It took a lot longer than I felt like it should have, for such a simple change. That’s the story with all of my sewing projects these days, to be honest. But once again, I’m quite happy with how much more use I’ll be able to get out of this garment now.
The before: This is actually the dress that my mom wore to my wedding! (My mom doesn’t like pictures of herself on the internet, so I hope this is acceptable if you’re reading it, Mom– I swear I took a before picture on my mannequin, but I can’t find it on my hard drive!) She gave me the dress after the wedding to chop up, because she said she’d never have occasion to wear it again. We’re a very casual family as a whole, so cocktail parties and holiday dresses aren’t really our thing. (We’re more the jeans, sweaters and homemade pizza for Christmas type.)
My initial plan was to shorten the dress and maybe wear it for a fancy date with Doug or something. But we don’t often go on fancy dates– again, casual family– and post-Hobbit, I honestly wasn’t sure if the top of this would fit my embiggened figure anytime soon. But a maxi-skirt is always useful, and the dress was a jersey-type fabric, so I decided to go more of the everyday wearing route. The dress had a slit up the center front that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving in, knowing I’d have a little boy tugging on my skirts in an effort to stand up before I know it. So I unpicked that, sewed it shut, and made that the new side seam. (There was only one other seam, conveniently in the center back.) Aside from that, it was pretty simple– just cutting some excess length off the top, and gathering it to an exposed elastic waistband.
This was my first attempt at such a waistband, and it’s a bit messy. (Thus the lack of picture.) The stitching got kind of jagged when I had to release the elastic to stretch to match the next section of fabric. But the gathering is mostly even, at least. And the insides are nice and tidy, thanks to this tutorial. I do have plans to make at least one more exposed elastic skirt, hopefully for next spring/summer, so hopefully that will go smoother.
Overall, I’m happy with the results. The skirt is very full, so I have no trouble walking in it with my usual longish stride. The color makes it great for all seasons, possibly with the exception of the muggiest summer days due to the fiber content. It’s basically secret pajamas! I’m wearing it with boots and leggings here, which is probably what I’ll do all winter for warmth, but I know I have at least one warmer-weather top that it will look great with. I’m still hoping I can come up with something for that beaded waistband section of the original dress, too!
So that catches me up on finished projects, for now. I’m currently in Christmas mode, trying to finish up a toy for Hobbit. I’m also hoping to get his stocking made before we pack up the decorations this year. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m excited that Gillian posted the categories for the Top 5 year-end review today! That’s always fun. Are you going to be participating this year?