Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Refashion of a Refashion: Navy Linen Skirt Redux

One of my big misses last year was this navy linen skirt refashion. There wasn't anything exactly wrong with the skirt, it just didn't really work in my wardrobe. In my Top 5 Misses post, I mentioned that I would like to fix the issues I had with this skirt to make it more wearable for me, and I finally got out my seam ripper a few weeks ago.
The big change you can see right off are the buttons. As much as I love shell buttons, I it just made this skirt more beachy and casual looking than the rest of my wardrobe, so I was greatly limited as to what shirts I could wear with it. I knew I wanted to change them and I lucked out a little over a month ago when I came across a cache of 1/2" navy shank buttons on cards at a thrift store for 5 cents each. I grabbed all they had - I think it was 30 or so buttons, and they turned out to be the perfect size and color for this skirt. I spent some spare time removing the old ones and sewing on the new ones - easy peasy!
The next big and important change was the waistband. Originally I used a cheap polyester grosgrain ribbon as my inner waistband. It didn't seem like a problem when I decided to use it, but it was really scratchy against my stomach. Also, the skirt flares pretty quickly with the gored construction, and the ribbon was 1" wide but had zero give, which lead to some bunching up on my top stitching. I always wore my shirt untucked so it wasn't a big deal, and if it hadn't been scratchy I would've probably left it, but out it came. I picked a fun batik print fat quarter from my stash and cut some 2" wide bias tape. I needed to make sure the skirt didn't stretch out, so I used a poly satin ribbon as a waist stay inside my bias tape seam allowance - now it looks cute, stays the right size, and feels much more soft against my skin :) I also decided to actually cut a buttonhole in the bias tape and hand stitch it into the buttonhole on the front unlike last time where I was lazy and just folded the ribbon up to clear the hole, lol. It's much neater in there now. I did have one little snafoo with unpicking and I cut a tiny hole when I unpicked the ribbon waistband, which you can see at the top left of the waistband in the above photo. I just dabbed a bunch of fray check and called it good, lol.
Once I finished my two niggling changes that I had always planned, I started to think about pockets. This construction has no side seams, so adding traditional pockets wasn't really an option. Not having pockets really is a pain for me though - I wear skirts at work and I need to have my counter keys on me at the very least. Pockets just make life so much easier. So I pulled out the scrap pieces from when I cut the original waist off this skirt (because I'm crazy and keep everything) and they were just big enough to get some basic patch pockets out of! I just cut as large of a pocket as I could from the scraps and rounded off the bottom. I used my bias tape as a facing for the top and got that all enclosed, then I overcast around all the outer edges. Next I stitched around the edge of the rounded section of the pocket at a 5 stitch length and gathered it in to make a nice edge - such a life saver on a rounded pocket like this. Folding that over by hand would be a nightmare without the gathering. Then I just placed them where they looked good, measured to make sure they were evenly placed, and top stitched 2 rows to secure them.
It's amazing how much something as simple as pockets can change your whole outlook on a piece of clothing. I seriously love these pockets. They are just big enough to hold what I need in the day (actually they even fit my phone!), plus they look really cute. I'm so glad I had enough fabric to add them. Patch pockets - who knew?

So that is my refashion of my refashion :) This skirt integrates wonderfully in my closet now and I already have a bunch of things I can wear it with. The linen rayon fabric makes it super light and lovely, and I'm sure this will be a warm weather staple item this year. Hooray for saving something I thought was a failure!

Fabric: batik print fat quarter - $1.00, scraps from previous refashion
Notions: 12 navy buttons - $0.75 (thrifted), navy thread - $0.50
Time: 3 hours

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