Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Plaid Made Rad >>> A Wool Skirt Bohemian Mix

I bought this skirt last winter and wore it a handful of times.  It's wool - perfect for those cold winter days.  However, every time I wore it there were some things that just weren't right about it.

The skirt was just too long and wide...I felt like it aged me when I wore it...not good.  Then, even though it is made of wool, Eddie B. thought it would be helpful to put a lining in it that made it actually feel freezing cold every time I put it on, thereby canceling out the warmth factor that wool is famous for.  Another thing is that most of the time, these nice wool skirts are sewn with a waist so high you feel like you are drowning in them.  I finally gave up on wearing it and eventually just shelved it thinking I would make a bag with all of that nice, but excessive fabric.

Then last week when the temps dropped a bit and I opened up the winter bin, I began thinking about warm clothes again.  I realized that I really didn't have that many skirt options for winter, so out came the long woolen skirt for an update that I'm going to share with you today.  If you have a skirt such as this one, there is hope and if you don't, you might want to get to the thrift store to find one.

The first thing I did was to seam rip the waistband...inner seam first, sides, and then the outer seam.  I found out something really surprising.  When I tried the skirt on without the waistband, it dropped from the upper waistline, to just above my hips.  The waistband was a full 3 inches shorter than the actual top edge of the skirt.

To fix the waist too high situation, I cut a piece of red wool from a previously upcycled coat that was about 4 inches long and as wide as the opened waistband.  Then I cut the waistband apart in the back and added the piece there.  It was a fun, subtle way to add some color to the skirt.  I removed the lining of the skirt and then re-attached the waistband just as it had been sewn on in the first place and with the added length, it now hits me in just the right spot.  Two out of the three problems already solved!

Now for the fun part - the redesign.  The first thing I did was to cut 8 inches off the bottom of the skirt.  I thought it would be nice to break up the plaid patterning a bit, so I reattached it 14 1/2 inches up from the bottom.  I used a zigzag stitch to attach it, which made it less bulky and helped to give it a more relaxed look.

I really wanted to add a pop of color on the front of the skirt.  I love when a skirt has pockets.  There are so many different ways to make a pocket, which adds function and flair to an otherwise boring piece of clothing.  I also like my pockets to be warm, so I cut out some more of that red wool to make a pocket that is a bit wider at the bottom than the top.  Then I layered it with a second pocket on top.  The fabric for this layer came from a lightweight blouse which the fabric I loved, but because of the boxy design didn't get much wear.  I zigzag stitched that to the front - the imperfect stitching only adds to the charm of the piece I think.

I thought I was just going to zigzag the bottom hem, but I decided to look through my stash of trims I've picked up here and there.  There was a package of red braided piping, so I thought, hey why not add a bit more color.  I think it made a nice finish to the bottom.

The skirt itself was finished at this point, but I wanted to make something that would increase the bohemian factor if so desired.  A skirt apron was the perfect thing.  It was so simple.  I took an oversize blouse (the same one I used for the pocket overlay) and cut off the front just below the neckline.  Because the style of the blouse was so boxy, the cut gave me a perfect rectangle for the apron.  I made a 1 inch casing at the top by folding the edge over twice and sewing.  I used the tie from the blouse as the tie for my apron.  In a just a few minutes it was done!

I really like it tied to the side like in the pic below, but it can be worn in the front or back as well.  It can also be worn with some of my other skirts.  I love the whole look - the mix of the lightweight bohemian fabric with the wool really brings this skirt to life!