Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rags to riches

Or at least trousers to skirt...

So I started my refashion plans with the stretchy purple cords.  They're actually almost burgundy - not vibrant purple as they appear in these photos.  It was a bit of a no brainer to try and make them into a skirt.  I had decided that in the shop, and I must admit that I didn't even try them on as there was no way I was going to wear them as trousers!  Also, I had a baby strapped to my chest, so I just held them up to my waist and decided they'd probably do.  They have a good waistband already, a short zipper, and inset pockets, and most importantly they fit me at the waist so I can keep all that.  

To start with I unpicked the inside leg seams then cut the bottom half of the trouser legs off.

I guessed with the length as I wanted the cut pieces to be almost as long as the skirt to make sure that I ended up with enough spare material to 'fill in the gaps' (technical term!).  I'm quite short, so this worked out fine for me.

I laid the 'skirt' out flat and measured out some triangular pieces to sew into the gaps.  I pinned them in and sewed it up on my machine.

I ended up with this.....

Not bad!  In fact I think I was very lucky that the triangles went in so well - particularly the front.  It could easily have been a fiddly mess!  Beginner's luck I guess!  Anyway I wasn't happy with it yet as I was aiming for more of an A-line shape, and trying it on confirmed that I was right - this shape didn't flatter me AT ALL!

So onto stage 2.  I unpicked the side seams this time up as far as the widest part of my hip.  I folded over my two remaining cut pieces lengthwise and inserted them at an angle until I was happy with the A shape.  Then I pinned them in and sewed them up.

This is what it looks like on the wrong side after sewing.  I'd love to say that my seams are neater now but that's not true. I don't have an overlocker so I tried using my overlocking foot on the sewing machine, only to find that I'd cut the seam allowances too short so that the foot kept sticking or slipping off.  That meant that I had to pull the fabric through which caused the stretchy fabric to ripple.  Eventually I gave up and left my seams 'au naturel'!

Here's the skirt before hemming:

I used my overlocker foot again (this time more successfully!) to finish the edges and first tacked then hand sewed the hem.

And TA DAAHHH!!  An A-line skirt that I am VERY happy with!  I'm sure it could have been executed better, and certainly tidier, but I love the shape, and the material is so soft that it's a joy to wear.  I can see this becoming a wardrobe staple, at least until I lose weight or it falls apart!  It could do with a lining (to cover up those unsightly raw edges!) but I don't have any lining fabric at the moment.  I shall make a mental note to keep my eye out for something suitable on my next charity shopping outing!

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