Upcycled Vintage Curtains into Cottage Core, Romantic, Skirt

Again a long break from Upcycling for myself.

What have I been up to? Well, life like the most of you all.

But during that time something was percolating in my mind.

For a while now, I have been featuring other Upcyclers in the "Spotlight" on my blog.

A FaceBook Group for Upcyclers

I had been meeting amazing Upcyclers in the Facebook Group I created called Upcycle & Refashion (Clothing and Accessories Only). Yes, a mouthful, but necessary as there are many Upcycling Groups which catch wearables and non-wearables, from textiles or non-textiles.

For those of you who don't know, there are so many groups out there just for this particular interest. All you have to do is search for groups, join a few, and spend some time in them figuring out which vibe is just right for you.

Click on Image to Join My Facebook Group!

Now, let me take you back to September 2020....There was a major event in my life--taking my 18 year old to college!

A month prior to this move, I was working full-time on blogging about my Upcycles and making a bunch of virtual friendships with ladies from around the world!

Taking My 18 Year Old To College

However, When we realized we had just a month to go, I put all Upcycling on hiatus to focus on my daughter and the logistics of her moving to Southern California.

It's not a great idea to keep blogs idle. People can lose interest in your blog. Not that I am making any money at all, but momentum is lost. There's so much that goes on in SEO when blogs are stagnant.

I thought if I could not blog about my Upcycling, why not share the Spotlight with other artists who could benefit from some special focus. I frequently get asked if I know of other Upcyclers who create wearables.

The Advent of StyleMyThrift Spotlight

That's how the Spotlight was ignited. I simply sent a Q&A form to my co-creators and they sent back their answers with photos of their creations. I posted on my blog as well as a feature in the FB group.

As I was consumed with my daughter, her move, and the after-effects of putting a house back in order, plus moving 4 rooms, painting 8 rooms etc. etc. I featured a new Upcycler each week! And the response from my readers was overwhelmingly positive.

One issue with the weekly Spotlight, I am obsessed with organization. I felt compelled to start indexing the Artists. And then I started indexing their creations....then their businesses.

Click on the above image to take you to the Artist Index.

The Birth of UpcycleMode.com

Ultimately, I started to feel like I was beginning to create a new website. So why not just create another website that is neutral, collective in spirit, and dedicated to all Upcyclers!

And that was that! www.UpcyleMode.com was born. Nothing like it exists on the internet.

The simplest description of this new website is:

UpcycleMode.com is a collective website for Upcyclers wanting to share their story, their creations, their links (social media, ecommerce, or tutorials) outside of Social Media. For other visitors, it’s an opportunity to learn about Upcycling.

I won't be going into much more detail here about this new website because of space, time, and lengthy blog post and reader attention spans, but you can find more info on www.UpcycleMode.com More information on the Home & About Page, and the first blog post. And I will revisit this topic more in the future.


I worked on this project for the month of January. And about the last week of doing it, I was missing Upcycling. A pile of vintage curtains, yellowed with time, had been sitting in the corner of my studio since November. I was gifted these for free, but were skeptical about the stains. But if you know me, the average Upcycler, nothing goes to waste!

Knowing about the discoloration, I figured the best way to use up this fabric would be in a series of historical, storybook-like clothing, but not a costume. Styling being the differentiation.

So my challenge for this project was to take the curtains and transform them into

  1. a historic looking skirt with a nod to 18th Century Marie Antoinette in her 'peasant phase', the 19th Century Prairie and late Victorian time, and the Edwardian Gilded years.

  2. a more casual, current look of Cottage Core, Granny Chic, Lagenlook--a natural looking dress, with zero historic interpretations.

  3. #3 a costume for a child.

NOT ALL IN THIS BLOG of course! ; ) I wish I could get it all done that quickly.

A three part series seems more doable. Three seperate blogs....3 different creations from one set of curtains--there's ALOT of fabric.

Look how lovely the inside of these curtain panels are! Although the back is silky, shiny, satiny, the front floral side is matte.

Let's Get Started

1st Step--Remove Curtain Pleats

  • Use Seam Ripper to open up curtain pleats.

  • Cut along the top to remove the lining from the print fabric.

I always try to maximize the length and width of my fabric. This means doing the extra work of letting out any kind of seam, hem, or in this case the pleats. Then I cut straight across the top to release the curtain lining from the printed layer. The lining was super heavy weight--thick. I was not going to be able to re-use the beautiful lining as it would make my end skirt way too heavy. But I will be able to use it for something in the future for sure!

2nd Step--Cut Fabric For Skirt Dimensions

  • Cut off the yellowing portions. (see the black arrow below)

  • Measure length of skirt desired.

I think you can see that yucky yellowing of the curtain fabric. Thankfully the heavily yellow part was along the edges--not the main part of the curtains. I just snipped along the edge to remove.

I took a tape measure and measured from my waist to behind my calves. I knew ahead of time that I was going to add some layers under the main floral fabric, So I allowed there to be enough length to also hem and also had to consider enough fabric to turn down at the waist to create a tube for a bow sash I had in mind.

3rd Step--Pleat Top of Fabric For Waist