Dame Kiri Te Kanawa wears a skirt made from bedsheets to award ceremony

Image via BBC
Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

We should all be taking notes.

There are few things more frustrating than envisioning your dream piece of clothing and being unable to find it anywhere.

Which is why we should all be following in the ingenious footsteps of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s and embracing the art of upcycling.

The 75-year-old New Zealander, soprano, and avid gardener presented this year’s BBC Singer of the World award wearing a full-length skirt in a watercolour floral print.

When asked where she found the garment – complete with a glam blue satin trim –  Te Kanawa revealed she’d had it custom made from a floral Zara bedsheet.

“I’ve been looking for a hydrangea print for years,” she told reporters. “When I saw this sheet, I thought my prayers had been answered.”

A budget-friendly dream at that, considering the sheet retails at a cool £20.

A lot of home sewers will tell you bed linen is a goldmine textile for upcycling projects. Sheets and doonas are big enough to get the job done and flat enough not to cause excess frustration in the sewing process.

If you don’t luck out finding your dream print like the Dame, try rifling through tablecloths and blankets. Is a shower curtain too adventurous? We prefer to call it thrifty.


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