Oilskin: from ugly to ooh la la!

Finding hideously ugly items at opshops never fails to bring a smile to my face… so who knows why I’m not laughing my head off here. _dsc4853

I found this monstrosity at Vinnies for $8 and grabbed it, mainly because it’s made from the same fabric as one of my favourite jumpsuits – oilskin-look silk. _dsc4855

The reason I get so happy finding ugly things is that they have so much potential and I feel like a magical fairy godmother when I manage to do something good with them. However, they also give me a headache because sometimes there are just too many possibilities for makeovers. I spent a few months trying to work out what to do with this dress – I wanted to make leather-look summer weight shorts out of the skirt section, but was limited by the width of the fabric. Instead, I made a wrap-look skirt by unpicking the two pieces from the skirt section and layering them one over the other to form the back…


View of the wrong sides of the skirt layered one over the other to form the back – there’s an overlap of about 10cm so I don’t inadvertently show off my undies on breezy days.

Here’s what it looks like now (paired with a DIY T-shirt, of course). Thanks again to Kayla Piccolo for these street snaps.

leather look skirt back DIY

I added some strategic darts so the skirt would fit properly around the waist and hip and stitched the two pieces of fabric together until a point just below the hips. The waistband is made from one of the waist ties.

Wrap skirts are meant to be easy but making this one involved a lot of standing in front of the mirror and slightly altering darts so the fabric would fall the way I wanted. Maybe that’s because it’s not a real wrap skirt (it’s stitched in place just below the hip, the point at where the underside of the material is showing in this photo).

leather look skirt DIY T-shirt

It’s not real leather either! But it’s pretty convincing, don’t you think? And not quite as hideous as when I found it. Now to make something from the top part! I think I feel more headaches coming on…

DIY wrap leather skirt