Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Old Skirt…A New Jumper…Again!

I’ve been at it again…turning discarded skirts into jumpers for my little one. (Check it out here and here!) I love to create one of a kind pieces for my very one of a kind girl. The concept of remaking an article of clothing into another is also very important to our family efforts to reduce consumption, reuse existing items, and recycle to give new life to old items. It is a big part of our focus to be responsible caretakers of this earth. It also happens to be very fun for me…and makes me feel good!

February 283

I have heard many wonderings about how this is to be done…turning an old skirt into a new article of clothing. Below is a modified tutorial…more like a few basic tips as each article of clothing that you might be starting with…and what you want to turn it into will differ.

The first thing to consider is the amount of usable fabric in your garment. As it is a discarded piece you might have to account for areas of extreme wear. As you look at your fabric remember that seams and features in the original garment might be included in the new piece. Skirts are fantastic to work with as they have large sections of fabric. I have actually thrifted skirts simply for their fabric before.

In this case I was working with a long corduroy skirt with fabulous drape that had a great insert in the center front and center back seam that extra width and flow to the skirt. This feature is actually what drew me to making a jumper from this skirt. Features such as this, or pleats, embroidery, great pockets, etc., really make the new garment unique.

February 062

I cut my skirt up the side seams to create two large pieces of fabric to work with.

February 065

Because I wanted to include the fullness and swirl of the skirt in the new jumper I folded it under so it was hidden beneath the original silhouette of the skirt.

February 067

February 068

I carefully placed each pattern piece on the two fabric pieces that I was working with to ensure I had enough! Place your pattern pieces to include or avoid features of the original garment. In my case I centered the front and back pattern pieces of the jumper directly over the slit insert in the skirt.

February 069

February 071

Once your pieces are cut out you can proceed with the construction of the garment based on pattern instructions. I added a few embellishments including fun contrasting fabric for the bodice lining, piping with the same contrasting fabric, vintage lace (from my first vintage swap), and fabulous buttons.

It swirls beautifully…which is perfect for my dancing girl…or for any girl! I still remember the days when my sisters and I judged the value of a dress by how it “swirled”!!!

February 285

The whole process may seem a bit daunting at first. But go for it anyway! You’re working with discarded clothing…so what do you have to lose! The more you do it the easier it becomes….and it changes the way you look at the pile of clothing you’re getting ready to dump at the donation center. If making clothes out of old clothes isn’t your thing check out this idea for another great way to reuse those old clothes. The main goal is not necessarily to create a wardrobe…but to develop a new way of looking at the things around us to foster an attitude of resourceful, responsible, and less consumer driven decisions.

But for my little girl…it’s all about the fantastic dresses!

February 284 February 286