It appears that my keyboard is having some issues with the ‘L’ key, so pease excuse any spelling mistakes that I miss editing out!
So I found this skirt at a Vinnies store for around $4.
It’s a light floaty polyester, fully lined, with an elasticated waist, side seam pockets and hits the awkward just-below-the-knee length. Perfect!
I thought the print was really cute, like a sort of miniature version of some of those crazy abstract patterns so popular in the 80’s. Like this one.
At the moment, I don’t have access to my pattern stash – I know, it’s tearing me apart. Luckily, I had a Burdastyle mag (July 2013) that had a couple of possibilities, so without further ado I set about tracing out the pattern for this top:
The top has a centre front seam so really lends itself to a refashion where fabric acreage can be tricky. However, it’s fully self-fabric lined, so I was not going to have enough fabric from the skirt to do a full self lining. (Okay, this sticky ‘l’ key is reallly starting to bug me!!)
Enter this too-small purple batwing style top, $4 from the same Vinnies store.
This top had a seam at the centre back, so I opened that out and used the front of this top to make the back of my new top. I utilised the existing neckline so I could avoid having to finish that edge. This top is narrow at the lower edge, and my top is not, so the pattern actually crossed over the side seams – you’ll see in some later pictures how this gave the top an interesting seam detail.
I decided I would line the front, as per the pattern, but leave the back a single layer – this proved easy to accomplish, probably easier than a full lining in fact. As usual, I got carried away and neglected to take pictures of my process, so I’ll just explain as best I can!
So I cut out one back piece, on the fold, and 2 lots of front pieces – one outer and one lining. The front pieces I stitched together along centre fronts first, the sewed them together at the armhole and neckline, leaving the shoulder seams open. The back neck was already finished – the original manufacturer having kindly taken care of that for me – so for the back armhole edge I just turned under twice, as a narrow hem, and stitched that down.
Then the fronts and back I sandwiched together at the side seams and sewed them together. After a good deal of thought, to make sure I was sandwiching them the right way!! It all worked out, and when I turned it right side out, no side seams were visible on the inside of the garment.
The shoulders of the front pieces had formed a kind of tube, so I pressed the seam allowance into the tube, then twisted the front shoulder over and pinned one of those seam allowances to the back shoulder, right side to right side, and machine-stitched them together. Then I hand-sewed the remaining front seam allowance to the other side of the back shoulder seam, from the outside. By some miracle, I managed to do all of that so the seam that showed on the outside was the machine-stitched one.
The floaty polyester fabric wasn’t inclined to press very well, so to get the front edges to sit a bit better I topstitched them as close to the edge as I could. I probably should have understitched them earlier in the process, but, well, 20/20 hindsight and all that!
Then all that remained was a hem and I was done!
Here’s the seam detail on the back I mentioned earlier:
It’s symmetrical, so it totally looks deliberate!