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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rag Bin Worthy No More!

Many of you may remember the raggedy sweatshirt that I just couldn't bear to throw away :) It was left behind by one of my exchange students. It shrunk and he grew, so it was of no use to him. I kept it and wore it...a lot. It was great to throw on with jeans and wonderful on a cold morning over my pajamas. Well, time took its toll and it became stained, ugly and ready for the rag bin, at least so I thought.
I just couldn't bear to throw it away, so I cut it up and created this little skirt. It has become a favorite everyday go to piece in my wardrobe. Funky and fun!!
I received a message from a lovely lady who follows my blog asking if I would do another creation. At first I thought I would go to the resale shop and find another sweatshirt and then I remembered that I had this jacket. I am now VERY embarrassed to admit that I bought this coat/jacket. It actually looked cute when I bought it. I made the mistake of washing it, mind you, on a gentle, handwash cycle and I hung it to dry, but I figured out that the lining was not cut on grain, anyway it became just an ugly mess. 
The back of the jacket had a very full, asymmetrical half circle skirt. As I thought about a project, it occurred to me that I just might be able to save this piece.
The first step I took was to cut the back skirt away from the jacket.
 I draped it on my body and found that I didn't want the extra extension.
The extra was cut off so that the back would hang straight. The only problem is that the center area needed to be filled in.
I took the back bodice and placed it inside the open back area. The bottom of the bodice was placed at my waistline and the shoulders hung down inside the skirt. I placed pins where the two pieces matched up. I added seam allowance to the line before I did any cutting.
The skirt is now finished. You can see the back yoke in the picture below. Since this is fleece, I was able to get away with not putting in a zipper. Score!! I finished the serged edge around the waist with a 1/2" strip I cut from the fleece. I then topstitched it with 2 rows of stitching. This will give the waistline a little stability since I didn't want to add any type of waistband.
The finished front skirt. The "roses" were made by cutting circles out of the fleece. Your roses will be more interesting if they are not all the same. The largest circle is about 4" wide. The centers of the roses are sewn down in a square stitching pattern. The leaves were all cut free form, so no pattern. If you would like, I would be happy to do a page of leaf patterns. But give it a try, they are really quite easy to cut and they should not all be the same . They will be much more interesting if they are different sizes and shapes.
In this picture you can see that some of the leaves have been sewn with veins and some are just sewn down the center. This allows the leaves to have the feeling of movement  You can also see the square shape sewn in the center of the roses. My suggestion is to cut lots of shapes and start placing them on your garment. Just place a pin in the center. From time to time, pick the garment up and take a look at it in the mirror. You will be able to see what needs to be moved around and where you need more leaves or more roses. I wore my skirt a few days ago and once I had it on, I decide that I need a few more leaves that move around to the back. Not much, just a bit.
Since you don't have a jacket just like mine, you won't be able to recreate the skirt that I made. But I hope that this will inspire you to look at some of your discards in a little different manner. They just might be a wonderful garment waiting to be birthed.
I'm venturing out this afternoon to take a few pictures. So check back later if you would like to see a picture of me in the skirt.



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20 comments:

  1. I love the back yoke on this one! Very clever solution!

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    1. I had thought of a few ideas. One was to use the front side panels down the back and leave the original fullness. The problem was the pockets. So I decided to drape it and see what I came up with. All in all, I'm quite happy with the outcome.

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  2. I don't know if my comment was saved cos it disappeared. So I'll try again and my apologies if I hit twice :-).

    I loved that skirt when you first posted it and am so glad you've found another way to indulge in roses and refashioning. I have a little skirt I want to make my girls for winter and it is oh so plain and these little flowers and leaves would be perfect. I'll enjoy 'scattering' too.

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    1. You do such adorable pieces for your daughters, so I know whatever you do, it will be special.

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  3. Such a great project, I can't wait to see it on you! I hope your exchange student knows what became of his sweatshirt - I'm sure he'd love that!

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    1. I never told him. He's supposed to come for a visit and I'll tell him then.

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  4. The sweatshirt re-creation remains one of my all-time favorites, yet, the skirt you did is a winner, too! Thank you for the close-up of those flowers and leaves. I'm sure I can try to copy them myself. As always, you continue to amaze me!

    Cynthia

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    1. Cynthia, I have adopted you as my real life guardian angel :) You always seem to know when and what to say. Thank you.

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    2. and I mean every word, Rhonda....Your posts inform and inspire me. My prayer is that when I drop away and become self-absorbed, you continue to step forward boldly and fearlessly to graciously accept your gifts and all the accolades you deserve. Thank you for being willing to share your dreams and ideas. We are all enriched because of them....

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  5. Both are fantastic! I would absolutely love to see a picture of either, but especially the black one, on you. I have some black fleece, and it never occurred to me that it might be a skirt.

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    1. It's been snowing hard all day, so hopefully it will break and I can post a picture tomorrow. Give a skirt a try with your fleece. I think you'll love it :)

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  6. You are so stinkin' creative! ~Teri

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  7. That skirt is sooo cute...I'm going to try making a fleece skirt with your flowers and leaves. :)

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  8. This is such a great idea for a remake -and a problem well salvaged with your coat. I'm going to save all my scraps of fleece now - maybe all sorts of things can be created :). These skirts must be so much fun to wear in the cold weather.

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  9. My daughter just gave me a bag of her old 'rags' to give to charity. They are piled up in the sewing room to explore the possibilities.

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