First up – an old purple velvet skirt. Loved the colour and fabric, and i’d already refashioned it once to replace the heavily gathered and unflattering waistband with a tapered fit and a zip, but i’ve lost a bit of weight since then so it sat too low and was too long for me to wear with flat shoes. To be honest, I have enough long skirts, and this one just wasn’t getting worn.
I liked and wanted to keep the embroidered band at the bottom of the skirt, so i removed the waistband and cut off a strip from the upper part, leaving enough for a knee length skirt at the bottom. I used this dress to make the pattern for the top part:
And ended up with this:
I think doing this again, i would have made the triangles a bit larger, or maybe make them wider and elasticate the bottom of them – they aren’t at all stretchy and so are a bit ‘baggy’ in places, so i’ll definitely need to wear a bra/bikini top with this! I do like the look overall and i’m definitely more likely to wear this now.
And another dress/top – this one much simpler to create as it basically just involved cutting! It’s made from a long top and from more forgiving stretch fabric. Sadly i don’t have a ‘before’ picture, but it was a hip-length top with 3/4 length sleeves and a scoop neckline – not something i’d normally wear but the fabric caught my eye. I turned it back to front, cut into it to make a halter (i’ve since hemmed the neckline as it was curling too much), and ‘took it in’ by cutting slits into the back and tying bit together. It’s probably easier to show than to explain:
I can wear it with leggings as a short dress, or over jeans or a long skirt as a long top. I made the remnants of the sleeves into gloves by cutting them to points and attaching a loop of braided cotton, covering the stitching with a fabric flower made from the scraps. There was almost nothing left of the original top, which made me very happy! Halterneck/backless dresses and gloves are two of my favourite things clothes wise, and it’s nice to have some that really go together! :)
I’ve been wanting to try making a hi-lo skirt for a while now as it looked like a nice simple way to make a plain skirt a bit more interesting, and i’m definitely all in favour of clothes (and most other things for that matter) being a bit more interesting! The original skirt was a wrap-around i had inherited with a bunch of fabric and had originally just been relegated to the ‘fabric suitable for lining stuff with’ pile as the print didn’t really grab me and i thought it was a weird length for a straight skirt, coming to just above my ankle.
But then i had the idea of turning it into a hi-lo skirt with an elastic waistband, mainly just as a way to practice the hi-lo thing without risking ruining something i already loved. If you wanted, it would be very easy to do the same thing with just a rectangle of fabric (wide enough to go round your waist and for a seam; long enough for the longest ‘lo’ length you want, plus hem and waistband allowances).
Basically i just cut off the original wrap-around waistband, made the rectangle i now had into a tube (using a french seam, but you could just as easily use a normal seam and zig-zag the edge), and turned the skirt upside down so that the raw edge where i’d cut off the waistband was at the bottom (i’d have to cut this anyway for the hi-lo bit). I created a waistband by folding down the now-top hem and straight-stitching about 1cm from the edge all around (leaving a gap to put th elastic through).
Before adding the elastic, I laid the skirt-tube out and drew my hi-lo line, starting short at the front and curving down to a ‘tail’ at the back. I had the seam running down the very back of the skirt as i thought this would look more even. I cut along this line, folded the bottom edge up twice, pinned and stitched to make a hem.
I finished by pressing the skirt, threading elastic through my waistband and closing the gap i’d left to do so, and ta-da!
I will definitely do this again as it was really easy, and while i like the length of the ‘hi’ on this, i’d like to make one with a longer ‘lo’ bit, which is longer than it looks in the picture (taken from above!) but still not long enough. I would make it with an elastic waistband again, i like the look of it being a bit gathered and if anything i’d use more fabric to increase that look. Despite the changes i’d make next time, i do think this was a success – i like this skirt much more now. Before it was a summer skirt i’d never choose to wear, now i think i’d wear it in summer with lacy tights, or in winter with thick black tights and ankle boots (and i’ve noticed the colour of the flowers goes really well with one of my favourite jumpers! win!