Earth Day Upcycle by Ellen featuring Pink Poodle Bows

We're celebrating Earth Day this week and featuring some fun patterns to use upcycled fabric. Upcycling is a great way to sew for your family without breaking the bank! Those of us who sew a lot know it can be an expensive hobby, so today Ellen is going to show you how she made this gorgeous maxi using the Olivia pattern from Pink Poodle Bows and a thrift store skirt.

From thisto this

In celebration of Earth Day I decided to upcycle a women's skirt into a sweet dress for my daughter.  What a great way to make something beautiful by reusing what one no longer needs!  And it was fun and easy too.
I started with this 1X women's ruffle skirt that I bought for $1 YEARS ago at a thrift store.  I bought it because I loved the beautiful blue color for my daughter with her beautiful blue eyes.  I knew it would someday become a dress for my girl, but it has sat in my recycle basket for YEARS. 
When we decided to do this Earth Day feature, I was able to ask for any pattern I wanted and I knew I wanted to make a knot dress.  After searching Etsy, I fell in love with the Olivia Dress by Pink Poodle Bows.  It's a reverse knot dress (size 6 month-11/12) and so darling.  Thankfully Alisha said yes and I was off to cut up the skirt.
The huge skirt had the same color lining so I was able to use the lining for the bodice pieces.  I did have to use two pieces for the straps since it wasn't long enough but you can't see it.

I love how the straps go through two buttonholes in the back and tie in a bow.  It's so pretty!  I crisscrossed the straps here but they can also go straight down.
For some other interest I added matching batik fabric from my stash that I also got from a thrift store YEARS ago.  I think it's a perfect match for a bohemian feel.  And the fact I didn't have to make all those ruffles and all that lace detail is the BEST!
 I followed the pattern exactly except for the skirt portion.  Since I was upcycling, I just held up the skirt to my daughter after the bodice was done and figured out the length.  I wanted it to be a maxi (unlike the pattern directions) so I cut it to be long.  I used the existing hem of the skirt, gathered the top with a basting stitch.  It was easy to attach to the finished bodice.  I also added top stitching around the skirt/bodice.
This was a quick, easy sew and directions were great.  I had no problems at all and didn't have to buy anything for this dress!
You can find amazing fabrics in clothing at thrift stores, or even in your closet with something you no longer wear.  Yard sales in the summer are also fun!  Fabric can be so expensive and you can find sheets, dresses, skirts... in lots of fun fabrics with existing hems to save time (A BONUS).

I still have tons more skirts/dresses just waiting to be upcycled and I am determined to get a few more done in the next month.  I'm feeling inspired!
And when I was done I made a little hair clip with the scraps.  Saving a little fabric from the landfill!  All I needed were two pipe cleaners, glue gun, hair clip, fabric scraps and a covered button kit (all of which I had on hand already!).
I hope you feel inspired to think outside the box and venture into some upcycling with patterns.  It's great for the Earth and it's fun and you know you have a UNIQUE piece at the end.  I loved this pattern and can't wait to check out more of Alisha's patterns.  She has a great blog with some free patterns and a Facebook page also.
You can find me on my blog and see what I've been up to.  I sell bandana skirt sets for little cowgirls in my shop.  Happy Earth Day!!!!