This post is about a project that began with a pair of shoes :) Well, sort of - it's a project that got a kick in the butt by a pair of shoes. Modcloth was having a big time summer clearance sale a few weeks ago and I came across these Gee, Polly sandals by Miss L Fire and I absolutely fell in love. These babies were so mine - and for $29.99, I could not refuse them. This was actually my first ever personal shopping experience with Modcloth and I have nothing but great things to say. They have such cool designs that are so my style and their shipping was nice and quick. I'm sure most other women out there don't buy sandals at the end of summer, but I live in Florida - I will be able to wear these 11 months of the year. Plus they have birds, they have glitter, they have vintage style ... what more could you want from a shoe?!
When my fantastic shoes arrived, I was immediately reminded of a skirt I bought probably a year ago with the intent of altering it - I knew the alterations were possible, but I also knew it would be a bit of a puzzle ... so the skirt languished. Seeing that I want to wear these shoes almost everyday, I needed to get any clothes I could into rotation for wear and get them now! This simple navy skirt with a button front is something I have always wanted in my wardrobe anyway, now these shoes gave me the push I needed to buckle down and make it work for me :)
|(These pics are much more true to the real color, just fyi)|
Next I laid out the whole skirt and pinned the bottom edge of the bias tape to enclose the "waistband", I had to get creative with the button placket area - I folded under the extra bias tape to cover the exposed cut fabric edge, then folded the bias tape like with the rest of the waist. I stitched these edges first as they were really thick and tricky to keep everything held in place. I had a minor catastrophe here - I broke my needle AND IT FELL INTO MY MACHINE! This made me have to stop and take my machine apart in hopes of finding it - no luck. I even opened everything up and shook the machine upside down, still no needle piece. So, I cleaned out the residual fuzz from making the Princess Anna Cape, then put it back together knowing that needle would cause problems somewhere down the line. At least it's working now, right? Anyway, I then switched to a JEANS needle (like I really should have done from the get go) and stitched the edge of the bias tape onto the button plackets. I went right over the previous line of top stitching so you wouldn't even know I had done it if I don't point it out. Next I just went along the edge of the bias tape (using a foot with a guide to keep things nice and even) and stitched the waistband down. I took this fairly slowly so I could make sure the fabric was nice and smooth the whole way. This worked like a charm!
This project also happens to fall in line with the Repurpose Reuse Refashion competition put on by sew Amy sew. I found out about the contest through Sally from Charity Shop Chic, one of my favorite refashioners on the blogosphere. Sally has even written a few guest posts with refashioning inspiration for the contest, so it's definitely worth a look. I have to add my two cents to her affirmation at how rewarding refashioning can be. I mean, I bought this skirt for $1.00 and now have a wonderful wardrobe staple with just a few hours work. Refashioning is a great way to practice sewing skills without worrying about the cost - you're using items you wouldn't/couldn't have worn as they were so you're not really out anything if you mess up. It's a win win! If it doesn't turn out, you've lost very little (pretty much nothing compared to something you would sew from scratch) and you've gained the experience that you can learn from next time. Also, you're cutting down on garment industry waste which is such a big issue. Projects like this one make me feel like the smartest person around, because I've found a way to beat the consumerism system. I could wax poetic about alterations forever, lol, so I guess I'll stop. Just try it out, ok?!
If you'd like to enter the competition too, just refashion an item by the end of August and post your pictures to the Flickr group to be entered to win some great prizes :) It doesn't have to be anything super fancy or complicated - just take an item that wasn't getting any love as it was and turn it into something you can use. Easy peasy. If you need help getting ideas, definitely read Sally's blog - she's fantastic at this. I also can't recommend the Tailoring Ready-To-Wear class on Craftsy. I learned so much just from watching it (I've also got the Beyond the Basics class recently and I can't wait to watch it). If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you'll know my deep seeded love of anything from Craftsy, and I can honestly say this is my favorite and most beneficial class from them.
Anyway, I'll shut up now, lol. If you've hung in all the way to the bottom, I really appreciate it. I've got the refashioning bug really bad again, so I may tackle more of my pile to enter into the contest. We'll see :)