Monday, May 30, 2011

Fix It - Skirt & Tank

Happy Memorial Day!  I had big crafting plans for this long weekend and I ended up doing none of them!  Hey, everyone needs a do-nothing weekend once and awhile, right?

Alterations are never very high on the sewer's to-do list.  I have a huge pile of to-do's that I never can find the time to fix.  So, since I was lazy this weekend I figure I would look in my cache of pics to see what I have done recently and I found a white denim skirt and a blue tank top.

First the skirt.  I bought this at Goodwill for less than $4.  It is a J.Crew white denim skirt that has a normal waist.  By normal, I mean not the hip-hugging, low-rise style that gives anyone who is a few pounds above their "desired" weight muffin top.  I have my fair share of low-risers, but I was glad that this one is one that I do not have to suck in my tummy to wear comfortably.

White denim, so 90's!

There is actually nothing wrong with this skirt, but since I only paid a few bucks for it, I had no buyer's remorse wanting to make it a bit more chic for the summer.  The bottom hem has a roll to it and I know that I will have to break out the iron every time I wear this.  Not very grab 'n go if you have to take the ironing board out in the morning.  I have frayed the ends of skirts and jeans before, so I was leaning towards that direction, but I did not want a mini either.  The length of this skirt was good as it was, so I decided to unstitch the bottom hem and unfold it.

Carefree, here we come!

The unstitching was a bit tedious, but not too bad.  I took a standard seam ripper and went all the way around the bottom hem of the skirt.  Then I unfolded it, like you see above.  You can also see the the raw ends are already fraying: Perfect.

When you unstitch something, be patient.  You will have to break the thread several times and pull out the tiny lengths with you fingers or tweezers, but you will be rewarded in the end with no rips or holes.

Orts of threads

Once it was unstitched and unfolded, I took it over to the ironing board and ironed it with steam and starch.  I knew the folds were not going to iron out, that is why I went this route rather than lopping off the bottom hem.  This way, it gave the skirt a meant-to-do-that deconstructed look.  Done!

Ta-da, Starch!

Next came the blue tank top.  This is a sale rack, Forever 21 purchase.  The straps were very long, so I had to shorten them.

Soon to be stunted straps

I prefer to alter the backs of items, rather than the fronts, so that you do not see stitching or other imperfections, in case the thread does not exactly match or an otherwise "oops" happens.  I took the same seam ripper and unstitched the back straps. 

Mark where they came from with a pen

I marked where they originally went so I could affix them in the same location.  I pinned it in place and tried it on.  I did this until the straps fit well.  These straps were originally placed at an angle so I wanted to ensure that the same angle was pinned.

Look how long the straps were!

Since the band gong around my chest was elastic, I installed a ballpoint needle on my machine.  I did not bother with a zig-zag because I was not sewing around the circumference, just an inch or so.  The elastic will still be stretchy around the rest of the top.  This is not fabric that will fray much, so I did not finish the edge, after I cut the extra length off.  No one will see it.

Perfect criss-cross angle!

This ensemble was less than $10 and it is very comfy!  Just a little bit of stitching skills and you can decontruct and alter someone else's cast-offs to be unique to you.

Plenty of daylight left to enjoy!

I have worn both of these pieces since I fixed them at the end of March and am truly satisfied with how they came out and how they wear.  This skirt will fray more as I wash it.  I will trim away the excess long threads, but you can keep them there and that will give it an even more casual look.

Try looking in your donation pile of clothes and see if there is something that you can tweak about them that may make them wearable to you again.  It doesn't even have to fit, you can totally cut it up and make a headscarf or a fabric belt.  Or if it has a stain, consider dying it a darker color or try tie-dye. 

Let me know if you try a Fix-It project of your own!  Happy Deconstructing!

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