Update a Denim Skirt for Summer

It was time to admit that my favourite denim skirt was a bit too short for me. An A-line mini, I’ve worn it in summer with saddles, pulling on tights and boots for winter. The wear and tear of washing it over so many years has taken its toll and I got fed up of constantly pulling it down. So the skirt was listed on eBay and given a new lease of life by a happy customer.

This left a whole in my wardrobe and I needed something to replace such a staple item. As the weather turned warmer I pulled out my summer clothes from under my bed and remembered a long A-line denim skirt that I bought a few years ago. 1970’s style, I hadn’t worn it much as found the heavy weight denim too hot during last year’s heat wave. I got out my fabric scissors and took half an hour to create a new skirt.

How to shorten a denim skirt

  1. Put on the skirt and work out where you want the hem to finish
  2. Place a safety pin to mark the place and check you are happy with it
  3. Take off the skirt and lay on a flat surface
  4. Using a tape measure, measure the length from the top of the waist to the new hem
  5. Take a piece of tailors chalk. Measure from the waist to the hem marking the spot with the chalk creating apx 2cm line
  6. Working horizontally, measure the length of the skirt making a mark every 5cm.
  7. Once this has been done, draw up the dots to mark a line where the new hem is going to be
  8. Try the skirt on again to make sure it is the length you want
  9. Using sharp fabric scissors, cut along the line of tailors chalk. Cut one layer at a time rather than through the front and back.
  10. Try the skirt on again. The skirt can’t be lengthened but it can be shorter if it isn’t quite right
  11. Using a sewing machine, stitch around the hem 1cm in from the raw edge. Use either a matching thread or contrast.
  12. This line of stitching prevents the hem fraying too much. Sew a second line a few mm away from the first to give a twin stitching effect. Only if you are confident with your sewing, it isn’t essential
  13. The raw edge will naturally start to fray helped along with washing. Trim any threads that get too long and annoying

I’m really happy with my upcycled skirt – not too long, not too short. I’ve already worn it loads and it is easy to match with different tops. Have you got an item of clothing you have hardly worn because it isn’t quite right? Or maybe it is your favourite and needs a bit of TLC. Come along to our Fast Fashion Therapy workshop in East London to learn how to mend and alter your clothes. We have equipment and some materials for everyone to use. Book your space via our Facebook Page, beginners and more experienced sewers welcome. See you there!

Ready for a Fashion Revolution?

How to get involved for Fashion Revolution Week: 22 to 28 April 2019

Monday is the start of Fashion Revolution Week. The sixth year in which the charity are encouraging us to get involved and challenge our favourite fashion brands with the question ‘Who Made My Clothes?‘. The charity was established in 2013 a year after the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1138 garment workers in Bangladesh. Since then the charity has been campaigning globally to challenge the human and environmental consequences of the fashion industry, encouraging them to change their practices to a more transparent and circular model.

Want to learn how to be a fashion revolutionary? Choose your favourite piece of clothing. Text, email and write a letter to the brand on the label using the hashtag #whomademyclothes? – find more tips on how to approach the fashion brand effectively on Fashion Revolution’s website. Including downloadable posters and kits. Don’t give up, keep contacting the brand until you get an answer. Keep the message positive and professional. Last year Sarah took part in a three week Future Learn online course designed by Fashion Revolution and the University of Exeter to take an in-depth look of ‘who made my clothes?’. Read how she got on here.

We are excited to be taking our Fast Fashion Therapy workshop on the road for two events during Fashion Revolution Week. Pebblefest is an ethical lifestyle festival hosted by Pebble Magazine. It takes place on Saturday 27 April in London Bridge. We have two demonstrations to show how to mend clothes through darning and boro style patching. Click here to buy tickets to the event and find out all the amazing ethical brands that are taking part.

On Sunday you can find us at the Fair Fashion Fair hosted by Betsy’s Closet Swap Shop. A fun day out swishing clothes and eating food that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. Tickets and more details about the swishing event found here. Our workshop has sold out but stop by in case we have had any last minute cancellations.

Fair Fashion Fair: Sun 28 April

By Bety’s Closet Swap Shop

At Refettorio, London SW5. Click here for more details on Facebook

As part of Fashion Revolution Week 2019 we are joining Betsy’s Swap Shop Fair Fashion Fair. A fun day to swap clothes and learn beginner’s darning skills and patching techniques to help you mend and up-cycle old and damaged clothes. Click here to pre-book tickets for the swishing event, which costs £10 and includes food and refreshments.

Boro style patching workshop

The workshop will take you through the basics of these ‘visible mending’ and classic repair techniques, starting by fixing holes in knitwear, and then learning both ‘boro’-style patching and invisible patching. We’ll leave you with the skills and information to keep you fixing at home! All materials and kit will be provided. £5 contribution to take part – paid on the day at workshop – The workshop is sold out but come along to take part in the swishing event. Stop by our workshop in case we have had any last minute cancellations and can fit you in.

This workshop is part of Fair Fashion Fair for Fashion Revolution Week 2019

Pebblefest: Sat 27 April, London

Join us for some #everydayactivism at Pebble Magazine’s first ethical festival, Pebblefest. We are taking our Fast Fashion Therapy on the road and demonstrating
how to repair clothes through darning and patching.

Tickets are £12 (free for under 12’s), find us at Flat Iron Square, 68 Union Street, London SE1 1TD. Our demonstration take place at 13:30 and 17:30. The festival is on all day with a wide range of talks, workshops, ethical shopping, live music and cocktails. Click here to buy tickets and to discover the full list of participants.

Fast Fashion Therapy

A sewing workshop encouraging repair, up-cycling and remodelling of used clothes, looking to break our habit to always buy new. Fix holes in jeans, darn jumpers, shorten sleeves or create a new outfit from something already in the wardrobe. Bring along an item of clothing to repair or re-work into something new. Or practice basic techniques on the examples provided. Help will be given with ideas and basic sewing knowledge. Suitable for beginner sewers who need some help or more experienced sewers looking for a dedicated space and time to sew. We are a friendly and collaborative group, be prepared to share ideas and help others.

A free, regular workshop takes place on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 6:30 to 8:30pm. Click here for a calendar of dates. Find us at The Create Place, 29 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ. All equipment provided including a small amount of fabric and trims. The workshop is facilitated by Eleanor & Sarah. Email us at
hello@fastfashiontherapy.co.uk to book your space and find out more or sign up for our regular newsletter.

We also run workshops at events around London. Click on ‘Events’ in the menu bar above to find out more. Please email us on hello@fastfashiontherapy.co.uk if you would like us to deliver a workshop at your event.

We hope to see you at a workshop soon, Eleanor & Sarah