Yellow and Black

I got this very large, very bright stretchy knit top from the South Woodford branch of Cancer Research for £5. It’s marked XL and as you can see it’s more than a little big on me. When I bought this the Barbara Windsor lookalike behind the counter enquired very suspiciously whether I had tried this on. I told her it wasn’t for me. The flowers were on their own level of awesome but unfortunately one cannot wear such prints so close to one’s face without looking like one got dressed in the dark. This top was going to have to morph into a summer skirt.

First thing to do was to cut off the yoke from the front and twist design from the back leaving a tube of material with wonky edges!

Then very quickly pinned the sides in to make a smaller tube, measuring roughly against my body. I didn’t bother trimming at this stage since I planned to use the overlocker on this project. This machine trims the edge with a very sharp knife before producing a strong seam which stretches and also prevents the material from unravelling.

Here’s a close up:

Here’s the smaller tube with the off-cuts. I cut two long rectangles from the off-cuts to make a waistband out of. These were overlocked together along the short edges to make a circle, folded in half lengthways and overlocked right sides together with the top of the skirt.

And…. finito! This is a really basic skirt with no fastenings (zips etc) made without a pattern, simply using a body measurement to make a tube slightly tapered towards the waist and attaching a waistband. I kept the original hem from the top as you can see in the photo below. This is because I wanted to keep the RTW finish on the hem which is tricky to achieve at home. It could be done with a double needle and some yellow thread, but the missing ingredient is practice on my part. Maybe next time. Anyway I digress…. The skirt is just about long enough however, as an accomplished sewist might say, there is a little too much ‘negative ease’. As my friends might say, it is too tight around the bum.

The perfect outfit for summer in the city!



  1. marilyn

    hi, i absolutely love your blog and the wonderful things you refashion!!
    i’m new to refashioning and was just wondering how you knew the measurements to cut the skirt-it fits so well! did you use a pattern?
    thanks for all of your posts!

    • charityshopchic

      I used a quick body measurement – that is, I measured around the widest part of my hips and used that as the circumference of the tube for the main part of the skirt. Or, divide it by 2 to get the width of the skirt. I also ended up tapering it a little at top and bottom (like 1cm on each side). I would suggest cutting the whole thing a few centimetres bigger than you actually need, at first, and then trying it on and marking the right size before resewing. Remember, you can always cut some off, but it’s much harder to sew some back on if you cut it too small! Good luck!

Leave a Reply to charityshopchic Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s