Monday, June 12, 2017

FO: Navy Skirt Refashion

This was a case of fabric love at the thrift store. I was searching the skirt rack of my favorite shop during a bag sale (everything they can shove in a paper grocery bag for $5), which  means I was being much more open to refashions, when I came across this lovely skirt. The fabric is 55% linen 45% rayon, and it's a 6 gore style with a button front. The only problem - it was extremely small. Actually I believe it was actually a size Small considering it had a 26" waist (the size tag was gone). In spite of its waist measurement, the skirt was very long and very flared - like almost a circle skirt - so I knew it was a great candidate for a refashion :)
I started by measuring my waist (39") and then measuring at various points down from the waist of the skirt to find the spot that fits my waist measurement. It happened to be about 6" down. So I made sure to add seam allowance and chopped the waist off.
I had to make sure the top button hole would still be accessible, so I had to fudge around with where to cut, but I got there in the end. Next I overcast stitched the cut edge (this stuff was already fraying like crazy) and pressed 1/4" over from the edge. I decided to use a ribbon for the inner waistband (from a spool of also thrifted ribbon). I cut the ribbon to measure plus a bit to fold over, then I melted the edge and pressed about 1/4" inside to give a smooth edge at the button bands. I edge stitched the ribbon at the pressed line of the new waist. Basically I understitched the ribbon to the fabric. This way I could just press the ribbon inside and it was all invisible from the outside. Then I top stitched around the other edge of the ribbon (about 7/8" down). My thread was such a dead match that the top stitching sinks right in. I had to do some forceful pressing to get the ribbon to curve around the waist, and I had to fold the ribbon under at the button hole so I didn't cover it, but it all looks fine from the outside now.
Next I had to figure out the buttons. The skirt already had lots of buttons, but with the new length on me the buttons stopped about 5" above my knee. That's a bit high for my comfort, so I took the buttons off the section I removed from the waist and made new holes for them below the original buttons.The bottom 4 buttons in the photo on the right are all new ones I added. I also had to decide on a finished length. After changing the waist it hit me about mid-shin, which is not generally a length I go for, but it wasn't awful. I just had to decide if I should leave the length or go just below the knee. Eventually I decided on just below the knee to keep with the summery feel (I just really like knee length skirts).
I now have a delightfully swishy linen skirt :) I love the fullness of the skirt - it really makes this feel more girly and fun. I was hoping this skirt could replace a previously much loved Refashioned Navy Blue Skirt. I wore that skirt until it was coming apart at all the seams. I still miss it, lol. So this new navy skirt helps to fill that void. This new skirt is certainly a bit fancier feeling being a linen/rayon blend and having such a wide hem span, but the color goes with a lot and most of my wardrobe is a bit dressier anyway so it works great in my wardrobe.
 Back view - I love the way this drapes. I'm narrowing down more and more clothing aspects that I like or don't like, and I don't really care for true circle skirts because they end up with pools of fabric over the tummy area. It just feels like I have to fiddle with them to keep them looking good. This skirt doesn't pool until below the tummy, giving a nice smooth look over my area I want to distract from, which I love. I will admit that the buttons seem a bit heavy for the angle of the grain of the fabric, meaning that they like to sink between the folds of the rest of the fabric (you can see this in the first photo), but that's a minor issue.
And what's a big skirt project without a twirl photo? I really like this skirt. Having worn it a few times now I may change the ribbon waistband to a petersham ribbon - the polyester I used was a cute color and I had enough, but it's a bit scratchy on my skin sometimes. Other than that I love this and know it will be a great piece to have in the Florida heat. And even better it only cost me about $0.50 to make :)

Yay for refashioning!

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