grey skirt to grey dress (and still a grey skirt)

When I was 20 I went inter-railing and had my rucksack packed with stuff, including vintage dresses (3) and floral McHammer style pants (it was the 80s), leggings and lots of teeshirts, plimsoles and sandals…… and a few basics.  We met lots of wonderful people and I loved it all.  I remember meeting one girl, who had a much smaller and simpler rucksack, metal water canteen (like from the army) and who seemed to have a total 2 jersey skirts and 3 tee shirts and each combination looked so effortless, and ready for all occasions….. and funnily enough when I was working on this skirt, and how to make it multi-functional,  I thought of her (and how much I would like to inter-rail again….)


The skirt was in the charity shop, beside a rail of 1euro coats (seriously a whole rail)…. I adored the charcoal shade, and I wasn’t sure what it was, skirt or dress.  Its a bias cut, and had a half bubble effect at the front hem (elastic was sewn inside on the front hem), and there was one belt loop at the back –   I tried it both ways, as a dress and skirt and it seemed to be both.

I had a feeling it was a never-worn-sale-buy, and when I took it apart, sure enough, there was a green sticker that some stores use on the label, and no wear signs at all.  The skirt was a zip to the side, and both side seams sat a bit more towards the front, with the right side more so.  The back had two long darts, and a belt loop over one.

I put it on the mannequin a few ways, and finally decided on

  • taking out the elastic on the front hem, and re-heming the lining, and the front of skirt
  • make one strap which would tie with buttons, and go to a v shape at the front
  • to put a second belt loop on the back, over the other dart
  • to put a button hole under each one
  • to have a loop on the inside middle front of the skirt and to run the straps through this

I took some fabric from the belt (nearly half) and folded it over and sewed to make the strap.  I got the flattest buttons from the button box and used the super buttonhole maker (but still lined up one button-hole slightly off).  I undid the front loop and redid it.  Originally I didn’t like how the stitching showed, but after finishing, I also noticed that sewing the loop to the facing didn’t secure it enough, and also the dress sat up at the front, when I put the dress backwards, it sat level at the hem, so I resewed the loop with more even stitches, as at least its was now to the back!  The waist darts of the skirt, now acting as chest/bust darts!


I have been wearing it as a dress and I love it….I prefer it un-belted but have the option to belt it, and  I am still figuring a top for if I wear it as a skirt (thinking of maybe a white vest or a wrap top?)


I am rather chuffed to have a new summer dress as a few of my summer clothes got re-donated as they don’t really go with grey hair (creamy yellows).  I am finally getting used to the new hair colour as its now evening out and growing longer, as I love the texture of my own hair (dyed hair has the texture of a fake wig) but as I only really see myself in the mirror twice a day, it still takes getting used to seeing photos of myself!


8 thoughts on “grey skirt to grey dress (and still a grey skirt)

  1. Linda Wilson says:

    Aha Eimear. This looks fab and well worth the tweaking. I love a charcoal grey shade too! I’m pleased your enjoying your hair, natural, it still looks dark! Mine is still brown, grey underneath and two front strips!? So I get the front strips coloured in and leave the rest. Like you I don’t really like the all over dying. You look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theupsew says:

      Thanks Linda, I am really looking forward to my hair growing to a proper length, the hairdresser layered it so the growing out would be easier (it was). when I was 16 I dyed my hair black and at the time said to a friend in the chemist (as we looked at colours) who would buy brown hair dye…. I mean who would want to dye their hair brown …. talk about mocking is catching!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wrong doll says:

    Really love this on you – one of my favourite ‘you mades’ so far. Grey really is a lovely colour and to oft overlooked by me. Unlike you I am willing my hair to go grey! It’s always the way – we want what we don’t have. I think it’s such a classic colour and after years of dying my hair as a kid, I’m all about the natural these days. I’ve even ditched the make up and it’s a revolution. Only wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure out what’s good for me and makes me happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theupsew says:

      Thanks Aimee – well happy with this – the black culottes are still being tweaked as the linen is heavier…….whereas the linen in this dress is a perfect weight. I know the grey hair suits me better, so I am looking forward to layers growing out as it will feel a bit more me then – I am more used to longer hair. I was never a full on make up person but have a strange vanity about having my toe nails painted…. I didn’t wear make-up till I was 24, and was painting my toenails way before that…… still don’t get the manicure and gel-nails thing though! often its the simplest things that make us happy, but it invariably happens via the longest route!

      Liked by 1 person

      • wrong doll says:

        That’s so true about the simplest things via the longest route – I’ve definitely found that to be the case. I guess later is better than never at all. I’ve not hundred percent ditched make up… Just not using it for everyday wear anymore and my skin feels so much better for it. Ive also found this vegan, organic skin care brand – Green People – which is a pleasure to use. Not given up on consuming but a lot happier with the things I’m investing in these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. theupsew says:

    must look them up! I always think mindful purchasing is a lot more rewarding (I am always surprised – and I work in retail – when people just pick up stuff, they don’t fully want or need….. just as well I only work part time!.)


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