet shopaholic. I am going to come clean. I picked out my item to upcycle this week. Please don’t hate me. I was dying when I saw this great tweed suit jacket. Since it didn’t come in a jacket/pant set it was only $4.50! P.S. Goodwill had some great name brand suits at my location, check out your local one if you know someone who is in need of a new one for cheap at only $6.50 each! Initially I had no idea what I wanted to do with the jacket, I just loved the fabric. The lining and structure of the jacket also limited my options on what I could do with it.
After pondering over it for a few days, it came to me…a skirt. It was easy, I didn’t have to alter the garment too much and not to mention it would be absolutely amazing. Keep in mind, I have very little sewing experience. I took one class teaching me the basics and I sew letters for my sorority but that is as far as my knowledge goes. So I had to look outward for help. One of my friends who is a costume design major helped me map out a plan. I would wrap the jacket around myself (using the bottoms of the jacket for the skirt), determine where I wanted the hemline at the waist to be and use pins as my marker to then go in and sew a straight line. It would keep the lining in place so I don’t have to worry about it later. After sewing the straight line, I trimmed off the rest of the jacket. I cut about 1 inch from where I sewed to help support the waistband. I cut another strip of fabric from the jacket remnants right above where I had cut off the soon-to-be skirt, that way I knew it would be long enough to use on the waistband. With the skirt tweed side up and my 2 inch strip tweed side down, sew your waistband to your skirt right along the first line of stitches you made. Then I grabbed my iron. After sewing the waist, I flipped the piece over so I could see the two pieces of tweed together and ironed them flat. Wrap the unsewn end of the waistband around to the inside of the skirt and sew, again on that same line of stitches you initially made. I took the pockets and buttons off, just for my own preference.
The hard part was determining where I wanted the skirt to hit. I decided I wanted a crooked overlay of the skirt so it was difficult to get it just right. It ended up being a series of trial and error. I used two snaps on the waistband and a hook and eye to hold the overlay flap in place.
Top: American Eagle Outfitters, similar here
Sweatshirt: Urban Outfitters, Courtesy of my wonderful mentors at American Eagle
Skirt: Upcycled from Goodwill
Shoes: JCPenney, similar here
Necklace: White House Black Market, similar here