See this lovely skirt from old shirts (how I did it)

over 50 years old fashion blogger walking in pebble stone in pumps in skirt and shirt

The making of a dance skirt

Spring closet overhaul or cleanout isn’t only a woman’s thing. At the beginning of May, my husband put his winter clothing to the back of his closets and his summer clothes to the front. He also sorted out what he barely wore last summer or didn’t wear last summer at all. Among these items where some Hawaiian-style silk shirts he used to wear for swing dancing. However, the dance place where these shirts met the dress code had closed two years ago. Unfortunately, the UAF swing-dance group didn’t find a new meeting place in town. Thus, the shirts hadn’t seen the lighting of the glitterballs ever since.

Nicole of High Latitude Style in multi-print dance outfit
L.K. Bennet patent leather wedges, DIY skirt, Pineapple Moon Hawaiian blouse (all own)

Silk is too valuable to toss

When he sorted the shirts out, I thought that the fabric is too valuable to toss. When you are a regular reader you may remember how I upcycled a silk sari, turned an old shirt into an infinity scarf and how I revived an unwanted shirt into a beautiful skirt.

Nicole showing off the hem of the new dance skirt
As above, but showing off the movement of the hem)

It may be that Alaskans look at the great things in waste or my European upbringing that I have such a hard time to throw away silk items. When I grew up as a kid in Germany, my Mom owned one silk blouse. It was her Sunday’s best. Back then real silk was very expensive. Silk was and still is pure luxury. Anyhow …

Four old shirts make one great skirt

…. here is what I did with some of the pieces. Silk cut on bias moves and flows nicely. Thus, I took an off-white, black, and two black-and-white-print shirts to “revive” them into a new dance skirt for dancing the Argentine Tango (and other Latin dances like Rhumba, ChaCha, merengue, and bachata or Salsa). A while ago I had bought a Butterick pattern (B0451) for a dance skirt, but hadn’t yet found the fabric. Sleek around the bum to show the hip movement and some flowing fabric for the hem that moves as you twirl. Thus, finally the long planned skirt got done.

Photo of the production of the upcycled garnment
Upper left: front part of the hem, top middle shirt from which the back hem was cut, right shirt used for the front upper part of the garnment.

The backs of the off-white and black piece make the back and front of the skirt. After cutting of the shoulders and sleeve section (see lower left part of the photo above), laid flat there was enough fabric to cut the flouncy hem for the back. The hem is cut like a circle with increasing width and hence on bias (see upper left in the photo above). The one for the front is a bit larger than for the back. Thus, I had to sew on an extra piece from the same shirt.

The waistband is a wide black elastic band. It’s sewn on stretched out with a zig-zag stitch. It is wide enough to wear a belt on top. However, belts may get tangled up in the clothes of your dance partner. Therefore, I stay away from accessorizing with belts when creating a dance outfit.

Styling the dance outfit

I paired the DIY skirt with my own black, off-white and coral pink Hawaiian-print silk blouse. Thus, together the pieces look like a  mixed prints dress. I went for a rouge in terracotta and lipstick in a light coral and a French inspired look of smudged smoky eyes. Going out with a red lipstick makes you look like a tourist in Alaska.
mature woman twirling in mixed print trend outfit
style blogger in black and white assymetric dress
style blogger dancing on a rock in mixed print black and white date night look

fashion blogger balancing in heels on a rock for an outfit photo
L.K. Bennet patent leather wedges, DIY skirt, Pineapple Moon Hawaiian blouse, DIY skirt (all own)

To show you how the hem moves I tried to turn around on a rock. However, the rock was a bit uneven (see photos). So it turned into a funny, tricky balancing act. To not break my ankles or fall off the rock into the stone bed, I am looking down and not at the camera.

My husband also took a couple of photos (see featured photo) when I walked back thru the stone bed. They show how great the fabric moves when just doing normal things like walking. Ok, walking on stones is an Alaskan’s normal, but not normal for others. 😉 We are used to unpaved roads.

What do you think about this upcycling project? Yay or nay? Like this outfit? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

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Top of the World Style linkup party

Welcome to the 207th Top of the World Style linkup party! Thanks for coming. The awardees are:

Tiina L

Top of the World Style Winner Tiina L in Finnish spring outfit
Tiina L, the style blogger at Elegance Revisited became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post

Tiina L of Elegance Revisited is the Top of the World Style Winner. She featured Nordic spring style. I can so relate to her outfit. She said that the Finnish word for June actually has summer in it. Well, in the Interior, May feels like summer to me. It’s not the hotest, but it has the most sunny days. And that’s what counts for me: Sunshine. How would you define summer? By heat or sunshine?

Top of the world style winner of the week

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Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom in pink cardi and black-white gingham dress
Carrie the craft and lifestyle blogger at Curly Crafty Mom became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post

Carrie became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. She blogs at Curly Crafty Mom and also hosts a party today.

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Nancy Baten

Top of the World OOTD My Fav Nancy Baten in a pruple gray print shirt dress
Nancy Baten of Nancy’s Fashion Style became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post

Nancy, who blogs at Nancy’s Fashion Style, caught my eyes with her purple on gray print shirt dress. Look at the shoes! <3

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21 thoughts on “See this lovely skirt from old shirts (how I did it)

  1. You did an amazing job, the skirt is gorgeous and most importantly, it’s absolutely unique

  2. I think it’s really cool! I have no skills in sewing except how to put a button back on. I love your skirt! It turned out really pretty!

  3. Incredibly creative! The older I get the more important it is becoming to me to not waste and to find ways to re-purpose goods that I love but no longer fit or have a small area of wear but are otherwise OK. Love this!

  4. Thank you very much for the feature! What a amazing skirt you are wearing, I love it!

  5. Nicole, that skirt is brilliant! It’s so cute and original. And the pattern mixing is done perfectly. Happy dancing–or really, wearing that skirt anywhere!

    xx Darlene

  6. That skirt is perfect for twirling in! I wish my husband would organize his clothes… I always land up doing it for him (but, it clears me up more room on my side!). Thank you so much for the feature, sweet friend!


  7. what an awesome idea. I wish I could sew, this gave me so many ideas.

  8. What a fabulous reuse of the silk, Nicole! I sew and love to upcycle. I haven’t tried something like this yet, but you’ve given me good inspiration. It’s fortunate that your husband had several black/white shirts to work with. P.S. I like your new header/format!

  9. Wow! So impressed with a) recycling of valuable and worship-worthy fabric like silk b) the imagination to put these together c) how fabulous the finished result is and d) that it’s made for a specific purpose/occasions that you will USE! I’m new to your blog and LOVE your style and ingenuity. And for reminding us that we’re never too old to show off great legs!
    Mary Katherine

  10. This is such a great idea, Nicole. It’s something my mom would totally do. I’m going to send her this post!!

  11. What a great skirt: amazing how some shirts became that! I love it!

  12. Nicole, what a fantastic skirt! I wish I were so creative and talented. And I love those shoes, too!


  13. That skirt came out really cute. Have a great week

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