Hot! The “Easy Way Out” Skirt

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The Facts

Fabric: Cotton round tablecloth from Treasure Island Flea Market – $15
Pattern: None
Notions: Elastic, fabric dye – $4.50
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: November 2011
Wear again? Yes! 

Total Cost: ~$19.50

First, a disclaimer: I didn't make the top. I've had it in my closet for years and (gasp) it's not vintage. It's from Forever 21. I believe this is the first non-Mena made item that has ever appeared as part of a weekly creation. I just didn't have a top in me this week and I totally forgive myself for this. 

Considering how I pride myself on my thriftiness, it's kind of crazy that one of my most expensive creations from this year is this simple cotton skirt. Perhaps I would have been a bit more frugal if I wasn't down to the wire with this week's challenge. It wasn't until this morning — when I visited the Treasure Island Flea Market and bought this tablecloth – that I had the fabric for the skirt. My other two garments for this upcycling challenge were a  bust: the first was an empire waisted 1960s dress made out of curtains that was just way to unflattering for my figure; the second was a circle skirt from a banquet table cloth that just was too synthetic-looking. After these failures, I knew that I had to keep it simple.

I arrived at the flea market early this morning with one goal: find a round table cloth. There weren't a lot of options so when I found a white tablecloth with a darling eyelet/lace/cutout edge, I knew that I was going to buy the thing regardless of the cost. 

Yes, this skirt started out as a white tablecloth. Because I can never just keep things simple, I decided to dye the thing yellow. While I'm happy with the final color, it's a bit spotty in places where the dye didn't absorb completely. I blame myself since I kept the skirt in the dye bath for about a minute rather than the half hour the instructions called for. Since I hadn't diluted the color enough my test pieces were orange instead of yellow. Instead of just adding more water, I reduced the time. In the future, I'll remember to keep the color lighter and keep the fabric for the recommended time. You live and learn. But really, it's pretty subtle and you wouldn't notice the inconsistencies unless I pointed them out.

Like I just did. 

As far as keeping it simple, I did take the easy way out when it came to sewing the skirt (what a suprise!). I couldn't find a zipper in my stash that was the right color and length so I decided to give the skirt an elastic waistband. You can't see the waistband in the pictures since I'm wearing the brown belt.  

"Belt Hacks." That's going to be my autobiography's title.

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See the necklace I'm wearing? It's actually a charm bracelet I bought on Etsy this week for $12. I have the most difficult time finding necklaces I like but have no problem finding bracelets. The solution? I attach a gold chain to the bracelet to extend it. Voila! Instant charm necklace!

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. I would have never known that was a tablecloth! Well done :)

  2. I love it! Very cool

  3. I love this skirt so much, what a great ‘re-fashion’!!!

  4. This is one of my favourite of your outfits ever! You look great and that sunshine yellow really suits you.

  5. The top is awesome and looks vintage. But the skirt, simply stunning. Well done.

  6. amazing skirt.. sometimes simple things are the best solutions.. and i love the color

  7. Amazing! I am in love with the skirt and you couldn’t have picked a better shirt for it, store bought or not. Thank you for the tip on your necklace too. I love charm bracelets, but don’t wear them because they are too much for my wrists.

  8. I love this! Great idea for a skirt. And I’m fascinated by the bracelet/necklace. I will have to try this because I’m in the same boat – I find tons of bracelets I love but can’t find necklaces. Great inspirations!

  9. I don’t know how you can churn out things so quickly! Well done, I love the lace edging and the color is gorgeous.

  10. I love the entire ensemble. Beautiful!

  11. Gorgeous! Someone game me a similar tablecloth a while back and it has sat in the drawer ever since. Now you’ve got me scheming…and I love the necklace idea, too. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Very flattering outfit!

  13. The skirt is amazing and the top is just the thing for it, but what I really love is the necklace! Thank you for such a great and quirky idea for recycling jewellery.

  14. Mena, this has to be one of my most favourite things you’ve made this year! The colour is gorgeous!! The twirl factor is perfect and the beautiful lace/cutout detail on the hem is just wonderful!
    Well done, Mena! :)

  15. wow, gorgeous skirt Mena! what a fantastic idea–a tablecloth, and no hemming required!

  16. you and your awesome outfits. you look like you just stepped out of an anthropologie catalog.

  17. The bottom of that skirt is gorgeous!

  18. Mena, you look so glamorous! I was watching Poirot: An Appointment with Death last night (like you do) and you look like you just stepped out of British controlled Syria. In a good way. My quest for a circular tablecloth shall now commence.

  19. Mena, this dyed tablecloth turned skirt is beautiful. I love the blouse with it too.. Just a perfect outfit. Happy sewing.

  20. so bright and sunny – just don’t let anyone make you the centrepiece at the picnic. The elastic was a great idea.

  21. That first pic made me so happy! Brilliant!

  22. I adore the color combo of the yellow and purple – it’s hard to believe that was once a tablecloth!

  23. What a fab tablecloth skirt, so cheery and bright.

  24. This skirt is PERFECT. What a great find and it looks absolutely fabulous with the sweater blouse!