So this is it, my very last Australian make…for the time being at least. It’s amazing what you can do with scraps, and silk crepe de chine no less! You might recognise the fabric from my recent Meissa. But I think it also works perfectly as a swirling, twirling, ballerina skirt.
I only had awkward lengths of bias cut silk from a previous disaster to work with. The best I could do was gather two very odd skirt pieces and then layer them together. The great thing about making little scrappy pieces like this is that I don’t feel scared of experimenting. I’ve shamefully only been using one or two stitches on my serger. So this was a great opportunity to discover how ridiculously simple it was to make nice, neat, narrow and rolled hems on the serger.
I used my last bit of viscose jersey (from here) to make the waistband, with just enough left over to make a pair of matching bike pants for her handstand sessions.
And finally, here is a little teaser that I upcycled from a pair of white linen pants. I’m going to smuggle it to Kansas for Miss Five for her birthday. More photos to come.
Let’s start with the skirt. You might remember my white linen dress from earlier this summer. I literally wore this dress to death. In the end, due to several small tears at strain points in the bodice (and coupled with my collar mishap), I decided it was time to revive this dress as a maxi-midi skirt. All I did was
unpick the bodice slice along the seam line with my rotary cutter, add a back seam for the invisible zip and construct a WIDE waistband (I still need to sew another hook and bar to the back of it).
The top is a simple return of Vogue 8840. I used some amazing linen from Tessuti Fabrics. I actually feel a little guilty about this top. I envisioned those gorgeous stripes in a cute little pair of shorts for my littlest girl (the one who is happy to NOT wear pink). But I think I can get over the guilt. I LOVE this top. It is light and cool and in one of my favourite summer fabrics. I think it looks pretty neat with the skirt too.
The modifications I made to V8840 in the long version (size 12) were:
- cropping the length by 29cm
- took 2cm off the neckline, front and back
- stitched the back seam all the way
- adding facing instead of binding, and an invisible zip centre front
Well this fabric has been through quite a bit. You might remember it here, as my first fabric dyeing experiment. I made it into a sundress for myself but was never quite happy with the shape of it. Then I made it into a maxi skirt for myself with a hi-lo hem. The shape was beautiful, but the style a little too boho for my taste. And I couldn’t quite get past the fact that there was a zipper and seam down the centre front (don’t ask!). I never wore it, never planned to, but I just couldn’t part with the beautiful fabric. It wasn’t even worth photographing.
Finally, after gathering dust in my ‘alterations’ pile for some time, I decided to have a last shot at turning this fabric into something better. And at long last, I can count this final effort at repurposing as a success. In fact, it has turned out to be one of the best things I have ever made for Miss Five. I LOVE this little mini maxi skirt. It is super cool and a little bit girly, but not too grown up. And Miss Five absolutely loves it.
The fabric is silk crepe de chine and I know this is way too luxe for a five year old. But this type of silk is surprisingly hard wearing (hubby pipes up and reminds me that parachutes are made out of silk!). In the past, I had a few little scraps of a pretty floral crepe de chine that I pieced together to make a simple gathered skirt for Miss Four. It was gorgeously swishy, she wore it every second day, and I machine washed it as regularly. The cotton waistband wore out before the silk. Now, I generally don’t choose to sew my children silk gowns, but on the odd occasion that I have little spare bits, seeing them swish in it almost gives me as much pleasure as if I was wearing it myself.
After seeing Little Betty’s fabulous metallic Moss skirt in a recent post, I thought I might like to make one too. I remembered a pretty remnant from Tessuti Fabrics that I had in my stash that would be perfect for it, 1.1m of an Italian cotton drill speckled with the prettiest little white flowers. It was the perfect amount.
The Moss skirt from Grainline studio is a lovely skirt with great design features. I love the pockets and the back fits nicely with the yoke. Even the inside of the skirt looks nice when made!
But as I was fitting my Moss skirt, I realised that I wanted it to sit higher on my waist, and not as low on the hips as it was intended. This meant that I ended up taking about 3.5cm off each side (reducing the pattern to less than the smallest size). Because of this significant change, the back waistband then ended up sitting higher on me than it should. You can see how high the back is when laying flat and I don’t quite have the booty to fill it.
Next time, I will reduce the yoke or back piece to fix this. I also added a ruffle to the bottom of my skirt because it just seemed right at the time!
I like this skirt, a lot actually. I am really pleased with how neatly the zipper and fly turned out. I love the ruffle and the length feels really modern to me. After a year or more of knee length skirts and dresses, I am noticing a shortening of the hemline in my wardrobe and quite liking it!
I mostly only buy remnants, partly because of the frequency at which I shop for fabrics, and also because most of the fabrics that I covet are a little out of my budget. But every now and then I walk past a particular fabric that I just have to have, love at first sight if you will. This happened a few months ago when I saw this summery yellow and silver polyester mix at Tessuti Fabrics.
I turned most of it into a skirt for myself, a lovely knee length skirt with a few pleats and big pockets. A little later, I shortened it into a mini version. I’ve worn it so much that it isn’t really in the same condition as it was made, but the fabric has worn very well for a poly and the silver is still as silver as ever.
There was only a little bit of this lovely fabric leftover after making my skirt, just enough for a couple of little skirts (as long as I got creative with piecing all the small bits of fabric together). I added some divine ivory circle poly for one skirt (a lucky remnant from Tessuti Fabrics) and a some vintage floral I am trying to use up for the other.
I used a pattern from one of my Japanese pattern books that I have used many times before, so I was assured the skirts would turn out fabulously (albeit a little large for Miss nearly-four).
As usual, it was super easy to get some great shots of Miss Five in her new skirt.
But next to impossible getting a decent photo of the ever moving, ever wriggling Miss nearly-four.
I think she may have been twerking…