Huge skirt refashion…in progress

Hello everyone.

I think I’ve left you hanging long enough. It’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag (so to speak), and fill you in on how my refashion is going.

By this time I was hoping to have had it completely finished, but it hasn’t exactly gone as I’ve expected. :/

Let me explain…

I started out with this incredibly large, wrap around skirt…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama


I mean look at this thing…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama


I’m guessing I could fit my whole family in there!

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Can you believe they actually posed like this for me?

Because this skirt was so huge, I was able to get quite a bit of material from it.
The problem was, I didn’t know what to refashion it into.
I’m not a huge fan of wearing orange and green together, and the fabric was really scratchy and uncomfortable on the inside.

Since it sorta reminded me of retro carpet, I decided to refashion it into a rag rug. Quite fitting ‘eh?

To start, I removed the elastic and velcro from the skirt.

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Look at all that fabric!

Then I cut a whole bunch of strips.
This part was quite easy since the material had evenly spaced stripes…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Look at all those strips!

Cutting up the fabric took me several hours, mostly because I was also watching Dancing With the Stars with my daughter. It’s hard to see the tv and watch what you’re doing at the same time.

Because this part took me so long, I decided to leave the next step for the following night.

After getting a good night’s sleep, and getting through the day, I continued on with the refashion by braiding the strips together, 3 at a time…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

These clips work great!

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Ooh, pretty braid!

Because the strips were so long, it was easy for the ends to get all tangled up, so I scrunched up each end into a ball like this…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

balled up bundles

This process was very time consuming, so it took me another whole night to finish braiding up all of those strips.

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

This is just one braid consisting of 3 strips!

After all of the strips were braided, I ran each of the ends through the sewing machine to keep it from coming undone.

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Stitch it in place!

Once all of my braids were all sewn, I went to sleep… zzzzzzzz…
Then the following night, I decided to finish up the refashion by hand stitching the braids together into a rag rug.
I grabbed the first braid, and kind of folded and twisted it together, and then hand-stitched it in place…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Like this!

Then I continued stitching and twisting and stitching and twisting… making sure to stitch very close together so there were no gaps or holes in my new rug…

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Looking good!

As it started to get bigger, I was getting more and more excited about how it was turning out.
But then, it started acting up.
I realized that the more I stitched, the more it was starting to resemble a bowl (or hat) rather than the rug I was expecting.

Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama


Huge skirt refashion | Diary of a MadMama

Really didn’t need another hat!

So after hours (seriously), of hand stitching (and only 3 braids in), I decided to call it quits for a while and figure out how to best remedy this situation.

The following day my family went away for the weekend and I didn’t want to leave you guys in the dark any longer, so rather than wait until this refashion is finished, I decided to go ahead and show you my progress (or lack thereof). :/

I’m not sure if I would be better off unstitching to the point where it’s flat and then try again, or go for more of a rectangular shape.

What are your thoughts? How should I move forward with this refashion?🙂


P.S. I had a great day at Mel Trotter (my local thrift store), during their 49-cent day! I not only found 2 huge bags worth of awesome duds (for 49-cents each), I was also able to use a $10.00 coupon (They have punch cards!). So I got 2 garbage-bag sized bags of clothes for a total of $5.00! 30 items altogether! Some even name-brand! Sorry for the bragging, but I just couldn’t resist!
Also, I’ve been super jealous of all of my fellow refashionista bloggers out there and their adorable dress refashions. I hadn’t been able to find any 49-cent dresses in a long time, until today that is! So you can look forward to some dress refashions in the very near future! 🙂 I’m so excited!


41 thoughts on “Huge skirt refashion…in progress

  1. Sometimes it’s best to know when to step back for a bit. I have no idea what to do with your skirt rug hat, but I know your crazy butt will figure something out! I just love your projects! I’ve had a few craft fails lately…I’m rooting for ya! Don’t let the skirt win!

    • Thanks Amy. The last night I worked on it, I was starting to come down with a cold, we were leaving the next day (and I still hadn’t packed anything), and our town (and surrounding towns) were all under massive flooding! So it’s been very hectic. I thought it best to take a break too! 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comments! 🙂

  2. Wow, that looks like a huge project! I’ve not tried anything like this but would unstitching (yikes, i know) and then using a hot glue gun keep it together before stitching help?

