Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Simplicity Sewing Challenge and Refashioners 2016 all rolled into one!

Well, this has taken me a while!  The thing is why not stretch yourself by trying to combine two challenges in one.  I am entering the Simplicity Sewing Challenge and The Makery's Refashioners 2016 Challenge with the same skirt. :)

I started out with Simplicity pattern 1458...

and four pairs of jeans.  (To clarify - the Simplicity challenge requires you to use this pattern and The Refashioners' requires you to refashion jeans.)

I knew from the outset that I didn't want a patchwork look for my skirt but wasn't sure how easy it would be to find the same colour denim in sufficient quantity in a charity shop.  Turned out I was very lucky!  In the first shop I went into they had a whole rack of size 12 jeans, unworn, that they couldn't seem to sell.

You can see from this label that they had reduced them from £3 to £1.50.  As a rule I don't like to cut up clothes that aren't damaged but they had a whole rack of these, all size 12 that weren't selling, and I was worried they might end up being recycled anyway.  So I bought four.

I traced out just the skirt section of the dress pattern.  I knew I wanted a very tight fit so I cut out size 16 regular, when I am actually a size 16 c urvy (I am not fooling myself!). 

I trimmed the top of the tracing to fit my waist measurement.

This was easy to do as the waist was clearly marked on the pattern.  I then traced a slight curve which a waistline needs to sit nicely.

I made up a toile and I had a lovely A-line skirt but I wanted to do a bit more to the pattern (and the jeans!) than that.

So I traced around my pattern pieces again - because I wanted to keep the original skirt pattern for future use.

I had marked on the toile when wearing where my hips started to curve back inwards, and I used these measurements to mark a curve on the toile (just to double check the fit) and the copy pattern.

(I know - my drawing of the skirts are quite something aren't they.  Completely self taught in drawing I am!)

Don't forget to curve the other way as well, as in the photo above, or you'll end up with a sticky out bit where the fabric abruptly changes direction.

I also lengthened the skirt and carried on the curve and I ended up with a pattern piece that looked like this...

The straight line is the original line of the dress, the curve is where I have altered the pattern.

The beauty of a princess seam is that it is easier to fit the pattern pieces onto the leg of a pair of jeans.

... Although it is still a squeeze.  I found out that they would fit easier onto the back legs - which were a little wider - but I did put some pieces on the front legs and had a few odd seams because it meant that I could spare one of the pairs of jeans from being cut up.  I will donate these back to a charity shop with the original £5 tag on them to show they are unworn and hope they can get some money for them.

So, I had a lovely fitted skirt with a cute kick out at the bottom - but I wanted to use some of the original jean furniture.  (I am guessing how handles on doors are door furniture then zips, rivets and pockets on jeans are jean furniture, or is that just me?)  Soooooo, I decided I wanted a high high waist using the original jeans.  Sorry, this is going on a bit, you aren't late for an appointment are you?

I drafted a high waistband for the front of the skirt, and split it into three to coincide with the princess seam lines, and I used the zips from the three jeans I cut up to make the waist detail.

Like so.

I kept the back waistband as two pieces as I liked the lines made by the stitching from the back of the jeans.  I also left a teeny tiny bit of the pockets on as well.  The zip is exposed because it cost me more than the jeans and I wanted to see it!

You will have noticed that I kept some of the piping detail from the original pattern on the front of the skirt.  I used a piece of scrap fabric I bought on ebay in a bag of scraps for 99 pence I think.

I made quite chunky piping hence why it is just on the front of the skirt.  It would not be very comfortable to sit on if it were on the back.

The finishing details included a scant bias bound hem on the skirt. 

And I was done!

Time to sit back and smell the flowers.

Phew. :)