E is for Embellish!

PicMonkey Collage denim art skirt

Why is a ready-to-wear denim maxi skirt being featured on a sewing blog post?

Because my 5th post for Sew All 26 160  is E for Embellish!

 I purchased this skirt for a few dollars at a thrift store. It fit well, but l found it kind of boring. I tend to wear a lot of solid colored separates and since I’m no whiz at accessorizing, my “look” can be pretty dull. So I decided to try to add some pizzazz to this plain denim skirt.

I’ve long been intrigued by fabric collage and I thought this skirt would make a great “canvas” to try out this technique. I searched through my scrap stash for my main inspiration piece and found a badly stained vintage tablecloth. I decided since this tablecloth had resisted all my attempts to clean and rescue it, I would cut it apart so the unstained sections could be utilized. (God forbid I should throw it away! Yup, told you I was thrifty).

I put the skirt on my duct tape dummy and pinned the cut out flowers to it. Hmmm, something was wrong, it looked like someone pinned some random old tablecloth flowers to a used denim skirt. Yeah, I would definitely look like a crazy person in it. People might start asking me how many cats I have at home. (It’s only 2, really)! I needed to make some changes to my design.

 Upon reflection I decided that in nature, flowers don’t just grow like soldiers, all standing straight up in a row. That was part of the reason the collage looked so odd. So I figured I’d just go for it! The skirt looked strange with just a few flowers so maybe I needed layers of applique, maybe the flowers needed grass behind them, maybe more is better! Why not add a LOT!

It was so much fun digging through all my scraps to find fabrics that coordinated (or contrasted) with the main inspiration flowers. I found some unused green bathing suit cover-up mesh. Another of my, “wow it’s so cheap, I’ll buy it” purchases that once I got home became an “oh my gosh, what was I thinking when I bought this” mistake. Making grass out of an error in judgment – score! I used my “too small for any good use” scraps and “mistake” purchases for the appliques on this skirt, which made me feel good (for a change) about being a fabric hoarder collector. I also used tons of the stitches on my sewing machine that I’d never used before, and I had a great time embellishing the flowers with different colored threads.

I also added some words to the collage, one word being “art”. Yup, so people (I?) would know that this skirt is an “art” piece, not just something that a crazy person would wear. Now if I only had the nerve to wear it!


Hi! I’m Kitty and I adore fabric. I’m not a great seamstress (I would describe myself as an advanced beginner) but I’m passionate about sewing. As much as I love this creative hobby, I have to admit I have lots of sewing fears: buttonholes and zippers come to mind immediately! I’ve taken a few sewing classes but I learn by repetition so it’s practice makes perfect for me, although really I’d settle for just wearable. I’m trying to learn enough about sewing so I’ll be able to make and wear clothing without being asked “did you make that?”


    • I’m glad you like it! It really looks a lot better in real life than it does in the photos. And I’m glad you like the thrift store needlepoint bag refashion – I have that one and 2 similar ones coming up in my next refashion post at end of February.


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