Thursday, 16 June 2011

Shirt to Skirt, a Revamp Adventure! Part 1: Preparation

Hello there lovely readers, and a special extra big hello to my new followers! So great to have you here, I hope you enjoy my little piece of the blogosphere :)

Now, I have mentioned previously that being away from home has left me chomping at the bit to get creative, and I've been getting down to some serious sewing business over the past few days. Do you remember this little beauty?

Plaid shirt from the Vintage Kilo Sale

And my wish to turn it into something like this:

Gorgeous plaid skirt :)

Well I've finally made a start! This is definitely one of the most interesting and challenging projects I've done so far, I'm excited to share the process with you!

I'm going to start with Part 1: Preparation.

The first thing that I did with my lovely old plaid shirt (it really is lovely to work with, so soft and pleasing to the touch!) was completely take it apart with my trusty seam ripper. And this took a lot more time than you would think, making sure I didn't make any horrible holes in my fabric...

Dismembered shirt! Eeek!

This included removal of the sleeves, the cuffs, the collar, the front placket and all buttons. I basically wanted to see exactly what raw material I would have available to create the skirt, so that I would be able to use each of the pieces in the most effective way. I quickly decided that the front and back pieces of the shirt would be the main body of the skirt (well obviously, because that's where most of the fabric was!). I will use the sleeves for the straps and all left over pieces of fabric will be used towards the waistband and any other details I may add. I fitted the front and back pieces very basically onto my dress form to make sure I had enough fabric:

A very basic fit, but enough fabric, hurrah!

For the next step of my process I wanted to create one long strip of fabric for the main body of the skirt. I did this to make sure I could match the plaid properly and still have enough fabric for the skirt (I couldn't make the skirt if the plaid wasn't matched, I'm much to OCD). Now I have never worked with plaid before and, silly old me, I thought it would be a breeze. I simply matched the fabric by eye, pinned it together and then took it straight to the machine...

Sewing away, quite devil may care

Only to find that this had happened:

Oh dear, not good enough I'm afraid

Well I'm much to obsessive compulsive to be happy with the above, so out came the seam ripper again, and then the second time I decided to do things properly. I hand basted the fabric together, making sure with every stitch that each corner of the pattern perfectly matched the corner on the opposite piece of fabric.  

My hand basting 

This was slightly time consuming, but it was worth it because look how it looks after stitching:

Voila! Perfectly matched plaid!

After all that I have a lovely piece of fabulously matched plaid fabric all ready to be turned into a yummy skirt. And the moral of this story so far is: always take your time when working with plaid, you'll see the benefits in the long run!

Next time I'll show you Part 2: Fitting, here's a sneak peak: 

Starting to take shape!

Until next time, bye for now!


Kitty Darling said...

Wow that's a really great idea. I'm looking forward to see the fitting :)

MissGinger said...

great idea and i love the colours of the check. xx

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

This is going to look great! You're so clever.

Miss Katie said...

Kitty Darling - Thanks for the comment, I'll be posting part 2 soon!

MissGinger - Thank you :)

Lakota - Thank you so much! Hopefully it will look good or I might cry a little bit after all the work! heehee

Lisa said...

What pretty material to work with! Can't wait to see the redesigned and finished product!

Rhia said...

Matching print patterns and stripes is definetly worth the time. Clothes look so much more tailored when you do that :) and also gives you the feel of luxury since the modern ready-to-wear very seldom have matched prints. Job well done my dear!

Miss Katie said...

Lisa - Thank you! Hopefully it will look the way I want it to...!

Rhia - Thanks love! I must admit I've loved matching up the pattern even though it takes time, and you're right, it feels so much more chic and luxurious afterwards :)

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