Saturday, February 15, 2014

Perplexed in Chambray

During a recent spree at my favorite local charity shop, I came across a chambray skirt in a dark wash. The size was too big, the length was too short -- but it came home with me, anyway, because I had a Plan. 

The Plan was to remake the skirt for Rosa, using as many of the skirt's original features as possible. But as I started to deconstruct the skirt, imagine my surprise when I found an additional size tag! The tag I'd first spotted was "back and center" in the usual fashion, but the extra tag was just off the fly in the front of the skirt. How many garments need two size tags? In two different sizes?!

My first inclination was to regard this as the ultimate in vanity sizing -- you get to pick which size you want to be today. And then it struck me that no one in her right mind would arbitrarily choose to be a bigger size, just "because." No, this was a manufacturing flaw, pure and simple. Just a perplexing one.

Once apart, the skirt went back together relatively quickly. I decided to keep the waistband, which turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. Oh well. I took out the zipper fly and stitched the fly opening shut for a "faux fly" look (not very visible, which is perfectly fine with me). 

For the back, I used buttonhole elastic -- it's splendiferous for children's garments! The elastic feeds through an opening in the waistband, and then buttons onto... well, a button. Voila! Adjustable waist! I used this technique in a skirt I made for Rosa about a year ago. It was quite long then, so she's been able to wear it for quite some time. Considering that this skirt's also on the long side (at least compared to off-the-rack skirts), perhaps she'll be able to wear it next year, as well! When I go to the trouble of making a garment, it's lovely to know that it will be used.

The bottom band of the skirt (which eliminates the necessity of a hem) was also a detail from the original skirt. I simply cut it down and re-attached it. A double row of stitching above the band adds a little detail and gave me an excuse to break out my double needle.

I also salvaged the original drawstring, which had braided ends -- again, I simply cut them down, snipped off most of the drawstring, and topstitched a section to each side of the skirt. A blue button to complete the "faux fly," and the project was done!

In the end, the skirt turned out a bit larger than I intended (probably a result of my persistent fear that it will be too small), but it's perfectly wearable and will allow Rosa some room to grow. The total cost was $1 for the thrifted skirt -- far, far less than I could have purchased chambray for, even if I could find it locally.

And, at long last, this skirt can be a little less perplexed about its identity...


  1. What a clever idea! Fabric is so expensive, especially for a fabric of nice quality.


    1. Sarah, I am sometimes shocked by the price of fabric! I've also found that often the fabrics I find don't have the same feel as the fabric used in off-the-rack clothing, so it's nice to find something in good enough shape to re-use.


  2. So nice! I love to re-purpose!


  3. Lovely skirt, what a nice job!!


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for stopping by!