Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing Project ADD

Vogue 8724 is nearly done. I need to serge the sideseams and then hem it. I think I'm leaving it ankle length for now, with the option to change my mind when I'm tired of tripping on it going up the stairs.

I bound the neckline using my CS machine. I trimmed the back neckline for the binding, but left the front alone.

I solved the armhole problem with binding too. It looks really small here, but this fabric is very stretchy.

See? (Yes Andrea, the armhole problem is basically that the bust needs more room but it's also the short kimono sleeve combined with a full bust. They don't usually mix too well.)

So now I have two new dresses for my upcoming trip that are nearly finished and awaiting hems. I thought I'd get that done tonight but I found myself distracted by a flashback to my teenage years and a weird feeling that I was actually contemplating "refashioning" something like all the trendy young women seem to be doing these days. Refashion? Me? Well, yeah, at least for tonight.

As I was sewing the Vogue dress, I was thinking about what I wanted to bring to wear on my trip and I was really missing my now-too-big white capris, since they pretty much scream SUMMER!

Remember these?

Then it dawned on me that they are so big that they could be a white denim skirt without too much trouble. The last time I turned jeans into a skirt was back in 1970-something. Around the same time I was wearing hiphuggers, platform shoes, crop tops and had a flat tummy. I also remember hand-embroidering a big red heart on the butt of another pair of jeans I cut-off into shorts. Yeah, we old farts were refashioning and wearing designs on our backsides long before 2011, but I digress.

So after dinner, I sat in front of Jeopardy with the capris and a seam ripper in my hands. Fifteen minutes later, I had the inseams and crotch completely ripped out and starting pin basting to resemble a pencil skirt shape. Yes, today was my day for getting stabbed with pins. (While I was doing this, I was also thinking of some sort of basting invention that is fast to put in, doesn't stab, is fast to take out, and is reusable. Sorry, but I came up with zilch.)

So here's what the back looked like after a couple of tries. I ended ripping out all the existing center back stitching and cutting through the waistband so I could take it in about 4" and blend that "dart shape" into the new CB seam.

For the front, I overlapped the inseams and crotch curve and pinned it into place. I trimmed the inside with my serger after I was satisfied everything was working and double topstitched to mimic the original felled seams.

Then, around 9:30 PM just as I had put the bottom edge to the serger to finish that edge before hemming it, there was a big crash outside and the power went out. This house could not possibly be any darker at night with no light sources. I fumbled my way downstairs to grab a flashlight and some candles. (The huge crash, BTW, always happens when the power blows. We have above-ground lines here and a big transformer box-thingie on a pole on the property line. Even though I know what the noise is, it still scares the bejeezus outta me.)

I called the electric company and the recording told me they already knew and that power would be restored by 12:30 AM. Yeah, last time it was about 8 hours. I was so disappointed I was kicked out of my sewing room. But I did the next best thing and started reading by flashlight the new sewing books I was sent to review (more on that later!), and around midnight the power came back on. Yay!! Back to the sewing room to finish serging that hem, which I'll press and sew in the morning along with the other hems waiting for me. I made it a little bit tight both because it's stretch denim and I'm planning to keep shrinking me.

So here's the nearly finished skirt. I'm so happy with it. It was fast, free, and fills the casual white bottoms void. I probably won't wear tops tucked in with it and I certainly won't wear my PJ top. ;-)

Back view. The pockets used to have jeans buttons on them, but I noticed one was gone so I cut the other one off and sewed the flaps down. Those flaps always curled up anyway, so this is a good solution for me.

Parting Shot: We had a visitor this afternoon. Meet Bandit (who's checking out all the crap still on my sewing room floor). He lives sort of behind me, and has a yard with a wooden slat fence that needs to be secured in one spot. Until it is, Chili visits him on a regular basis and sometimes Bandit comes into our yard. No one answered at Bandit's house, so we had him until about 8:30 PM when his dad got home. He's a very friendly dog and is welcome to visit anytime.


  1. I love the dress. I really, really like the print. The skirt is a brilliant save - I'm impressed with your patience. I live in the country where no one has doors that close and I have three regular four legged visitors who sometimes even jump up on my bed and wake me up in the morning. I love every minute of it!

