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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Stretched-out silk top to mini skirt

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been a couple of weeks since my last post, I've been both busy and ill. On top of my usual work and hobbies, I've been helping out in a local panto production (yes, I know it's February), the performances of which were the week before last. I was just prompting, but my lovely friend Grace (who is also a dancey crafty gal) and her daughters were performing and we all had a great time. The only problem was that I came down with a horrendous cold on the first day of the performances, so I ended up croaking most of my prompts whilst trying not to put the actors off with my coughing and sneezing. To the audience members who had to sit next to me on the front row, I sincerely apologise. It's taken me almost a full week to recover, so I'm very behind on my refashions!

It started with this pale pink jersey vest top/dress which had an overlay of silk and lace detailing. The lace was stretchy and worn-out, with bits of elastic poking out everywhere, and the pink shade was ever-so-slightly transparent. Not a look I generally go for, although some girls seem to like it. It was also oddly misshapen, with the left side longer than the right. I assumed when I tried it on that this was the result of the jersey fabric being accidentally stretched while it dried, and hoped it would go back to normal once I washed it.

As you can tell, I wasn't overly impressed with this top...

I decided a change of hue was in order, so I popped down to The Range and picked up some Dylon fabric dye for hand use in Pewter Grey. Pink top in, grey top out. The colour wasn't quite pewter grey, probably because the silk took less of the dye than the cotton jersey underneath, but it was a nice, slightly aubergine shade - all except for the synthetic lace, but I was going to get rid of that anyway. Unfortunately, the uneven hem did not vanish in the wash. Harrumph.

Pretty colour! Not so pretty hemlime.
The second step was to get rid of all the bits I disliked. Sorry lace. I pinned the silk overlay to the jersey underlay and chopped the neckline and arm holes off at the level of the first seam in the silk. Then I chopped the bottom off where the lace met the silk.

Poor, sad lace.
No more uneven hemline!
I was in danger of cutting so much material away that I'd be left with far too little fabric to work with, so I stopped at this point, other than to even up the length where it was (still) longer on the left. I found some wide black elastic in my stash, and made a waistband by measuring it against myself so that it was tight (but not too tight - I want to breathe) then stitching the ends together with a X-inside-a-box pattern.

Next, I folded over the top of the fabric a couple of times, stretched out the waistband and pinned the fabric into place. Then I stitched it with a straight stitch whilst stretching the elastic out (if I hadn't have stretched the elastic the stitching would have prevented it from stretching later on).

Almost there!
The final step was to hem the bottom. Cotton jersey doesn't fray, so no need to do anything with the underneath other than make sure it was straight. It's very difficult to hem silk this thin with a conventional sewing machine, and I decided it wasn't worth the bother. Instead, I just ran a line of stitches around the hem about half a centimetre from the bottom to prevent any large-scale fraying catastrophes, but which would allow a little feathering to occur.

I was having real issues getting a photo where both my face/hair and the skirt looked decent, so you'll have to put up with me gurning, sorry.
I think this looks OK. It's not a major fail because it does look allright, but I'm not sure I'll wear it. As we have previously discussed, I'm not one for short skirts. It may end up back at the charity shop I bought it from, but at least it's not completely unwearable now. Ah well!

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