  3. I think that time is sometimes a refashioners best friend. Its looking great so don’t give up! Maybe you could stabilize the back by attaching it to some denim? Enjoy your holiday!!

  4. Love that pic of your whole family in the world’s ugliest skirt! Lol. I like the idea of a bowl. I know there is this spray on stuff you can get to make the fabric very stiff afterwards so that you can actually use it as a bowl. For ornaments or eggs at easter or even your mail.

    • I can’t believe I got them to actually pose for me! They’re pretty cool like that! 😉
      As far as the bowl is concerned, since I have so many braids left, rather than take out what I’ve already done, I might start over with the other braids to do the rug, and use what I’ve already done for a bowl. I like that idea. I don’t know if I’ll even need the spray stuff, because it’s pretty stiff on its own! Thanks for the comments! 🙂

  5. It’s the twist / angle / flatness of the braid and how firm the plait is causing your bowl shape – if that makes sense!

    You are coiling your plaits flat, and if they are too tightly braided, the outer side of the plait will not stretch to go to round, so will lift up and cause the bowl shape. It is similar to the clipping , notching and grading you do on a shirt collar (getting a straight collar to fit on a round neckline) if you think about it.

    Solutions – unpick stitching and coil plaits in a looser fashion, construct using a large table / floor for constant support, stitch carefully and check often to avoid bowl issues. OR coil with the plait standing omits side – no twist / turn issues like this though it will lead to a very thick rug. OR take it all apart including the plaits and do one of those hooked rag rugs, where the strips are woven through an open weave hessian or similar.


    Sarah (AKA Sew Drastic!)

    • Thank you so much. You are absolutely right! I was stitching way too tight and doing so on my lap. Not smart. I was watching a movie with the family at the same time too, so next time I’ll have to give it my undivided attention! Ha! Thanks so much for taking the time to give me your excellent advice! It is very much appreciated! 🙂

  6. That skirt is hilarious! You could turn it into a series of smaller baskets, or if you’re still set on the rag rug (which I definitely think is possible) maybe try anchoring it to heavy canvas cut in the shape of what you’re going for?

  7. I like where you are going with it (the rug – not the hat)…hehehe. It does look time consuming though…yikes! At least you got to watch DWTS. Go Zendaya!!

  8. I really enjoy your blog so I am nominating you for the Liebster Award. You do not have to participate but I love the idea of sparking creativity in someone and you have certainly caused me to think in new ways. Thank you!

  9. Love that you can see the funny side when things don’t go as planned. I would be so frustrated I’d put it aside. Especially when you have the lure of all those new items you “bagged” at the thrift store. When you’re ready to get back to it I would try coiling looser and working flat. I find knitting and crocheting are the most TV compatible crafts. I’ll stay tuned to see what you do!

    • Thanks for your sweet comments! 🙂 You just have to be able to make fun of yourself right? 😉 I thought about getting a huge crochet hook and crocheting it instead of braiding, but I didn’t already have the right size crochet hook, and I didn’t want to make the trip to the store. Retrospectively, if I had just gone to the darn store, it would be done already! Oh well.

  10. I faced this same problem one time and my sister (who was sort of tutoring me in these arts at the time) told me that I did not need to pull the braid so tightly around. Stretching the braid while stitching it in makes it come back tight and creates the dome shape. Hope this helps!

  11. That picture of your family inside the skirt is fantastic! I think that should be your official family portrait f the year 😀 Send it out on holiday cards and everything!
    Don;t let the skit get the better of you! I know you will figure it out. You might just find if you wash it or iron it then it might tighten back into your intended shape. Just an idea, I don’t know if it will work.

    • It’s still in progress! I got a bit sidetracked, but I promise I’ll update when I finish it! I’m competing in a refashion challenge on Chic Envelopements (another awesome WordPress blog). That’s going to keep me pretty busy for the rest of this month, but it’s on my agenda to finish as soon as I have a moment! I know where I went wrong with it, so now I just have to get it done! 🙂

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