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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Rescuing a Beloved Skirt

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
My one and only white skirt!
The skirt that you see here is one of my favourite summer time items. (Yes, I know, it resembles a petticoat; just wait 'til you see what I do with it.) I'm sure I've had it for over fifteen years; the repeated washings over that period have made the light gauzy material even more gauzy and almost transparent (even though it's lined).

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Me in my skirt
in 2012...
It's got an unfinished bottom edge to it that I've always liked, and the tiers have seams that are exposed and similarly "tattered". Over the years, the elastic at the waist has lost its elasticity. I've actually had to cut into the casing to tie off a section of the elastic to make it work.

Still, I've been wearing it regularly and absolutely refuse to toss it. You see, I have many skirts, but this is my only white one. And sometimes there's just nothing like wearing white in the summer.

Which is why, when I picked up this white fabric from our neighbourhood garage sale last year, I decided that I was going to make a skirt out of it. Over a year later, I finally have an idea to use the fabric to perk up this skirt.

I also have this stretchy lace belt that I picked up for under two bucks on eBay several years ago. While wearable, it's always been just a tad too small for my liking. My idea is to use it as the waistband for my remade skirt.

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Bargain priced lace elastic belt...

This is a circle skirt, by the way, so I searched online for a circle skirt tutorial. Found several, but used the one at Made Every Day with Dana, originally posted in 2008.


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Circle skirts are easy to make and — yes, I admit it — I still do like the full, twirl factor of such a garment. After doing the quarter fold on my fabric, I quickly progressed to this...

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Unfolded, this turns out into a honking big "donut"...

The length of my skirt — since I wasn't going to finish off the bottom seam — is 17.5".

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
This will be turned into the waistband for the skirt...
I removed the hardware from my elastic belt and used a couple of small pieces of elastic to add some extra length (width?) to the whole waistband. Since this has to pull up over my hips, the elastic from the belt by itself is not enough.

What I did was zigzag-stitched together the two pieces of elastic, trimmed the resulting piece to the same 2" width as the belt elastic and then attached it to the belt to create the waistband.

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
I surprised myself... the two parts actually fit!
Next, I removed the elastic from the old skirt and unpicked the stitches that formed the casing. Then I pinned my new circle of fabric over top of it and basted both parts together.

Then I got so busy putting it all together that I stopped taking pictures!

Basically, all that remains is to attach the waistband to the skirt. Some artful pinning and then some "stretching while you sew" is required. (Again, this was another instance of sewing where I wished I had a third hand.)

But here is the finished project...

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
A new look for an old skirt!

Now that I have an extra layer of fabric on this skirt, I no longer have to worry about what colour underwear I'm wearing... LOL!


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Here is a view from the front in the way that I would normally wear this (i.e., top untucked)...

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Front view of my remade skirt...

I actually had to remove a tier from the bottom of the original skirt; too much of it was showing and it did not look right. It took me over a half an hour to unpick those stitches!

Here is a view from the back, this time with my top tucked in so that you can see the waistband...

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Back view of my remade skirt...

All in all, I'm quite happy with the results of this skirt makeover.

There is, however, the matter of that part of the waistband that isn't covered with lace. I've thought about buying some lace to add to it but that's such a small amount. I have this butterfly applique that I can sew on, but I don't know about that either.

White Skirt Upcycle Project by eSheep Designs
Any ideas on how I might finish this last bit of my remade skirt?

What do you think? Any ideas?

By the way, this is the first of a few clothing-centric posts that I am going to put up over the next month or so. I actually have extensive experience sewing clothes. But apart from hats and slippers and scarves — I really haven't written anything here about sewing stuff to wear. It's time to share some of that.

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