Is there ever a situation where repurposing a skirt into a different kind of skirt (that’s really pretty similar all things considered) counts as a refashioning?

One of my favourite places to shop in Australia (especially at sale times, hello cheap and cheerful retro!) is, undoubtedly, Dangerfield. Their pieces can get pretty pricey for my budget (and if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know my budgetary ceiling is pretty low) but you can find some absolute gems on sale sometimes.

Recently I purchased this Puppy in a Basket skirt from them at such a good sale price. Well, no, actually, the full story is that I bought the Puppy in a Basket dress first, naturally without trying it on, because my parking was about to expire (I’m not paying $2 for parking at a Westfield, who do you think I am, Rockefeller?), and who turns down a dress with dogs on it?

You guys… the fit was terrible. Sometimes I’m all very #blessedwiththischest in attitude but not that day, the dress wasn’t having it. It needed a serious full bust adjustment. Pulling above the armpits, saggy waist, gaping neckline. Ever since I started sewing, I feel like I can’t accept sub-par fitting ready-to-wear clothing anymore. Does anyone else get the same feeling?

My first idea was, “Hey, I’m a seamstress! I’m going to buy a bigger size and recut this to fit me!” Then I realised how much more versatile a skirt was, so I might as well just buy a skirt that fits me in the waist and not worry about making modifications or adjustments, right? Wrong.

Looking at the skirt variant they were selling, I hated it so much. Those pleats were very large (large pleats are only appropriate for stiff fabrics, in my opinion) and not flattering for the print (why is the dress even pleated differently than the skirt?!), so I thought maybe I’d unpick the waistband and gather it or something. Speaking of picky seamstress tendencies.. I couldn’t find one in my size which had the puppies (relatively) pattern matched on the sides. I know that seems fussy but I couldn’t handle having dogs sliced in half at the side seams. So to combat this… I bought a size 18 (in full knowledge and acceptance that there’d be a certain portion of the plus-sized community that would be absolutely furious at me for pinching the last one off the rack). One side is pretty closely pattern-matched, and the other one has just the edges of the baskets peeking through the seams (you’ll see it below) which I’m relatively satisfied with. The pleats are so deep you can’t even notice it, tbh.

No ragrets. I used my Knife Pleated Skirt tutorial to help draft deep pleats for this dress and I love it.  The thing I love about buying extra-large ready-made clothes and making alterations is even though there’s sometimes double the fabric than the smaller sizes, they don’t charge you extra for the yardage used. Muahaha! The fabric is so light and airy even though there are 4 metres stuffed into this waistband. Speaking of the waistband, instead of incorporating the zipper all the way through the waistband (not something I often like doing because you can’t ever loosen or tighten the waistband ever again without unpicking the whole mess), I ended the zipper under the waistband so I could do a tabbed waistband instead. I wanted there to be some interest there, so I ended the waistband at a point and used piping along the bottom edge as well (you can see a glimpse of it underneath my belt). I shit you not, I have a whole box of differently-coloured piping because I adore adding it to my projects. It’s such a neat and simple way to elevate the whole look.

It needs a good steam to shake out those wrinkles in these photos, I admit. (You’ll have to forgive me, I had just jumped out of a car before having these photos taken.)What I wore:

Glasses: Firmoo
Dangerfield, $24
Skirt: Dangerfield, $31.20
Belt: From another dress
Shoes: Wittner (second-hand), $10

So yes, that’s the story of my refashioned skirt-from-a-skirt. Have no doubts, I will be doing this again. Do any of you guys ever purposefully buy bigger clothes to use for the extra yardage? Do you feel naughty about it?


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