Old Stuff => New favourite Dress

I’ve become massively addicted to sewing. It’s *so* much fun & you can wear or otherwise use the results. What’s not to like? Well, my wardrobe begs to disagree. ‘There’s no room for all this new stuff.’ it groans. ‘Make some room – at least get rid of some of the old stuff!’ Hm. Yes, there is something in that.

I’m a non-pathological hoarder. Meaning, I tend to hold on to things, but I can still make my way through the house without the aid of a shovel. And sometimes (*gasp*) I even manage to throw things out. This time I went through my clothes and took out a shirt I’d bought in 2003 (yes, I remember when and where I got it, and, yes, I hold on to clothes a looong time. I still have clothes from the 1980s…) when the fashion tended towards the cropped top. I like to navel-gaze as much as the next person, but I’d rather not have other people gazing at my navel, thank you very much. This was a long top for the time, but, now longer tops are in fashion again, it’s tended to languish at the bottom of the drawer. And then inspiration struck. Why not add some fabric & make it a short dress/long shirt that I can wear with my leggings? And why not use some of the fabric scraps that have been accumulating?

So, I went to work. Firstly, I opened the bottom seam of my shirt, ironed it out and then cut it back so that the rather faded bottom edge wouldn’t show. I also rounded off the edges slightly, which means tapering them off to the sides. This is something I learnt from Cal Patch‘s wonderful book about making your own patterns: because your body isn’t flat, the pattern shouldn’t really end in a straight line at the bottom. Hence the curve at the bottom of this t-shirt pattern:



To make the pattern for the skirt, I simply folded my shirt in half lengthways, drew the measurement on a sheet of paper and then added a few centimeters on the right-hand side:


Notice the rounded edges at the top and at the bottom. The edge on the left meets the fold in the fabric and should be laid along the grain of the fabric.

Next I sewed some likely-looking fabric scraps together, adding some applications as well. I also prepared a pocket.

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The new skill I learnt this time is to create a bit of a ruffled look. The skirt is several centimeters wider than the shirt, and has to be gathered together to fit.

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While the process isn’t that difficult, I need to practice spacing my ruffles evenly along the seam. At the moments there are rather more ruffles on one side of the skirt than on the other (00ps!).

After the skirt seam has been gathered, it is simply sewn on to the bottom of the shirt. To do that, you place the two seams together, right on right side. And then you finish the bottom seam and you’re done! In my case I chose to add binding, simply because I used it for the top of my little pocket and because it looks lovely and neat. It’s as good a reason as any. You can fold your fabric and sew a simple seam as well, of course.

And there it is – my new short dress/long skirt to go with my leggings…

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I’m loving it. Unfortunately my wardrobe – logical piece of wood that it is – has pointed out that I didn’t actually get rid of anything. In fact, the new garment is a tad more voluminous than the old one. Er. Yes. Well. I wonder if there’s anything else I can throw out…




About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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One Response to Old Stuff => New favourite Dress

  1. Pingback: What goes around… | Alyce macht Sachen

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