Sunday, July 27, 2008

Patch Me Through

Since I hadn't done any true, pure refashions lately, I decided it was time to go back to the basket and see what I could dig up. I pulled out four old garments that seemed related. Three were old a-line skirts that had become too snug (obviously they shrunk in the dryer), and one was a pair of capri pants that seemed like a good idea in the store, but I never felt comfortable wearing.

Isabella came along to see what was going on. She really liked all the pink, and thought I should use all the fabric together. Hmm...well, I have been thinking about doing patchwork. Never one to disappoint my cat, I decided to give it a try.

I cut myself a 4 by 4 inch template and sat down to cut squares. Isabella made sure my fabric didn't shift around.

Once I had a big pile of squares, I started making the patchwork. I didn't place them in a pattern or anything. As long as like squares weren't adjacent, I was happy. I also wasn't too concerned about the corners matching up. Quilters will be appalled, but I was going for overall effect, not perfection! I wish I'd taken some pictures of this process, but I was like a woman possessed!

Somewhere along the line here I started thinking that it would be a shame to waste all this work on a bag. I wanted something I could wear. I wanted...a skirt. Anyone surprised?

So I kept piecing, cutting squares, piecing, etc. Finally I had two big sections of patchwork. Time to decide where to go with this. I was tempted to sew up a quick a-line, just because it would have been so much easier, but I convinced myself to make a wrap skirt. That way, if THIS skirt shrinks in the wash --ahem--, I can still fit into it.

New Look 6637 served me well last time, so I dug that out again. The pattern has three pieces: the front, the back, and the ties. I fit the front onto one piece of patchwork and the back onto the other and cut. Started sewing. Hmm, how come it doesn't seem like this is going to fit? It's almost as if...oh. I was supposed to cut TWO front pieces.
At this juncture, I took a nice, long break and ate potato chips.

Once I cooled off, I realized I had no choice but to keep cutting squares and make one more piece of patchwork. Which would have been fine, except I was running out of fabric. All I can say is thank goodness I keep scraps, because I had a leftover piece of the dark pink fabric which I used to make up the length under the flap.

See what else I did? I lined this baby! Much as I would have liked to skip it, I knew it would never do to have all those raw edges exposed, so I sewed up a second skirt in plain white to use as a lining. (Starting to think a bag might have been a good idea after all!)

I used bias tape to finish the edges and for the ties. After all this grief, I was in no mood to hem, make ties, make bias tape, or do any other fiddley stuff. Bim bam boom, I'm done!

Here's what's left:

And here's how it looks!


KitKnitty said...

That is really, really cute! And I think someone would have to be awfully familiar with you to get close enough to notice mis-matched squares. ;)

Janet McKinney said...

I think you have done incredibly well with your patchwork skirt - it is really beautiful. And I am sure your enjoyment will be greater with it being a skirt and not a bag. Well done and well done to your helper... though I am not so sure she would have been allowed to hang around quite as much at my place!

Janet McKinney

Missy said...

This project is inspiring! I love that you reused the fabric in this way. On my personal; refashioning I keep thinking macro- as in 1 refashioned piece made mostly of 1 old piece of clothing. I need to think more outside the box and into little boxes.

Miriah said...

I think I am in lurve with your skirt! Very Lilly Pulitzer. And beautifully made. I am quite impressed with your patience and resourcefulness. Makes me wish my machine was fixed.

Raiye said...

Oh Miss Petunia, this is adorable! I lub it. As always, completely impressed with your prowess.

Sunny said...

This is adorable. I love it. Great work.

Charity said...

I was going to say "it's adorable" but I see that's not a very original comment. ...But that really is the only word for it. Adorable. Love your stuff.

KLS said...

Wow, that is really neat!
You sure have a talent, Susan.
And your assistant is very beautiful and helpful.

Laume said...

Yep, I figured you'd have to line it. I wonder if I could hem the liner and the top separately so they'd hang loose on the bottom? I guess I'll just have to try it and see.

Rachel said...

I love it!! The pinks and greens are so pretty together: I often keep skirts and things because I like the fabric even if they dont fit me, so I'll have to ge inspired one day!

Moira said...

I think this patchwork skirt is adorable!!! Love the idea, L-O-V-E the color and LOVE the skirt!