Thursday, July 25, 2013

Clothing Challenge #2

Let me just say that I struggled with this one.  What started out as an easy idea, to just turn a long skirt into a pair of pants, quickly turned into a lot more.

Here is the original skirt.  Way too long for someone short like me.

It has a nice wide piece of elastic for the waistband and already fits.

Too sexy for work with that high side slit.

But I love this pattern.  And it is a double knit so it hangs nicely while also clinging just enough in all the right places.   So my original thought was to work with that slit and just slit it up the other side to make pants.  Do you see the wheels turning?

So, I cut the skirt open up both sides to what I figured to be crotch level and am left with two legs to work with.  It also makes it easier to see how much fabric I really have.

Looks like pants already doesn't it?

This picture shows what I was going for.  Now I know that you need a little extra fabric to pull into the crotch area but these legs looked "wide" enough that I'd have room to lose some width to give to the crotch.  NOT SO.  I could pinch it around my thigh but I'd end up with tighter pants than I'd like.....and the only way to have a crotch would be to add a diamond of black fabric since there is NOT enough here to cover and still have loose legs.  I've seen the diamond added before to make pants from a skirt and it usually doesn't show.  But with these as tight as they would end up, I think it might would show.  Put it this way,  I could go ahead and sew these, but the daughter would end up wearing them. Never thought I'd say, "I wish I didn't have a crotch!"  I believe that this would have worked better if the skirt had been too big for me instead of a perfect fit.

This is a very technical way to measure fit. :)

Look how tight they would be.  And short.

So, plan B.  I could make a sundress out of it, by darting the bust, shaping in the sides for an hourglass figure and adding some wide straps, with maybe some black fabric.  Maybe?

Or Plan C, I could make a simple shift out of it with a cowl type neckline.  Or reshape that neckline into a simple slit.

So, which one did I go with?  Drum roll please......

I decided to shake it up a little and make the back more interesting.

So here is how I accomplished it.  Keep in mind that I have a serger, which is da bomb for working with knits.

The waistband is elastic so it needed no adjustment to become a top.  But to keep it from looking like a sack, it needed a couple of darts to shape the bust.  After taking this photo, I had to turn the dress inside out and pin the darts from the other side.  Oops.

This is the darts with a sports bra on, so I know that a regular bra will fill out the puckers more (if you can call it that).

Then I pinned in the sides to give it more an hourglass shape.  Except for the waist cinching in, the rest of the side seam basically took about an inch in from each side from the original seam.

Looks good but a still too long for someone as short as me.

This is a better length for me.  Hey, show em if you've got em!

So I cut off the bottom of the skirt....

and cut and serged the two pieces evenly to use as straps.

After serging up the tubes, I turned them right side out.

Typically the serger sews and finishes the edges for you all in one step so there is no need to sew, but I was fitting this as I went along and didn't want to risk the serger cutting away fabric in case I had fitted it too closely.  So I sewed it first, tried it on and then used the serger to cut away the excess fabric and finish the edges.  This shows me finishing off the two side seams prior to hemming the bottom.

Then I used the serger for a cover hem to finish the bottom off.  This is how store bought knits are typically hemmed.

I pinned the straps in place first to check placement, then stitched them in place with the sewing machine.


 And it is off to work I go!

I already have the next clothing challenge ready, I just have to put the entire outfit together and photo it.....the wait won't be as long.

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