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Skirt rebirth

July 25, 2011

I made this skirt several years ago, from the same pattern as this version.  But I probably only wore it twice before making it into what it is today.  It was one of the first articles of clothing I made “correctly”, as in following all of the steps, learning to adjust the fit (adding an extra pair of darts on the back & front to compensate for the difference in waist:hip), stitching in the ditch, etc.  But it still didn’t look good on me, and that’s because I chose both the wrong hem length for my figure, and the wrong textile for the length.

Not hot.

I absolutely love this fabric – it’s almost a corduroy, but not really; kind of a velvet burn out, with a little bit of stretch.  That stretch makes it a good choice for a snug garment, so at least I got that part right.  But it’s just too heavy for such a long skirt.  And such a long skirt definitely makes me look frumpy.  Yeah, the woolies don’t help, but I took this back in January or February.

This seemed like a much better length for me, so I went for it. First I folded the skirt under and checked the length.  Then flipped wrong side out, measured and pinned and did another mirror check.  From there, a line of hand basting went in.  Yet another measure all around to mark the cut line.  I wanted to make a wider hem, which looks nice on heavier fabric, and especially now that this was going to be a mini.

Turned wrong side out & folded to initial length.

Pinned, measured, basted and cut line marked.

In college, I had a pretty cool tie collection going from all the amazing thrift stores where I went to school.  Most of them went into a quilt for my sister & brother-in-law, but I still have all the ends.  Light bulb moment!!!  A silk Hong Kong binding would be the perfect treatment, and a great way to use up scraps I’d been toting around from place to place. The silk would be thin enough for use as a binding, and ties are always cut on the bias.  Ideal!

Applying the Hong Kong binding made from an old tie scrap.

As you can see, I took in a bit from the side seams while I was at it. I left the side and back center seams finished in their original manner, which was serged.  Just seemed a bit crazy, even for me, to take apart the waist band unnecessarily.

Notice the pins on the side seams where I took in the skirt.

I also pondered a bit over what was once a slit below the zip in the center back.  I needed some sort of opening there – one needs to walk, after all.  But a slit seemed a little much on such a short skirt.  And they aren’t very stable.  So I opted for working in a sort of godet/kick pleat piece.  As an afterthought, and like a lot of my figuring out the engineering of garments, it’s not really in there correctly, but it works.

Sorry for the rear view, but I wanted to illustrate the frankenpleat.  And no, that’s not a panty line.

This little number got a lot of use this winter, and is not longer a dud in my closet. Win for recycling my own projects!

Mushka alert!

Note: Experiencing a bit of sewing frustration at the moment, so I’m happy to have written up most of this post in advance.  Why so glum, you ask?  Well, the silk underlining on my 1970s keyhole dress shrank.  I had pre-washed the cotton pique before putting it away all those years ago, but didn’t think the silk would be much of a problem in a cold water soak/lie flat dry.  Alas, I’ll be unpicking and re-hemming.  And probably mixing up a cocktail or two.

Look at that baggy hem. Not pretty, people!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2011 6:15 am

    Huzzah, for planning ahead! Sorry, about your shrinkage! ;) Looking forward to seeing the solution!

    P.S. I think we have one of those ties in the bag you made me! Sydney uses it as a carry-all for her pretend play. Ballet bag, mail bag, beach bag…the possibilities are endless!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      July 26, 2011 6:52 am

      Damn, I can’t believe it’s held up all this time! I think I have a few of those that never sold in a bin somewhere. Maybe Syd needs another bag in her rotation?

  2. July 28, 2011 10:59 am

    Oh no! The dreaded shrink!
    You’re skirt looks lovely on you! And I adore it with the grey jacket.

    • threadsquare permalink*
      July 29, 2011 8:37 am

      I should know better by now :) Thanks, btw…that outfit & variations was in heavy rotation this past winter!

  3. July 28, 2011 2:43 pm

    oh no! i can’t believe it shrank! i do the same thing with silk – i just figure i’ll wash it by hand and lay to dry so i don’t pre-treat. at least it’s fixable, that dress is amazing!

    love your blog, btw :)

    • threadsquare permalink*
      July 29, 2011 8:38 am

      Thanks, Suriah! Good to know I’m not alone :) Maybe it’s time to purchase some bemberg? So, so happy you’ve started publishing!!!

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