The evolution of a fabric

Part of Me Made May for me (as I’d imagine for many people) is about problem solving. Taking those things which no longer quite feel right or fit and turning them in to something different or carrying out a wee alteration or two.

Something that’s been in my to-do pile for a while is sorting out a skirt which I’d made previously from a dress. Eh?

Quite a few years ago (I think it must be about six or seven years, but I’m not certain) I got this gorgeous silk dupion Flower of Scotland tartan for Christmas. I made it into a dress for our friend’s wedding like so:

Flower of Scotland Tartan skirt

I wore the dress a LOT. Obviously it made a perfect new year’s eve dress, and it was my go-to if I needed to be a little fancier. However, this also coincided with gaining weight, and eventually it got to the point where the zip got stuck. And then it bust. Booo!

If you’ve read any of this blog, you’ll probably know that I’m a big tartan fan. I just couldn’t let the dress go, so I decided to remake it into a skirt adding a waistband in green silk. This pic is from last year’s Me Made May:

Day 16 Flower of Scotland Tartan Skirt

There was something about it which I just didn’t like (if you can’t tell from my face in the pic). First of all, I made my waistband at a big point so it quickly got too big. I did a totally slapdash bringing in of the skirt, and it didn’t sit quite right. I seemed to have made the print squinty. I also felt like, without the top part the length and fullness of the skirt just looked, well, off. I did a bad job, basically.

But there’s just something about this piece of fabric that I couldn’t let go of. The colour is still as vibrant as it first was when I unwrapped it. It’s a glorious mix of different blues, greens, and a touch of red. This is my favourite tartan (I used touches of it for our wedding stuff as well) and the silk still felt good.

So I decided to give it one more shot.

This is the fabric’s third shot and I feel like it’s the most wearable. I cut off the green waistband which wasn’t doing me any favours. Then I cut off a strip of fabric at the top of the skirt to make a new one.

Flower of Scotland Tartan skirt

And I’m sooooo much happier! The old skirt – like the dress itself – was gathered, but that was one of the things bothering me. I decided instead to make box pleats in the front and back to make it a little neater looking without losing too much fullness. I also felt like the middle version looked much too long. I’d obviously lost some length by making the waistband from the skirt fabric, but decided to turn it up just a little as well.

Flower of Scotland Tartan skirt

There’s something really nice about getting a better resolution to something that’s been bugging you for a while. I still miss my old dress, but I’m glad it’s now something I can actively enjoy wearing again – which it really wasn’t for a while. Thisย skirt is still pretty fancy, so I’m looking forward to being able to style it up and down. Plus, because of the colours, it’s pretty cross-seasonal. I even managed to straighten the lines of the tartan up again! Woo.

Ever had this kind of project?

Flower of Scotland Tartan skirt


16 responses to “The evolution of a fabric

  1. Very nice and how satisfying to get a wearable garment again. I’ve also been working on my mending and recycling pile this month

    • Thanks Kerry. It’s one of those things, you feel so much better once it’s done but it’s just not as exciting as a new project so I always put it off!

  2. Fab skirt, it looks great! I have a silk dress that I have expanded out of but can’t bear to cut up, maybe I should though!

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