Fall Sewing No. 2 – Refashioned Skirt

My favorite thing about refashioning garments is how much time it can save. I mean who doesn't love saving time, right? This skirt started out as a 1980s-era dress with large pearl-like buttons all the way up the front. I had plans to make the dress into a skirt over a year ago but never finished. Lately, I've been trying to clean up my closets and finish abandoned projects. When I pulled this one out of the bin, I had a flash of inspiration that I could add a black knit waistband and finish this one off.

To start I removed the bodice from the dress. Then I cut a strip of black knit fabric for a waistband. I lightly gathered the top of the skirt, threaded a loop of elastic into the folded waistband and attached it to the skirt stretching the waistband a little bit so that it would pull over the hips easily. Initially I was going to leave the skirt unlined but it was too sheer so I traced the skirt and made a lining, stitching it to the seam for the waistband.

With the flouncy skirt and cream and black colors, this skirt reminds me of a ballerina's. It's sweet and fun and maybe when styled a certain way (like Monday's moodboard) it could be a little punk. Or, as I'm wearing it here, a little nerdy and a little ballerina.

Shown here with:
Nerdy Glasses (similar to these and these)
Pink Henley Tank from J.Crew (similar to this and this)
Dancing Shoes (similar to these and these)

Check out the earlier posts in this series here:
Fall Sewing No. 1 Lace Top Dress
Fall Wardrobe Moodboard

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Summer Sewing No. 4 – Twisted Skirt

I have another Summer Sewing project done. Yay! This twisted skirt is number 4 on my Summer Sewing list. I have started on the shorts (which will need a lot of fitting) and the floral dress (which just has so many pieces!!) but I needed something I could finish in one day last weekend so I decided to whip out this skirt. It's another striped garment, the third and final in the bunch. I must like stripes quite a lot!

The pattern is Burda Style Twisted Skirt 06/2012 #123 and available for free download. It's more a tutorial than a pattern really. You'll need to draft the pattern yourself which is fairly easy because it's just rectangles. This skirt is really easy and fun to make. It would make a good beginner to intermediate project.

The fabric I used is a cotton with a little bit of stretch and tiny blue and gold pin stripes. It was very easy to work with. I've been trying to find just the right project for this piece of fabric or quite a while. I didn't have much to work with and this skirt turned out to be a perfect fit.

The only notions you'll need are an invisible zipper and a hook and eye or snaps for the waistband. My zipper came courtesy of my friends at Kollabora. It's the perfect size and color for this project. Thank you Kollabora!

The instructions are a little sketchy (probably translated into English). So, I've written out my interpretation in the hopes that it will be of some help to you. Instead of using ribbon for the waistband, I cut a waistband from the skirt fabric.

I cut a size 40 (equivalent to US 8) as below:

Fashion Fabric: Cut 2 pieces 30 x 23.5 inches (width x height)
Lining Fabric: Cut 1 piece 40 x 15.75 inches
Waistband: Cut 1 piece 33 x 4.5 inches
(This will make a finished WB of 31 inches by 1.75 inches with a 1 inch overlap, using a .5 inch seam allowance.)
Interfacing: Cut 1 piece 33 inches x 4.5 inches


Step 1:
Cut fabric and lining. Finish edges. Cut waistband and adhere interfacing.

Step 2:
With right sides together, stitch right side seam of skirt.

Step 3:
Stitch zipper to left upper edge of skirt. Stitch left side seam of skirt. (Need help stitching an invisible zipper? Check out this tutorial from Colleterie of this video on Kollabora.)

Step 4:
Stitch left side seam of lining, leaving an opening for zipper at top. (There's only one side seam on the lining because we only cut one large piece.)

Step 5:
Mark center front and back of skirt and lining at both top and bottom edges. Stitch long basting stitches at top and bottom of skirt and top of lining for gathers.

Step 6:
Stitch bottom of skirt and lining together. Make the twist by matching left side seam of lining to center front of skirt, right sides together. Pin skirt to lining at the remaining markings. Gather fabric to fit lining. Stitch. Turn wrong sides together.

Step 7:
Fold waistband in half lengthwise and stitch short sides together, squaring off the corner on one end for one inch, making the tab. Mark right side and center of waistband. (See my pleated skirt tutorial for an illustration of a waistband.)

Step 8:
Pin skirt and lining to waistband matching centers and sides. Gather skirt and lining to fit waistband. Baste. Then stitch. Trim seam allowance. Fold waistband right side out.

Step 9:
By hand, stitch down inside of waistband and stitch lining to zipper tape.

This will be a really fun skirt to wear this summer. It's a little bit fancy with a big helping of casual, perfect for SoCal summers.

Here I've paired it with: 
My DIY Tassel Necklace
Vintage Straw Hat (similar to this and this)
Resin Cuff (similar to this and this)
Polka Dot Blouse from H&M
Woven Sandals (similar to these and these)

Check out the earlier posts in this series here:

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How to DIY a Bright Floral Dress

One of the best things about being a DIY'er is that we can look at something really expensive and know that we can create it ourselves for much less money. Today's inspiration is a Floral Silk Shantung Dress by BOSS Black available at Saks for $595. That's way out of my budget but the it wouldn't be too hard to knock off this lovely dress for about $30. Totally affordable and you can make it exactly to your measurements for a perfect fit.

How to DIY a Bright Floral Dress

Step 1 The inspiration dress is gorgeous, simple and would look great on anyone. You'll wear this dress to afternoon weddings and fancy garden parties all summer long.

Step 2 Find a sewing pattern. The inspiration dress is a fairly simple silhouette and you probably already have a similar pattern in your stash. I am recommending that you use Simplicity 1873 View A, a Cynthia Rowley design, because I have used it twice before with great success. See how I used View A here and View B here. To really match the inspiration, you should make the skirt and sleeves less full (make the panels less wide) with just two pleats at the center front skirt.

Step 3 Find your fabric. The fabric shown above is Hanover Square Anemone Print from Fabric Depot. The fabric is 100% cotton and only costs $9 a yard on sale. It's not as fancy as a silk shantung but cotton is a classic and I think it would work for this dress. It will still look beautiful just a little less luxe. In fact, I used a cotton seersucker with this pattern and worked well. Check out some of my runner up fabrics here, here and here.

Simplicity 1873 Cut Out Back Dress and Peacock Print Dress
Sewing Posts
DIYOutfit Posts
DIY Fashion Pinboard

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