Recycling a skirt into a skirt plus bags

So the title of this post is somewhat awkward, but it pretty much sums up what I have to share with you today. I’ve got another Christmas present project to “show and tell”.

I found a cream colored corduroy skirt at a thrift shop for my super long and lean niece who has a hard time finding clothes that fit her right. The only thing was, the skirt was ankle length with a long front slit (gag!). It was uber-dowdy. But the material was nice, and the top of it looked fine, so I brought it home and got to work. I hacked off the bottom of the skirt and hemmed it by rolling the bottom edge over twice, pressing, and them sewing. I tried to mimic the same size hem that had been on the original skirt. I left the small 2-3 inch slit in the front rather than sew it up, so that she could decide whether or not she wanted it sewn up or not.

After the skirt was altered, I was left with a strip of nice cream colored corduroy fabric. I didn’t want that pretty material to go to waste, so I sewed it up into 2 quick gift bags. For the handles, I used parts of a broken zipper. I had just replaced a broken zipper in an otherwise perfect Eddie Bauer fleece jacket for my nephew’s gift (who is attending college in a cold climate). The broken zipper was still sitting in my sewing room, so it became the handles for the bags. The gift bags got filled with things like local honey, local jam, and local fair trade organic coffee bought with store credit earned from bartering my garden produce. I sent it all off to my sister and her family with a note explaining it all.

Here’s a picture (sorry it’s somewhat dark) of the skirt and gift bags with zipper handles:

I really enjoyed making and giving a “no waste” gift like this. I realize that many people would be disappointed, or even offended, by such a gift. My sister and her family are not those type of people. I have given them many recycled and homemade gifts before. They like used, secondhand, thrifted, and homemade things. Those are the types of gifts they usually give to others as well.

I try to give at least a few homemade gifts to friends and family every year. I know that its not realistic or practical to give everything homemade every year to everyone, but I do what I can. Did you give any homemade or secondhand gifts this year? Did you receive any?


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