This has not been an entirely happy Refashion. I don’t really know why, it should have been so easy – it’s only a skirt after all. Here’s what I started with. 100% linen for £4 which can’t be bad.
Having successfully incorporated the button band into my previous Refashion (which I have worn a lot) I decided to do the same with this one.
I toyed with the idea of having the buttons at the back but decided they might be a bit uncomfortable to sit on!
I used this pattern as it is pretty basic and requires a fairly small amount of fabric. This shirt was a lot smaller than the last one. I normally go for View D but the final version is more View E!
This is what I did :
- Unpicked the pocket.
- Unpicked the sleeves rather than chopping them off because I needed every last centimetre of width to fit the front piece of the pattern on.
- Traced the front pattern piece in one sheet rather than trying to cut the shirt on the fold. I’ve since read Zoe’s tip here for re-cutting shirts which I will try next time (if there is a next time!).
- Cut out the front and back pieces of the skirt from the shirt front and back.
- Split the front facing in two to accommodate the button band and extended each piece by ⅝ at the centre.
- Reduced the back facing by ⅝ and cut on the fold. I cut both facings from the sleeves.
- Assembled the skirt as usual.
- Added a lining when I realised how see-through the fabric was. I had a remnant of white cotton lining which had a couple of marks on it that wouldn’t come out in the wash so I thought this was an appropriate project to use it up on. I attached the lining to the facing and then stitched along the existing stitch line of the button band to secure it at the front.
- Decided that the finished article looked a bit boring and, as I wasn’t really loving it, experimented with some of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine and added a border round the top.
- Left the little label from the side of the original shirt and incorporated it into the hem – just because.
What didn’t work as well as I hoped :
- Because there wasn’t quite enough width in the shirt at the sleeve seams I had to position the top of the front pattern piece quite close to a button hole and, once assembled, it was too close to the top of the skirt. I had to sew up the original hole and stitch a new one. I have a phobia of button holes and this one wasn’t great. I was sewing through more than one layer of fabric and I also forgot to change the thread from white to grey to match the others so this one stands out rather too much. I should pretend it’s white to match the border.
- The finish on the top of the button band is not great and in general the button band is a bit wiggly. I found this fabric really hard to sew with because it changed shape at the slightest opportunity despite my stay-stitching all the pieces before I started.
- I decided to try and create interesting pockets using either the collar or the cuffs from the original shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I faffed around with different ideas, none of which worked out quite how I wanted. I’m not giving up on this idea, I know I can work something out in the end with a bit more time and thought. Consequently the skirt has just one pocket – which is the original one from the shirt. I’m quite happy with this but I’m surprised there are no holes in the fabric from all the unpicking that went on! I did add a second pocket saved from the previous Refashion but the arbiter of all things sewing, Mr W, advised against it – so that resulted in more unpicking.
- The fancy border round the top is a bit wobbly. I really shouldn’t sew late at night when my concentration levels are flagging.
- The skirt is probably a bit too short. Another holiday skirt I think.
Here’s the result. Let’s hope you don’t notice too many other faults! I have slipped in a tiny picture of me wearing it – before I changed into something more work-appropriate. I think it looks better on than off but that’s probably because you can’t see the top of it – this is a first attempt at getting over one of my other phobias which is having my photograph taken!
W was very complimentary about the skirt this evening so I’m suddenly feeling more positive about it. Before I wear it I think I will sew up between the bottom four buttons and pop in a couple of press studs between the top ones to eliminate gapping when I sit down.
I noticed when I was picking up some sailing kit from the laundry yesterday (work-related, I do my own washing!) that I was eyeing up a rail of just laundered shirts and wondering which one might make a nice refashion! I need to move on to something different …