Sewing Sunday – Summer Skirt

Remember my Safari Skirt? When I bought it, I also came across another one, in a pretty pale blue pattern.  This was more fitted, made up of panels, but way too small at the waist. It also had a zip.

Here´s how I made it fit (and I can be quite determined when I want to be)!

First I cut the skirt from around the top to give me the length I wanted less 2cm (I was going to add a waistband).

Then I unpicked the zip from the piece I had removed (you may need to do this first if it overlaps into the section of skirt that remains). I unpicked the side of the skirt to the length of the zip and reinserted the zip.

The skirt was now too big around the waist for me, so I added some darts at the front and back to make it fit comfortably.

Then I cut the piece of fabric from the top of the skirt lengthways to make two narrow strips which I joined together to make one long strip (this would become my new waistband, although I would not need it all as it became one very long strip).

This was pinned wrong sides together round the outside of the skirt.

I left a few cm at each zip edge to turn in.

This was stitched down, then the waistband turned over and under on the inside of the skirt and stitched again. I did this by hand because I enjoy hand stitching, but it could be done more quickly with machine stitching.

Finally I tucked in the ends of the waistband to give me a little overlap to add some snap fasteners and I also reinserted the hanging loops which I had recycled from the original waistband.

The finished skirt, which will is cool and comfy…I love soft cotton which is slightly “worn”, perfect for running around in the heat.

Get Shorty!

The photo makes it look very short and “stumpy” – I should have removed the half-finished top from Marilyn, I am sure that would have helped!

 

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Sewing Saturday – Green Circle Skirt

Did you see how I cleverly put the word “Sewing” into the title so that anyone expecting a recipe would be warned and steer clear if they were not interested?!

If you´re still with me though, thank you!

I recently found a beautiful skirt in the charity shop for a couple of euros.  It had a tiny waist (which would probably have fitted over one of my thighs) but was quite long.  I loved the fabric and bought it thinking I could make a bag out of it.  Once I had washed it and taken it apart, I saw that in just one half of the skirt there was enough fabric to make a half circle skirt for me.

Fabulous Fabric

I cut it from the top to the length I wanted then made a simple black cotton waistband which I fitted a piece of elastic into after I had re sewn the side together.

Stretchy waistband to allow for large lunches

And that was it – a quick re fashion into a beautiful skirt which I think Alfi has a longing to wear!

Dog Friendly Fashion

For more fantastic “Refashions”, do take a look at my blogging pal Jillian´s fantastic site here.

From Strappy Long Dress to Mid Sleeved Cocktail Dress

           

Long and Strappy
 

 

When I was a grown up, living in London with a “proper” job, I often used to get invited to functions which required me to dress formally.  And great fun it was too.  Nowadays, I hardly get to change out of my flip flops, unless it´s into my wellington boots.  I have a large suitcase full of some lovely evening wear which will most probably never see the light of day again.  At least, not wrapped around my body, it won´t.

Short and Sleevey

 

We do get invited to lots of weddings though, and formal attire here bears no resemblance to what I would have worn in London.  Forget all thoughts of the Royal Wedding and think Gala Dinner and Dance or Cocktail Party.  Long gowns, sparkly frocks, big hair. And when you stop to consider that most weddings here take place in the hot summer months, it can be hot work looking gorgeous.

I generally, well never to be honest, wear a full length frock.  I go for cocktail length (i.e. on the knee for me) and it seems to work.  Not too hot, but glamorous enough.  I have also accepted that as the years pass, it´s best to try and cover up my “bingo wings” – those lovely flabby bits at the top of the arms that many of us girls become prone to.  Ain´t getting old fun?!

Anyway, in a bit of a dressmaking mood, I remembered a lovely red strappy dress that I had tucked away and decided that it needed a makeover.

It was floor length, with spaghetti straps so I cut it to knee length and adjusted the new hem.

With the scraps of material that came off from cutting it down I cut out new sleeves.  I made a muslin template with a sleeve pattern I had from making a dress a while back.  Luckily I did the muslin version first as I had to make it slightly larger to accommodate the different sleeve shape.

Getting those sleeves right

I cut out the final version of the sleeves in velvet.  The length of the sleeve was determined by the material I was working with, but I craftily used the hem of the dress to work as the hem of my new sleeves, saving me a little job.

I pinned the new sleeves round the straps.

Pinned...

 

...tacked...

Then I tacked (basted) them into place and removed the pins.

...and sewn!

I sewed the sleeves in by hand, which also served to overcast the edges and then machine sewed the inside hems of the sleeves together.

That was it.  The dress needs a good iron, but I´m sure it will now get to enjoy a happy second life at a party some time soon.