Woman converts 170 Target shopping bags into wearable gown

A woman used 170 plastic Target shopping bags to make a jaw-dropping gown. 

Armed with a sewing machine and her imagination, Kailey Schmitt spent six months working on the dress. It featured a sweetheart neckline and a full skirt constructed from tiers of plastic bags. The gown also had a side slit to show off some leg and a massive bow embellishment in the back.  

It was inspired by a fabric shopping trip Schmitt took in April 2020. She found herself too overwhelmed and stressed because of the pandemic to focus.

“If I want fabric, I’m either going to have to go back [to the store] and be super stressed again,” Schmitt explained in a YouTube video, “or I could order it online or I could reuse things I already had. I wanted to make a dress so I thought of things I might have a lot of and here I am.” 

Schmitt asked people on Instagram and friends to donate their unused Target bags. Then she began sewing. To create the voluminous skirt she gathered each plastic bag from the bottom and pinned them together to create a tiered effect. She wanted the dress to be mostly white with red accents so she was very thoughtful about each bag’s placement. 

“It was actually my husband who had the idea of this sweetheart neckline and I think it really works with the way the bags are layered,” Schmitt said. “I used the same gathering method for the main bodice as well.” 

When she was finished with the dress she held a show-stopping fashion shoot at Target. With slicked-back hair and white pumps, she rocked the upcycled ball gown in the parking lot and the aisles.

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