Friday, May 22, 2015

FO: Skirt No More Renfrew

As I've mentioned many times before, I am a big time thrift store shopper. For a long time, I only looked for items I could already wear or that I could alter slightly to fit me. After taking the Tailoring Ready-To-Wear class on Craftsy, I learned to look at my thrifting differently. I started to look for things that I could remake completely - I mean, fabric is fabric, right? I started looking at curtains and sheets and even dresses and skirts and whatnot to assess their potential remake-ability. 
I purchased this skirt several months ago - it's an Indigo Moon poly/cotton knit skirt, and it's a size Small. I looked this up before I cut into it and apparently Indigo Moon is known for their crazy "art teacher"-like jackets (seriously, Google search them). I paid 50¢ for the skirt, knowing it would be a prime candidate for a refashion - plenty of fabric to play around with and cheap enough that I wouldn't be too upset if it didn't work out. I liked the floral appliqué (and it has sequins too!), so I thought it might make a pretty t-shirt. A few weeks ago I finally picked it all apart and laid out my t-shirt patterns to see what would work. The Plantain was my first choice, but the skirt wasn't quite wide enough plus to be honest the fabric was a bit too thick for that. I pulled out the Renfrew and the pieces fit great :) I had literally just enough fabric - I even had to unpick the elastic waistband to use as the neck binding piece - I was left with just a few small scraps afterward ... and a new shirt!
At first I was afraid that the flower hit in a strange place - ideally I would have wanted the flower along the side of my torso, but now that it's finished I don't mind where it ends up :) The fabric is wonderfully soft and thick enough to look nice and smooth without being too warm. And I love the color!
I'm not entirely sure if the wrinkles on the back are because of how I'm standing or if I need a sway back adjustment - is that possible on a knit? Anyone know for sure? The only change I made to the pattern was to leave off the hem bands. I'm not a big fan of the bands on my first Renfrew (I have to adjust the bottom of the shirt a lot when I wear it), so I just added 2" to the bottom hem when I cut out the pieces. I also just used the skirt hem as the shirt bottom as well - why make more work for myself, right?
Up close shots - I love the subtle sequins in the appliqué. They mean that I do have to hand wash this, but it's not a big deal. I decide to twin needle around the neckline for a more professional looking finish - I'm sure it's just in my head, but the zig zag stitch on my first one kind of makes me crazy, lol. I also had to get really creative with the neckband. I was able to squeeze it out by unpicking the elastic waistband (which was serged to the elastic all the way around - ugh), but it still wasn't quite enough fabric so I had to piece it together. I made sure to put the extra seam at the back and it ended up near the shoulder seam. I don't think anyone would even notice it, so that's good. Also I made sure to match up the coverstitching on the hem at the side seams (I guess I should cut that thread I see in the photo too, lol). This part bugs me a smidge when I look at this photo just because I know that ready to wear shirts are always coverstitched last. It doesn't wear any differently though, so I just try not to think about it :)
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this experiment :) The shirt is very comfy and easy to wear. It's one of those items that I can dress up or down depending on what skirt I wear with it. I love the color in particular, and I think the appliqué makes it look more store bought. I love that I can wear it with lighter colored bottoms to be more casual and summery too. I'm sure this see lots of wear in the future and it was such a success that I hope to find more jersey maxi skirts to chop up, ha ha!

Fabric: thrifted Indigo Moon size small maxi skirt - $0.50
Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew
Notions: thread and knit seam tape - stash
Hours: 3.5 including unpicking the skirt


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Your experiment turned out great!

  3. I love it as a shirt. Real ingenuity at work!

    1. Thanks so much! It makes shopping so different when you look for things as "fabric" instead of finished items :)

  4. Love the embellishment and color. Great job on the refashion!


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