Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Refashion For Me & My Girl

Hello again :) I'm not sure why I'm always so optimistic at the prospect of school holidays potentially equalling extra sewing and blogging time; once again history proves me wrong. Back into term time again, and here I am finally getting back to posting.

To be honest, I wasn't sure whether to record this one - it's almost as basic a refashion as they come! But simple though it was, it's been a success on two fronts, so here 'tis:

Last September a op shop jaunt netted me this spotted rayon dress. It was too big all over, and elastic waists are rarely friendly to me. I think it was also intended for a taller person than me (left) or my daughter (right)

So why buy it? Easy:
a) Having discovered rayon this past year I'm a little bit in love! It breathes and moves like silk and is as cooperative to sew as cotton.
b) It reminded me (albeit as a black and white, ill-fitting version) of the dress Julia Roberts wore for the polo scene in Pretty Woman - don't tell me you didn't love it too...
c) it was $2.

Done deal.

Originally I planned to unpick it and make it up again as the polo dress. There would have been quite a lot of faffing about with the armscyes though - they're very low. So it got pushed down the queue, until it occurred to me that I'd been pinning an awful lot of midi length skirts, and my girl loves to wear slouchy, breezy, layered tops in warm weather....Double win!

The dress was constructed as a separate top and (four panel) skirt, then narrow elastic was sewn to the waist seam. I unpicked this and detached the two.

I far prefer waistbands to elastic waists, especially if I intend to wear tucked in tops. I had a bit of extra length to play with, but wanted to keep it as full as possible. So I cut 6cm from the upper edge of the skirt, which gave me plenty for a waistband. The fact that the skirt was sewn in four panels meant that as a waistband it didn't quite match up neatly as a three piece front and two backs; the "side" seams on the finished band are more towards the front. But it is centred and the print disguises that flaw well.

There wasn't quite enough to cut a facing from the fabric as well, so I had to make do with some black cotton in my scraps stash, but it matches and is on the inside so isn't seen. The main skirt was gathered and then sewn to the new waistband. Then I undid the back centre seam 20cm and inserted a zip.

 The end result is swishy and breezy and I love it! And though a summer skirt really, it's done pretty good service in cooler weather too, with a collared shirt, jumper, tights and long boots. (So long as it's not too cold out...)

The top could hardly have been easier! Once the elastic was gone, I just had to press the gathers/wrinkles out and give it a narrow hem.

 Voila! An easy cropped top for layering (since, thank heaven, she's not into the bare midriff look!)
Not much call for sleeveless tops round here at the moment - right now warm weather is a fond and distant memory - but summer's got to return one day....

So pretty basic really, but a fun and satisfying - and quick! - project. I mentioned in my MMM reflections post that I've fallen out of the habit of refashioning; this make(s) has gotten me excited about it again. And I noticed that this year's Refashioners challenge (which by the by looks amazing! The talent - oh my!) is running a community challenge alongside the main one. I think I'll give it a go....


  1. Fantastic, I always feel a lot freer in my sewing when refashioning. These are lovely, well done. I particularly like the crop top.

  2. A great refashion! You've got the eye lady. I absolutely adore my rayon midi skirt, and have gotten winter use by cropping a barely worn wool Renfrew to waist height. But in summer it will very much come into its own, you'll see!

    1. I believe you! Doesn't it make you wistful for warmer weather??

  3. Yes! Of course I love that Pretty Woman dress. It was beautiful!! This skirt looks great on you, and genius that you managed to get a top out of the dress too. I really love rayon (and viscose - I'm never sure if they are exactly the same, or not) these days too. So lovely to both sew and wear!