There was twirling. Much twirling. Photo courtesy of my friend Olivia; background courtesy of southern Indiana and the Ohio River.

There was twirling. Much twirling. Photo courtesy of my friend Olivia; background courtesy of southern Indiana and the Ohio River.

Back in college, I loved dressing like a cross between a gypsy ragamuffin, Victorian heroine, and fairy princess all put together.

Hence why I loved this skirt.

It was a tiered composite of patterned cotton, mostly yellow and had greys and browns and pinks and reds and white all put together in a sort of tiered peasant style.  It was gloriously simple; I could just pull it on with the elastic over my hips like a little girl–and run around!  I might have done that often. See this photographic evidence from 2009….

But what is a young lady to do when she not only leaves behind her early–heck, even her mid-twenties (when such frippery is appropriate) and then destroys that much-needed elastic waistband after so many years of playful wear?

Toss it out and buy something more adult and functional? Not if she’s cash-strapped and has an emotional attachment to the skirt.

No…Ruth, being Ruth, harvests and refashions.

Now, I’m no where near a refashionista, and certainly not the Refashionista (go ahead, click that link and visit her site!).  But I do have some skills with a needle and thread.

With a Sunday with some downtime and some Netflix, I got working. And since it turned out okay, for your benefit, I made a little tutorial.



STEP 1. Cut around the area of the skirt you want to keep, keeping the material in its original, complete skirt-circle. Make sure the diameter of this skirt-circle is sufficient to allow for wrapping around your neck; if it isn’t, you may need to “break” the circle, and cut several long strips instead. Keep any existing skirt lining as well, if possible. Toss the unwanted fabric.

Step 1

Choppity chop! I wanted to keep the grey parts and the patterned calico with red flowers; luckily, they were already sewn together in the original skirt.















STEP 2: If one strip of the salvaged patterned fabric is not contiguous with the other, you’ll need to add another step here to stitch the two strips together, stitching in a narrow seam with the patterns sides facing each other. Fold the two patterned pieces of fabric at the tier of the skirt where the different fabric patterns now meet at a seam, tucking the lining or other type of inner-facing inside to add extra volume to the scarf.   Gather the edges of the fabric together, forming a tube by pinching the raw edges towards the inside to make a seam.


Pinch those raw edges! See the lining inside, sort of like "stuffing" to make it fluffy?









Step 3.  The tricky part is next. Close the “tube” by pinning it shut, gathering the fabric as needed to ensure that the circular shape is retained; occassionally pick up the lining or innerfacing as you do this so that the “stuffing” doesn’t bunch up inside in weird places.


I cheated a little and just gathered as I stitched... but ideally, your gathers/pins should look a bit like this.

I cheated a little and just gathered as I stitched… but ideally, your gathers/pins should look a bit like this.












STEP 4: Sew down your gathers, keeping your raw edges inside. If you want to be clever, cheat your gathers by using a gather stitch, as I do here. How do you do a gather stitch? Imagine you’re drawing a dotted line with your needle, stitching through the looser piece of fabric horizontally, with stitches about 1/4″ apart from each other. Once you’ve done that for a few inches, pull your thread tight, and watch your fabric bunch and gather neatly. Go back over the gathered bit and stitch down the gathers so they lie a little flatter and tighter against each other and the other piece of patterned fabric.


Step 4 gather1









STEP 5:  Repeat Step 4 all the way around, adjusting as you go to keep that nice circle!


Step 4 gather

Keep it goin’.











Done?  Tie off the thread and make a fabulous outfit that’s ready for late-summer, early fall!  Twist it one way to reveal the pattern you prefer, or keep twisting to show both patterns at once!

Tada! Le Scarf! Pair it with fun.

Tada! Le Scarf! Pair it with fun.


Cost = $0.00.

Rafashion satisfaction? Priceless.


Tune in next Thursday for some more thrifty fun!  There might be another posting on a different topic next week as well — if a wild hair attacks me in the interim.