Friday, April 03, 2009

Longing for Spring // Spring Skirts: Part Deux, the Refashion Edition

Oh yes, the prospect of spring continues to flirt with us here in the Northeast. It's funny. The quality of light that filters in through the clouds is one that I associate with spring, but the temperatures are a good 20 degrees colder. Instead of that first great sun-filled day of warm temperatures where everybody is out in a skirt or shorts and lounging around Sproul plaza, or sunning themselves in Dolores Park, there's the first great sun-filled day where I step out in tights, or in boots and bare legs. The same, only different.

And then there are days like today where a great fog descends upon the city. Native San Franciscan that I am, I actually relish in those days, but I'm noticing that most other students here don't seem too fond of them. Then again, as my mother likes to remind me, when I was 5 and we visited a classmate in the city who lived up in Golden Gate Heights at the top of a steep hill, I stood there as the fog came rolling in over my body in great billowing, tumbling waves and declared, "I love this stuff! What is it?" The sign of one meant to live in gray places, apparently.

Anyways. The spring wardrobe refashion-y stuff. After my first wishful-thinking moment at the sewing machine, I was inspired to give the wishful-thinking another go. And since the green buds are just beginning to pop out on trees that are slowly transitioning from gray back to brown, I thought I'd bring some of those colors into my life here.


[Yeah yeah, ignore the random clutter in my room]. As Dana mentioned in one of her WR posts, a really bad before picture makes the after result look even better! Hehehe, I most certainly have succeeded on that count.

After loving all the gingham floating around the blogosphere, I found a linen blend skirt at the favorite thrift shop in Palo Alto on a $3 clothing day. Gathered skirt with pockets [yeay pockets], waistband too big, made the whole thing look really frumpy on me.


-Unpicked the waistband from the skirt, and unpicked the zipper, too.
-Took the waistband in by about an inch on each side. To do this I set my presser foot to 1/2" seam allowance, put the presser foot up against the old side seam, and stitched a new one 1/2" from the old [thereby pulling the waistband in by 1" in each side]. Then I trimmed away right at the old stitches for a new 1/2" seam allowance.
-Put in 4 pleats in the front and back instead of the gathers.
-Reattached the waistband, re-stitched in the zipper, understitched the facing to the skirt to cover all raw seam allowances inside the waistband and tada!

The best thing is that there were very few seams to refinish. Basically the part of the waistband where I took it in, I had to refinish a very small bit of the facing on each side. Otherwise, just straight stitching, my friend.

I picked up the flower pin at an estate sale and like to wear it with pretty much everything. I stare at my closet, pluck out some clothes, squint, and say "Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure, that goes with yellow," whip out the pin, and march straight out the door. Highly recommended.


rmlrhonda said...

Great job, and thanks for the description as it is not always easy to tell from the pictures all the details. The fit is very flattering in the after pic and the pin sets it off just right!

Handmade Librarian said...

I love the idea of refashioning gathers into pleats on a skirt with promising fabric (but a bad fit). And the fabric is a super spring one! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Yes! If you squint long enough at everything, it all matches! Or you go blind and don't care! Which also works, because blindness is such a fashionable ailment...