Thursday 23 January 2014

A Tartan Skirt Refashion

I don't know about you, but I think I would sew a lot more if it wasn't for the price of fabrics. This might just be one of my problems, with living in an area with limited fabric suppliers, but when I can buy a top or dress cheaper than when I can make one, it just doesn't make sense to me. Which is a shame, because sewing your own clothes means you can have unique items of clothing that you won't find anywhere else. And, of course, sewing is fun! My solution to this, is to keep an eye out for second hand fabrics that I can use - even when it is already a part of an existing garment. When I found this skirt I could see that it had potential to be bettered.

Tartan Skirt Refashion

The main problem with this skirt was the length and shape - it just came across as rather baggy. The pattern didn't help either - the large tartan print would have been better when contained to a smaller area. But I liked the fabric, and decided to see past the current state of it. I simply adjusted the hemline of this dress (hardly much sewing, I know), making more of a mini-skirt. The original idea was to create a skort effect, but I didn't have enough excess fabric to experiment. I'm still thinking of making a skort though.

Tartan Skirt Refashion

Tartan Skirt Refashion

This is what it looks like now. The shorter length of the skirt means the bright tartan pattern is less overwhelming, and is a lot more flattering to wear. I'm going to be wearing this with simpler pieces of clothing, to let the tartan do the talking.

There are a lot of horrendous looking skirts out there, but if you can see past the current state of the skirt, you could easily adjust it. Here are my 5 top tips for adjusting a skirt:
  • Always wash your skirt beforehand. Mine shrunk, a lot, leaving me with less material than I originally had. Better to shrink it before the alterations than to shrink it after and find it doesn't fit you after all that hard work.
  • If your skirt has a lining, alter the outer fabric first. This is the easiest way to ensure that your lining will not be longer than the skirt fabric.
  • Try it on after every stage of alteration, preferably before making permanent changes. What might look like the desired length of your skirt on the floor or table, can change completely when worn. Better to alter it a couple of centimetres either way, than to have to undo a heap of sewing (not fun).
  • Do the Pin, Press & Tack. Yup, it might sound like an exercise technique, but for me, this is the best way to get a sharp, neat hem. First, fold your fabric, pinning it place. Press the fold with an iron, before tacking the hem in place with a loose running stitch. It might sound time consuming, but ideally you should spend longer preparing your fabric than you should sewing. It makes the sewing process a lot easier.
  • Take your time when hemming. Yes, it's not the hardest of things, but as soon as you start to think "I could do this a bit faster" you start to make mistakes. Trust me.
Have you got any tips or stories of when you refashioned a piece of clothing?

1 comment:

  1. These are some great tips! I've never tried to refashion a piece of clothing but it's definitely something I'd like to try. I've just discovered your blog and I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts :)