When Audrey over at Skirt Fixation put out a call for refashionistas willing to take a risk on an ugly skirt of her choosing and turn it into something beautiful, I gladly excepted the challenge. What she sent me was pretty bad, sure, but honestly, it could have been a lot worse. It was an awkward length, 100% polyester, and the elastic waistband was shot, but... reversible! Twice as much fabric to work with! And the floral print was kind of meh, but polka dots? It's like Audrey's in my head!
Oh, and one more thing - "Bump. 266A" written in permanent marker near the waistband on the floral side. I've come across this before in my thrifting. It most likely means this skirt belonged to someone in an assisted living center where all the laundry was done together and then redistributed to the correct residents. But don't worry. I've got the perfect way to work around this spot.
First, I cut the floral half off at the waistband to create a cute spring/summer dress. And since the fabric is fairly sheer, we're going to need to call in reinforcements in the form of two white cotton men's shirts. These freebies have been hanging in my refash closet for a while now, left over from someone's garage sale. Apparently, no one wants to buy white shirts with stains down the front and yellowing around the collar. Who knew? But as a lining, these will work great. (Never throw anything away.)
I cut the back panel off both shirts and gave them a good press. Then I stitched down the sides in a dress-like silhouette and trimmed off the excess.
Next, I attached my lining to my floral fabric, creating a pleat in what will be the back of my dress. Since I'll need more length in front to accommodate The Girls, I simply sewed straight across the edges of the fabric in the front, then slanted downward a bit on the sides, then straight across the back but a couple inches away from the edge. I used a zigzag stitch to maintain a little stretchability.
Of course, my dress is going to need a yoke, so I pulled out the top part of this cashmere sweater refashion I did a few weeks ago. (Never throw anything away, especially cashmere.) I stuck the right-side-out skirt through the inside-out sweater top and zigzagged along the same line as before. Then I was able to trim off the excess fabric, along with that permanent marker. After that, I flipped the sweater top upward and used a matching thread to zigzag along the fold so everything would lay smoothly.
That looks kinda messy, doesn't it? It's okay. I have a plan. I grabbed some bits of lace, removed from the back of the beige tee used in this refashion. (Never throw anything away, especially lace.) I joined the three pieces of lace end-to-end, then attached them to my dress, with a zigzag stitch again, to hide the mess and to soften the transition from cashmere to floral.
Then I threw on my new dress, along with a skinny braided belt (Old Navy clearance), a me-made necklace, and my thrifted coral canvas wedges (which I could have sworn matched the sweater yoke better until I got out into the natural light... oh well!).
My cute little Frankensteined dress was perfect for the beautiful weather we had on Saturday. Not so much for the freezing temps and sleet we've got going on today.
Still struggling a bit with full-sun photography, but every photo session is a learning opportunity, right?
But wait, I hear you say, where'd the polka dots go? Ah, what a keen eye you have.
I decided to split up the two fabrics and create two separate garments. So I used my recently refashioned pink silk blouse as a pattern and cut out the front, back, and sleeves for a new top using the skirt's existing hem as the bottom of each piece.
I joined the shoulders with a French seam, by sewing 1/8-inch from the edge with wrong sides together, then flipping it around so the right sides were together and sewing 1/4-inch from the edge. This fabric was very prone to fraying, so I wanted to encase all my raw edges.
Then I attached the sleeves in the same manner, and closed up the sides with a French seam as well. I also reattached the laundering tag.
I trimmed away the front neckline for a slight scoop neck. Then I cut three strips about 2 inches wide from my remnants and joined them end-to-end for a bit of bias tape.
I pinned the bias tape to the neckline with right sides facing. Once sewn, I pressed it upward.
Then I folded it around toward the inside and gave it one last sew.
Everything got a good press, and it was off for my second photo shoot of the day!
I carried on the brown and white color scheme with my thrifted white jeans, thrifted leather boots ($8! at Goodwill), and a chunky white beaded necklace inherited from my Granma.
I can definitely see this top becoming a regular in my spring and summer wardrobe.
Thanks so much, Audrey, for letting me take part in this. It definitely took some creativity and brainstorming to makeover something I probably wouldn't have picked out on my own.