We’ve all done it—wearing the trend of the season, bought heaps of “It” pieces and eventually grew tired of them. There is nothing wrong with wanting something new, different and modern that looks like they belong to current trends. It is really a waste of perfectly good clothes just because they do not fit with the current height of fashion; it would be great if we could upcycle our old clothes. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to upcycle the outfits your pair with your hijabs and keep your wardrobe green.
Skirt to scarf
One of the easiest and fun ways to upcycle your old clothes is to turn a last season’s beautiful maxi skirts into this season’s trendiest headscarf. Maxi skirts are great for this simple do-it-yourself project because it has the amount of material needed. You will need to have some sewing skills and the necessary equipment: sewing machine or kit, sharp fabric scissors, and a tape measure. You will also need your favourite hijab to use as a pattern, a washable marker, and a few pins.
Here are the steps you need to follow to make the changes:
- Lay your headscarf flat on the floor and measure it.
- Spread out your maxi skirt on the floor and mark out the exact size.
- Add an additional inch to the measurements to allow seams; you can also use the existing seams of your skirt if it is more convenient. You can always make it bigger if you feel like you need your hijab to be oversized.
- Cut out the marked material to create the basic headscarf.
- Fold over the edge of the fabric twice, around 1 cm each time, to hide raw edges of the material. Pin them in place.
- Sew the seam as straight as possible. Remove the pins when you’re done and trim any loose threads.
- To finish your headscarf, give the seams a gentle iron to flat it out.
T-shirt to skirts
Another season, another colour trend to follow; but what if you cannot find anything that matches your style? A great way to solve this problem is to make a simple maxi skirt from some old t-shirts or tops that you have put aside in the recycling bag.
Say you love this year’s rose quartz pink and serenity blue trends and want a maxi skirt alternating in these shades with touches of white. It is almost impossible to get but here is how you can get on your dream skirt:
- Find t-shirts in each of the colours in the combination that you want.
- Measure the length of your favourite maxi skirt and divide the length into three sections to know how much fabric is needed.
- Cut a section of fabric from the bottom of each t-shirt according to the earlier measurement.
- Decide which colour you want to be at the bottom and put it aside. Cut the seams off from the rest of the sections of fabrics that you have.
- If your sections are in the right size in width, skip this step. If not, open one of the side seams and lay them in parallel to each other. Cut them to the right size that you want.
- Sew the pieces together width-wise with the untouched seam from the original t-shirt as the bottom section.
- Sew the side of the skirt together.
- Measure a piece of elastic that is the right size of your waist.
- From the top of the skirt, fold over the top and sew it to make a tube that is slightly wider than the width of the elastic. Leave two holes.
- Feed the elastic into the tube (a safety pin is brilliant for doing this). Once it is all the way through, stitch the elastic together and sew up the holes.
Swap your clothes
Trading clothes and accessories with others is one of the best ways to go green; you will help reduce fabric waste in landfills and have “new” clothes without spending a dime! Go online to find clothes-swapping communities in your area. If you cannot find any, or if the idea of exchanging clothes and accessories with strangers creeps you a little bit, organise one among your family and friends.
Let’s be honest, even though your sister’s and best friend’s styles are not in sync with yours, there are some items of theirs that you have been eyeing secretly. Plus, this would be a great way to experiment with new looks without hurting your purse.
There are so many misconceptions about buying clothes at thrift stores that many of us are turning a blind eye towards them. Any thrifting fashionista worth their salt will tell you that thrifting gives them freedom to purchase vintage and designer items for a friction of the retail price. Thrift stores are great places for hijabis to find quirky modest clothing.
You can also find second-hand fashion items online; eBay is a great place to start. There are also plenty of mobile apps that serve as platforms that allow people to sell and purchase pre-loved clothing and accessories. I personally love using Twice and Threadflip.
Check out the recycling bag
Upcycling your hijab outfits can be challenging if you don’t have good relationships with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine. But then you can simply follow some other ideas on how to go green with your wear. I hope the suggestions will inspire you to rethink about the way you use and purchase your clothes. Of course, there are many other ways you can build a greener wardrobe; do share in the comment box below if you have any other ideas that you have done or want to explore!
Sarah is a happy Muslimah who is passionate about modern, yet modest Islamic clothing for women. She is always on the lookout for the latest hijab styles, and she happily shares her ideas at Modanisa.