  2. Two wins there--the dress is beautiful and the white skirt looks really good!

  3. Good riddance, you work that sewing room for the moment!

    Thanks for all those great posts - it's great laughing with you. It's truly a pleasure to drop by. :-)

  4. Love the dress and the skirt looks awesome on you. You look really great!

  5. Both terrific results. And yes, refashioning, who knew here was a word for what we were doing back in the 70s....and our mothers and grandmothers did in past decades as well. I have some Chicos white jeans that have gotten a little too short in the wash so thank you for the inspiration. Don't donate, re-create!

  6. Diane from Sydney7:51 AM, June 28, 2011

    Nice save :)

  7. OMG, Debbie, I have that same wild print fabric. Did it come from Lucy's Knits? Anyway, you did a great job with it. I love seeing it made up. And the jeans-to-skirt project turned out perfectly. Have a great weekend wearing all your new clothes.

  8. Love the dress and the capri refashion! You are going to have a wonderful time on your trip wearing all the cute new wardrobe items and looking so great. mssewcrazy

  9. Beautiful dress and great job on the skirt!

  10. Sometime in the 70s my mother embroidered a lovely purple cow on the back pocket of some jeans. When they wore out, she (understandably) took the pocket off to keep, I guess with the intention of stitching it onto some other pair. I used to come across it when diving through her notions box---I imagine it's still in there.

    I never saw a purple cow
    I never hope to see one
    But I can tell you anyhow
    I'd rather see than be one.

    The skirt looks great! (And the dog is very sweet, too.)

  11. You are amazing. I love both of your new outfits.

  12. Have you checked out Pinmoor for pin basting? http://www.pinmoor.com/ (NAYY) They are designed for quilt basting but might help with pinning hems, etc., without getting poked.

  13. Aww, cute little visitor! I usually get the neighborhood children and they are not nearly so well-behaved. I don't mind that much, as I'd rather have them here to keep an eye on them than off doing goodness knows what.

    I used to refashion before it was called anything too. As a teenager, I recall hemming a skirt with iron-on tape, cutting jeans into shorts, and fixing holes with patches. I've made those pants-into-skirt things as well. Your white denim skirt looks very cute!

    I also have the problem with pocket flaps curling up, which I find is solved by hanging things to dry and pulling on the flaps when I hang them up. Also, I'm envious of your coverstitch machine. The binding looks FABULOUS.

  14. Love the dress! And the skirt turned out great, too! It looks fabulous on you, and a white skirt will be so useful this summer!

  15. 1) Beautiful fabric.
    2) I'm really liking the pattern now that it's finished.
    3) Really nice coverstitching.
    4) The capris into a skirt? That's great, and it's giving me flashbacks...gosh, maybe a purse to match, lol...no. 5) I'm thinking we are close in size (although I've definitely got more 'junk in my trunk') and could shop each other's closets.
    6) I'd love to see the finished dress modeled. :)

  16. Love your refashion! You are on fire in the sewing room lately. You're going to run out of stash soon!

  17. You have certainly been busy missy! You'll be cool and comfortable in your new dresses as well as looking very nice indeed.
    The other option for that two short sleeve, not enough in the bust would have been to add a band to the bottom of the sleeve making it longer. This was the multiple cup fronts, right? Vogue should have done a better job drafting this is really what should have happened.

  18. I've done exactly the same thing with a pair of too big capris....it's now one of my favorite skirts! Nice save!

  19. Dress looks great, and the 'new' skirt, too! I'm a big fan of cutting out back pockets and stitching down the pockets. My backside is prominent enough without a couple curly flags drawing even more attention there.

  20. Great new dress, I remember that fabric, gorgeous. The skirt is so fun, too. Great idea, I remember those :)

  21. I'm old but new to sewing. I am really enjoying your blog. The dress is great,& colorful, which I really like. Your skirt is cute and looks nice.

  22. Such a pretty dress. That is a great print. And the refashion for the skirt is brilliant! Great fit and perfect for summer.


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