Turning The Unfinished Dress Into A Skirt

I decided to get this done quickly and out of the sewing room into the wardrobe. I took the unfinished dress I wrote about in my last post and just chopped off the bodice. I overlocked the raw edge and pressed about 1cm under and stitched down using a navy thread in the middle of the two rows of top stitching. You can hardly see the stitching. Then I added the buttonholes and jeans buttons.

button-through-denim-skirt-2

button though denim skirt salvaged from an unfinished dress

Because this was meant to be a dress rather than a skirt the waistband is slightly loose but it is still wearable. Also as it sits slightly lower at the waist than the dress would the length of the skirt is slightly longer then I’d planned. If I were to make this skirt from scratch it would also probably have a shaped waistband.

It’s had it’s first wearing today, that’s why it looks a little bit creased in the photos. It’s really comfortable, I can ride my bike in it so I can see me getting a lot of wear out of it all though the year.

I am really pleased with the top stitching. Using two strands of standard thread in the needle has really worked for me and my temperamental machine.

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Giving Up On A Project – McCalls M6696 In Denim

Last Autumn I took a cutting from the Sunday Times Style magazine of a MIH denim dress which I just fell in love with. I bought the fabric in the spring but it wasn’t until July when I got around to sewing it up.  I decided to make use of the McCalls M6696 shirt dress pattern using option D but with the short sleeves. This pattern has a definite waistband and I preferred this to the plaited belt on the MIH dress.  I made this dress with the full skirt last year.

mih denim dress

I altered the skirt pattern by adding in some flare and I lengthened the sleeve and took out some of the sleeve head fullness as I remembered from the first make that the sleeves had so much fullness they were a pig to put in.

mih denim dress model

MIH denim dress – what I was trying to aim for….

 

My first stumble came when I realised that I should have used the size 12 or even the 14 skirt pattern, but I had used the 10 as my bust corresponded with the 10 but I hadn’t  noticed my hips were 3″ bigger on the body than the measurements on the pattern envelope. I managed to get around this with the ease allowed in the hip measurement and using the smallest possible seam allowance. All seemed well.

I had got to the stage where all I needed to do was to stitch down the collar stand, sew on the front pockets and button hole and apply the jeans buttons. I always struggle with getting a good finish when finishing off the collar stand and with the thickness of the denim it was just about passable.

I fitted the dress and the bodice was just not right. The waist and bust fit OK but it is the area above the bust, it’s just too big and the neck opening too wide. So I calmly decided to call it a day with this dress before I wasted a load of jeans buttons.

I haven’t been doing well with my motivation to sew recently and every time I go into the sewing room I see this as a bit of a block which is in my way.

Where I went wrong here is that I think the fabric was too thick and I need to toile the bodice again, I had done it last year but there didn’t seem to be any major fitting problems on the first dress.

I need to take some positives from this…..
I learnt a new and much more successful way of topstitching.
I usually use the Gutermann extra strong thread but there is usually some tangling up in the bobbing and this time I just couldn’t get my second row of topstitching to look nice and I really wanted the twin needle look. In desperation I tried the method where you use two strands of standard thread in the needle and it worked much better than I had expected and looks just the same. So from now on I think this will be my preferred method.

I’m going to chop the bodice off this dress and turn it into a skirt. I think once I have done that I can get my enthusiasm back and start making plans for what I’d like to sew for the coming Autumn.

I would still like to make this dress but I think I’ll leave it for a while before attempting again. And once it is done I can go down the local park and style it like this fashion blogger who is wearing the real thing. 🙂

Also any good tips on getting a good finish on collar stand would be much appreciated!