Blue rose skirt refashion

3 Jun

Behold my doubtful expression in this “before” skirt refashion photo. It was “Oh dear, I am not sure this is gonna work.” Both the skirt refashion I was planning, and the photograph with the bright outdoors behind me.

And please admire my favourite t-shirt – the only garment that made this skirt seem ok. With every other top I own, the skirt looks dowdy dowdy dowdy. I think it is just the wrong mix of length and flare for my figure. Too wide, or too short. Or something. ARGH! I only have myself to blame. I made the skirt, thinking that length was ok. Glug.

But I LOVE the fabric! Mmmmm.

During a colour and style consultation with Kerryn of Kerryn’s Fabric World, I mentioned the issue with this skirt. Indeed it is an issue I’ve had with other skirts too, but this is extra bad because I love the fabric so much yet it is such a flop style-wise. Kerryn suggested I consider diagonals instead of straight hems, on both tops and skirts because without the definite horizontal line it avoids creating that short, dumpy, chopped-in-half look so easy to get when you are short, like me.

So this skirt refashion is the result of Kerryn’s advice, and of being inspired by all the gorgeous fabrics mum used in this quilt for my sister late last year. I chopped the bottom of the skirt off diagonally, then played around with remains of quilting fabric to add back some of the length I chopped off while still maintaining the diagonal effect.

Below is an example of the process. I laid the remnants out in an arrangement I liked, then used one of the (sadly very few) decorative stitches my machine has, to sew them all together along the edges, one edge of fabric on top, the other under which you can see in the centre and left of the picture below.

The right side of the picture shows a shell-stitch pintuck. Can’t for the life of me remember where I learnt of this embellishment technique – either a stray blog or Australian Stitches magazine, but I love it! The pintucky edge folded over a bit but it looks good anyway. I also did another thing I have long wanted to try – pleats working with the colour of a striped fabric. This fabric was a floral with a stripey-coloured background. So I did the pleats along the stripes. Looks great. I want to do it again some time!

The only fabric used that wasn’t on the quilt was this flower fairy fabric remnant I bought to make a new outfit for my ragdoll, Lilly. I pieced the few tiny triangles together. I can now say I have used every single itty bitty thread of this fabric I had.

I finished the join between skirt and um… skirt peplum? Bottom bit of skirt? Interesting Hem Effect? with a green velvet ruched band. It is created by sewing the gathering thread in zigzags across the ribbon so it goes appealingly wobble when you gather it. No, I didn’t do it myself. I bought it like that from Spotlight. I just recognise the technique from. um. A blog? Australian Stitches mag? Threads mag? Uh yeah. Somewhere. I also added a patch pocket as the skirt needed a little something above the ribbon/diagonal cut to bring the two halves of the skirt together. The patch pocket was my visiting Aunty’s idea. Thanks Aunty!

And… here is the final skirt. And me trying to do some artsy fashion-type shot with my very reluctant fashion photographer mum taking the photo and the doggies insisting on joining the fun.

Last but not least, the skirt in action.

Conclusion? A stunning success!

Original fabric: 1.2m @ $8m = around $10
Invisible Zip $1
Ruched velvet ribbon: $5
Quilting fabric remnants: $10
Total: $26

Sandals: Orthoheel
White blouse: $2 op-shop find
Snoopy shirt (top picture) $5 op-shop find
Dogs: Priceless (RSPCA find, many years ago ;-P)

9 Responses to “Blue rose skirt refashion”

  1. Katherine June 4, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    That is a very groovy skirt. Great re-fashion…you have gone from ordinary, everyday to wow!


    • Tropical Threads June 4, 2011 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Katherine,

      Thanksyou! I certainly wear it a LOT, where before it was in the back of the closet, a sad reminder of a failed sewing venture. I love it now 🙂


  2. Myrhiann June 4, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    What pretty fabrics, and what a unique skirt you have made. I love the snoopy T shirt too.


    • Tropical Threads June 4, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Oh I LOVE all those fabrics. Watching mum use them on the quilt was an odd kind of torture. I wanted them so much! But the quilt was for my sister (who absolutely loves it, by the way 🙂
      So it was great to think of a way to use them for something of my own. And the skirt is much admired when I wear it, now 🙂
      The snoopy t-shirt is sadly on its last legs. The fabric is so thin now *wagh* I’ve worn it to death because of loving it so much.


  3. pondhopper June 6, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    That is an amazing skirt…I love the patchwork look it has now.
    And it looks perfect with the eyelet embroidered blouse!


    • Tropical Threads June 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

      Thankyou! That blouse is a treasure, and goes so well with it, doesn’t it?
      Oh it was fun to make this skirt!


  4. Laura Rittenhouse June 6, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    I don’t know where to start. I love the new skirt (the old one was okay but maybe with a frilly white blouse? maybe not.). You turned it from something pretty to something unique and really beautiful.

    But what amazes me more is how many projects you’re doing. Not only do I not have the time or energy (or creativity) to do so much, I don’t have the closet space! I assume the local op shop benefits from you clearing out the old.

    Keep it up. The mix of practical and creative is a wonderful gift.


    • Tropical Threads June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi Laura! Nice to see you here 🙂

      You are right, the old one was okay so long as it was dressed up right, but getting it right was very hard. Thankyou so much for the compliment! I love wearing it.

      I have slowed down a bit now. After all those weight changes from being ill, my wardrobe was a wreck, sadly. Some concerted sewing and op-shopping over the past year or so, and it is back to good order. So instead of working on just getting practical clothes made I have changed the focus to really playing round with ideas and trying new techniques, like in this skirt.
      However, sewing is such a HUGE stress-reliever for me. And with the PTSD my stress levels are crazily high. So I am pretty much obliged to sew lots. Poor me…




  1. I wish… | Tropical Threads - February 25, 2013

    […] them into something that does work. Sometimes I do. Sometimes quite spectacularly well. For eg this skirt here just didn’t work too well in its original incarnation but I turned it into something that […]


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