Upcycled Victorian, Granny/CottageWear Skirt from Thrifted Indian Festive Dress

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Blog Contents:


Leggings and Pajamas:

Interchangeable Wear


Building a Shed


My First Shed


My 2nd Shed

Bring Us Back Eva


Throwdown Upcycle Challenge


The Before


The Process


The Final Look

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Leggings and Pajamas: Interchangeable Wear

I have been on hiatus for almost 3 months from sewing, Upcycling & Refashioning, and style. Living in leggings and sweatshirts, and thickly layered pajamas, which confuses my husband because he thinks my leisure wear and sleepwear are pretty much interchangeable.


Ever since my oldest daughter moved away to college at the end of September, I had been working on outstanding projects around the house. And the projects necessitated comfortable clothing.


One thing that happens when wearing 'comfy clothes' for days, weeks and months on end, is that I grow soft, very soft.


Anything that doesn't keep my tootsies feeling like they are enveloped with warm marshmallows causes heightened nerve end flaring. Any non-stretchable waistband feels like a Victorian corset. A bra feels like barbed wire to the flesh.



Building a Shed

The first project that needed immediate attention when returning from delivering our daughter to her first dorm at the college in Southern California, was building a outdoor storage shed.


I had built one shed on my very, very own a year ago. 'Very, very on my own' means I drew the construction plans, did the measurements-yes! Algebra finally had some application for me-and building it all by myself. That shed was only 4x8 feet.


Why did I build it myself? Mostly because people (my parents and husband) said there would be no way I could do it--a thought which I really ruminated on, wondering why I couldn't do it. I like puzzles, I like out door work, I like physcial work--why not give it a try!



My First Shed

I wanted a Lean-To Shed minus the thing it leaned to! lol!


Since I am a nature conservationist, I look for ways to reclaim water in my garden, and the Lean-To style was a simple way to collect water.

the base


the sides


bracing the front


adding the roof


installing the back and side walls


installing the ship-lap front walls


installing the door trim


finished side


finished front


finished inside


And people said I could not do it!


Proved them all wrong.


Was is a difficult project? Yes! But doable. And I learned a ton. Completely work the bruises, splinters, and cracked fingers.


So if I could build this small shed, I had my sights on a larger one next.



My 2nd Shed

Why would I need a 2nd shed??


The first one above is a shed dedicated only to my gardening needs--all 32 sq. ft. plus vertical space.


I am a crazy garden lady. LOVE LOVE LOVE gardening. Stems (no pun intended) from my dedication to a plant-forward diet.


And would you believe, my 1st garden shed is full.


After the wonderful high school math experience with the first shed, I opted to buy a kit for my 2nd shed.


Oh, but why do I need a 2nd shed? This one is for my building tools, my nails, paint cans, pool toys, outdoor seating cushions and other outdoor and building related items.


But why do I need a 2nd shed after the 1st shed? Don't I have a garage?


Um, yeah. That's where my local costume rental business resides.


me and my costume warehouse/garage



Finally my storage needs would be complete with a 10x16 foot shed. It took me a month to build.


100% pure physical work and a ton of podcast listening--learned lots about wrongfully accused incarcerated individuals.

the beginning of my outdoor storage shed


and me installing the roof


I'll spare you the 'proud mama' pictures of the new shed because I momentarily forgot I am writing this blog about a skirt upcycle not an "Eva-the-Builder' episode...although you know i considered writing that kind of blog too!


I can share those pictures in the next blog. Also, I have to show you the reclaimed brick patio I built and the outdoor, covered Potting Bench I painstakingly created.


Bring Us Back Eva

Uh, how does this all tie into this blog about a thrifted Indian Festive Dress that is a child's size large??


This blog is about my return to Upcycling.


I must admit that living in those comfy clothes had me cemented in a habit of not caring really how I dressed or looked. You can see from the pictures how dirty and dusty all that work can be. It was tricky removing leisure-wear that became inextricably meshed with my skin.


So to help with the transition from blah into my former dream world, I decided to take the first Upcycle easy. Removing a skirt from a dress.


Throwdown Upcycle Challenge

My dear friend Leslie, who is a dedicated thrifter like myself, decided to buy me an inexpensive dress from the thrift store our friendship grew in--yeah, really. We just kept running into each other on the sales day and that's how our friendship developed.


Asking around, my Indian Friend Asha informed me that this dress is definitely Indian. An older girl's dress.

the $4.00 'Before' compliments of dear thrifting friend Leslie


I received this dress this last summer and I admit, I was stumped. Mainly because my mind and body were living in 98F days and the royally, navy blue jewel tones kept time warping my mind back to winter Victorian days.