Friday, May 15, 2009

Repurposing verses Restyling

I need to learn sewing terminology.

Evidently, my plans for my purple skirt are to restyle it, not to repurpose it. sdBev was kind enough to explain the difference to me on The Stitcher's Guild Forum: What you're describing, and everyone else is picking up on, is restyling, like updating the look, but retaining the original intent i.e. it was a skirt and will continue to be a skirt.

While I love satchels and never seem to have enough of them (anyone relate?), I just cannot imagine my purple skirt becoming a satchel. Or a wallet. Or even a top.

So my skirt will be restyled into another skirt. Ideas are swirling. I need to gain the courage to pick up the scissors.

However, if there are enough remnant remains, I will repurpose them into trimmings for a top.

Thank you, Bev!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Repurposing Old Long Skirts into Short Cute Creations

[double clicking on a photo will enlarge it]

I love to wear long and flowing hippy skirts. I am a child of the 60's and 70's when long hippy wrap skirts and embroidered peasant blouses were the rage. Oh, how I loved to wear those clothes! I love to feel the swoosh of soft summer fabric around my ankles. They remind me of carefree days playing frizbee in DC under cherry blossom trees. I've been deliriously happy these last few years since broomstick skirts have been in vogue. I hit the mother lode last summer in Lake Placid, NY, where I found a store filled wall-to-wall with these skirts!

Two weeks ago, I found myself in a small boutique where a little green dress caught my eye. The soft cotton fabric was light as air. The styling was unique. I was drawn to this dress like a magnet - I kept walking away from it and going back to rub my fingers over the softness. My astute friend convinced me to try it on and I eventually gave in to her urging even though it was a very short dress, falling above my knees instead of my mid-calf or ankles. I haven't worn a short dress in many years. I don't feel I have legs or figure to "show off" and like to feel hidden behind the acres of yardage a long skirt provides. But when I tried on that dress, perfection! I guess swimming several times per week has expelled my formerly frumpy figure. What a lovely surprise! My legs didn't look tubby (nor my arms as this is a sleeveless dress). I didn't recognize the woman in the mirror. Needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting an occasion to wear my dress.

Since then, I realized I could shorten a few skirts in my closet which I love but do not wear. One is (was) a very long A-line jean skirt that is just too long and HOT in the warm weather. Besides, it looks ridiculous on me. I don't know why I have kept it. Why I packed it to come south with me this summer is equally a puzzle as I know I never would have worn it. I cut off a good 8 to 10 inches from the hem. I've worn it several times - ok - almost every day - I just love the way a short skirt makes me feel 20 years younger.

I just measured: 12 1/2 inches was cut off the length.

I spied a little skirt in a ski shop this weekend while looking for a windbreaker for my husband (good man has taken to walking several miles in the evenings, rain or shine). The price was right and so I had to have it.

I realize this is a sewing blog and I'm posting about retail purchases. These purchases have given me a vision for what I want to be sewing and how I want to build my wardrobe. They have helped me define a new style that works for me.

This purple floral skirt has been a long-time favorite. I reach for this at the first sign of spring. But it no longer fits in size or style. I'm determined to keep this skirt alive via alterations, yet I'm in a conundrum as to just how to alter it. I've played with a few ideas and have discarded them all. Simply shortening it and adding an elastic waistline won't work as the waist will be too bulky and the button-down front will be funky (cutting off the slit below the last button). I could cut it from the waistline, but it would still be too wide. I think I'll draft an A-line pattern with zipper opening and forget trying to incorporate the button front. I'm open to suggestions.

After that alteration, I'll need to rethink the yardage I bought intending to make long, flowing skirts.

I wore a long, full eyelet lace skirt the other day and felt like a princess (I bought this at the aforementioned boutique - this $200 skirt was on sale for $25!). There is a place for a long skirts in my wardrobe, but I'm being drawn to the spunky short ones moreso. Odd that.