The Refashioners 2015 #2

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!

McCalls 3830

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 …


12 thoughts on “The Refashioners 2015 #2

  1. I noticed a lot of “wobble” on the shirt button stands also. I don’t think they use much interfacing, also you should take one apart sometime because button stands are surprisingly a series of well engineered tucks rather than separate bands which is what they look like. If anything I’m wearing is gapping I also stitch it up! I like the skirt and really like the decorative stitching at the waistband

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m quite taken with the decorative stitching. I shall be checking button bands carefully in future and looking for something more structured if I want to incorporate it in a future refashion.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Despite your misgivings, the finished skirt actually looks great on you, so perhaps you could learn to love it on its good points rather than disliking it because of its errors? It looks like it will be comfortable to wear, too.


  3. Thank you! I certainly started to feel a lot better about it after Mr W’s admiring remarks last night. I think I just got frustrated because the ideas I had in my head didn’t translate into reality! I’m determined to perfect a quirky pocket design at some point.


  4. Sounds like you caught the bug Jane, lol!! I know this make wasn’t without it’s headaches, but it really is lovely. The lining is gorgeous! And it looks lovely on you AND I’ll bet you felt a teeny bit chuffed about overcoming all of that!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you! I really have been inspired by The Refashioners 2015 and can hardly walk past a rail of shirts without wondering what I could turn them into! I wore the skirt today and I’m really glad I stuck with it! I did need to sew up between the buttons and add some press studs to keep it decent!


  6. Hello!
    I’ve just discovered you via this whole Refashioners malarkey – and I’m so pleased I have!
    Lovely makes, super ideas, and the best name ever, obviously.
    I DO like this skirt – difficult to believe it was actually once a shirt, it works very well. Inspired over here – thanks!
    Jane (ha!)


      • Hello again!
        Just wanted to say that I was so inspired by your lovely skirt that I did sew one for myself – I hope you don’t mind!?
        And then I blogged about it, with a link back to your page – hope that’s ok too!?

        Liked by 1 person

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