Hot! The “Not-the-90s-Anymore Bandana” Top

The Facts
Fabric: old skirt Pattern: Simplicity 3835 (Built by Wendy)
Year: 2007
Notions: 1/4″ elastic from stash
Time to complete: 3 hours, mostly because I had to stop and make bias tape for the seam finishing
First worn: for photos
Wear again: sure
Total cost: $0

When I found this Eddie Bauer skirt in my parents’ attic on my last visit, I was kind of horrified.  I vaguely remember wearing it a lot at some point in the early nineties.  To state the obvious, which I still find shocking, that’s twenty freaking years ago!  The red bandana print still appeals to me, though, and there’s a lot of fabric there.  I was thinking of a basic, not-a-t-shirt top, either Sorbetto (with short sleeves) or this Built by Wendy pattern, both of which I’ve made before.  I’m thankful I could go with an easy, reliable pattern this week, since the past couple of weeks have been eventful sewing-wise.  Which is great, but sometimes you just need to coast, you know?

I cut out the pattern so that I wouldn’t have to do any hemming– bonus!  I left out the elastic at the sleeve openings since the hems were already there; there’s not ton of ease, and perhaps my upper arms are not so dainty (according to Colette Patterns, which I discovered in last week’s challenge), so that worked fine.  This was such a quick sew, even for me, that I thought I’d try bias bound seams.  They turned out less than perfectly, so I’m glad I practiced on this casual top that I’ll probably mostly wear around the house and in the summer when it’s stinking hot.  Which it is not right now, not by a long shot.



Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


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  1. I love your refashion, that’s a really cute top. :) Have you ever heard of using a binding foot? It’s a little piece of metal that greatly speeds up binding raw edges cleanly and neatly. They’re amazing and worth their weight in gold…

    • Thanks! I called to order a binding foot, which is an “attachment” for my machine and (I think) requires an additional foot as well, and the attachment only is about $275! Truly, worth its weight in gold. That will have to wait, but it’s on my list.

  2. how pretty – and how satisfying to have remade the skirt into something you will wear

  3. Great idea to make the skirt into something more wearable now.

  4. I love it and it looks like all the button fastenings were ready made too! How great is that!

  5. great refashion of a well-loved piece. Cute-as-a-button top too.

  6. Love the top and great reuse of fabric. You’ve sparked an idea for my next project. Thanks.

  7. Cute! I love it when you can re-use old garments and make something super cute out of them.

  8. LOVE IT! I love this pattern and your fabric is perfect for the shirt. A+ upcycle!!

  9. cute! i really like that pattern and i like how you utilized the bottom edge print for the sleeves, too.

  10. I’m jealous that you can not only find fashion artifacts from the 90’s, but that what you find can be made modern. My fashion sense back then was handicapped…I kept none of it nor would I want to see it again. Great work on the refashion.

    • Oh my fashion sense was absolutely handicapped then and I have the photos to prove it. My parents’ attic is a scary, and therefore interesting, place. I’ll have to raid it again.

  11. Great refashion! That’s a really cute top. I remember those skirts! In fact… I made one… in home ec. (and I wore it with a white crop top, brown boots and socks. lol)That could not have been 20 years ago! seriously. ugh. When’d I get so old.

    • Ugh, crop tops! What were we thinking? Although when I see teens/twenties wearing these styles (and 80s) I often think they look cute. Maybe you just have to be young (and clueless?) to pull it off.

  12. I’m kind of in love with the fabulous border on the sleeves and hem – it looks fabulous, and definitely perfect for summer! I also really like red on you, and this is a fabulous refashion!

  13. Many thanks, ladies! Refashioning is so satisfying. Can’t wait to see what you all do for the upcoming theme. . .

  14. A fab refashion, Love love the fabric you look smashing.

  15. You have to wear this again! A summer staple, IMO. Such a great improvement over the bandana skirt. I have this 70s wrap skirt and this reminds me of it (though I kinda like wearing it as-is, I do get looks). And projects to coast through? Definitely necessary!