Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sailor Skirt From Leftovers

What to do with the evil 60’s puffy a-line skirt that I vetoed in the polka dot dress project? (I wish I had a before picture so you could see the evil.) Why not just make it into a less horrifying skirt?

First, I took out the gathers and added darts instead. Really. Deep. Darts. That just made it round and puffy instead of gathered and puffy.

Then, I tried pleating the front but there wasn’t enough room for multiple pleats unless they were super tiny. Even just pinned in, multiple pleats just looked weird because there wasn't enough fabric to pleat the back and the front of the skirt. Instead, I tried two simple inverted pleats and buttons on each side of the front panel for a kind of sailor-ish look, but it didn’t really come across.

Finally, I tried taking the whole thing apart and laying out one of my old skirt patterns in an attempt to totally re-make it. None of them were the right shape and I didn’t really have enough fabric to start from scratch anyway. Then I found this pattern on ebay:

It still wasn’t a perfect match-up for remaking, but it inspired me with the idea that a few simple notions could make an otherwise plain (or in this case, odd looking) skirt into something interesting. I added narrow double darts in the back and front, and stitched on fold-over braid and buttons. Because I clearly can’t do math, my darts didn’t work exactly as I thought they would and, while it ended up being a much cuter garment, it was huge. So I did what any desperate novice sewer would do. I took it in at the sides, a little at a time until it fit. Then I realized that I’d misplaced or tossed the rest of the extra white twill and had no way to make a waistband. I bought a pack of white jumbo double fold bias tape and stitched it on as a waistband.

Here’s the finished skirt.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks better on, really! I mean, it bunches out a little over my rear end and the hem is sort of a nightmare, but I think I'll probably wear it. I just wish I had a cute stripey sailor top (and a yacht) to go with it.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things I really love about your projects is you get the interesting and creative details so well. The buttons on both this and the gingham are so great. Exactly the kind of thing I love in Ready To Wear but am incapable of coming up with on my own for garments I sew.