I have tons of scarves and it’s always been hard storing them effectively. Folding results in creases and having them out of sight means I never remember to wear one anyway. For the past couple of years I have had them on my letterpress jewelry tray: But the longer they hung on the hooks the more wrinkled they got. When I’m about to leave and decide to throw a scarf on there is no chance I’m going to take the time to steam the one I wanted. So on the empty wall of my project/dressing room I decided to make a hanging scarf storage system. Here is the wall before:
I buy a lot of skirts at thrift stores. They’re one of the few articles of clothing most second-hand stores have a great selection of. I suppose it’s because a nice skirt is something a woman would buy, wear a few times and then never wear it again. On another note, it’s sometimes hard to guess why items end up at thrift stores, in this skirt’s case though I don’t have to guess… I know. This skirt bleeds dye, lots of dye, and did the first time I washed it and does it still many washes later. If it wasn’t a favorite dress of mine, I wouldn’t bother to hand-wash it separately every time.
I made a resolution about a month ago, not to take on any more projects. I have far too many as it is. On the whole it has been great, I’m finishing plenty of old forgotten things. Unfortunately, a few days ago I saw a small, beat up, beaded clutch at an ARC thrift store. I tried to resist it. I swear to you, I tried. I looked it over, it need bead work, the lining was terribly stained, it was misshapen. I didn’t buy it, I walked out of ARC and spent the night thinking about. The next morning I went back, and bought the damn thing. Here it is:
It was missing quite a bit of beading along the top. It was also discolored. The lining was terribly stained.
However, I could see how beautiful and glamorous looking it would be if restored to its former glory. So I jumped enthusiastically into fixing this bedraggled clutch. Read more
Another skirt from a thrift store. This one was a bit expensive (for a thrift store anyway) at 14.99, but you can’t go wrong with a nice black skirt. It’s got a a crochet like top layer that is so pretty, and adds a lot of depth to the plain black:
When I bought it I thought it was a good length, sitting just over my knees. However, ever time I tried it on I couldn’t escape the feeling that it looked more funeral-y than flirty.
Once again I broke out my scissors to do some reworking. As you can see in the picture above the crochet pattern changes about 6 inches from the bottom. I decided to try to chop off the bottom and give the skirt a new hem.
When I cut off the bottom I was left with the edge shown below. The right half has been trimmed, leaving just the loose threads.
The loose ends were actually loose, and had to be sewn down by hand.
Here is the edge, once all the modifications were done. It worked out better than I could have hoped, the edge has a pretty scallop and the length is just right.
I also had to bring up the underskirt, which was a simple enough hem. I just cut off all the extra fabric, ironed a double folded to encase the raw edge and sewed it up.
Here are the before shots of one of my recent thrift store find, a long floral skirt:
I liked the pattern:
and the price, but it looks way too much like a middle-aged woman’s church skirt. So I decided to make a new hem for it. I knew I wanted it to be at least knee-length so I chopped off about 10 inches and started from there.
After trying on, pinning, and adjusting and trying on and pinning and adjusting some more I landed on a length of 23 inches, or just above my knee. So I trimmed the extra fabric to just an inch:
I ironed the hem, and then tried the skirt on one more time before sewing (no one likes to rip out stitches!). I used some light blue thread I had on hand, and it matches really well. It’s actually the spool of thread that my Mom bought to hem my prom gown, I haven’t had occasion to use it again until now. Just goes to show you that it’s a mistake to throw out craft products.
I had to remove a button at the bottom to sew the new hem. The buttonhole is still there, but not very noticeably.
I love this skirt, I’ve already worn it several times. It’s super light and airy, but it’s tight enough the wind can’t give passersby a show (always something to worry about when the winds kicks up.) Here is a lame after shot, you can see in the background how messy the room got as I worked, in the before’s it pretty clean!
I enjoy sewing new garments, but nothing beats the minimal effort you can put into switch up an almost perfect used find. If you don’t sew or don’t sew well, little projects like these are a great way to polish your skills without having to use a pattern or other scary sewing implements!
Here is my completed entry for Burdastyle/Indygo Junction’s Vintage-Inspired, Modern Style Challenge! I really love how it looks and wears, in fact I wore it out to dinner tonight.
I based my design on the free vintage one-seam skirt pattern from Indygo Junction. The basic idea of the skirt is to take one yard of fabric and turn it into a one side seam, 27 inch skirt, with a zipper closure and cummerbund. For my skirt I took up the hem so it didn’t look so dated. I also changed the zipper into an elastic waistband for easier fit and wear, and made the one-seam go up the back. I also added black bias tape to the pocket flaps so they were easier to see against the skirt. Lastly, but most importantly I added a big beautiful satin bow to the back of the cummerbund:
I bought the yard of skirt fabric at a thrift store for 2.99. It was sooooo easy to sew with, it pressed beautifully and drapes nicely. I really wanted to know the fabric content so I tried to do a fiber burn test (chart and instructions here). Unfortunately I couldn’t determine the content, but I did burn my finger. Anyway, I also used 2 inch black elastic for the waistband, black bias tape, and white satin for the bow.
The vintage one-seam pattern is very easy to work with, and I would highly recommend to anyone who has basic sewing skills to try it. I plan on making several more of these skirts, I have some orange cotton print that I would love to turn into a casual one-seam skirt. Here are some action shots:
So, although I really hope I win… even if I don’t I have a gorgeous skirt that I love to wear! Check out all the other unique submissions on Burdastyle, here, and wish me luck!!