I love to find a good bargain. The only person I know who loves to bargain shop more than me is my beloved friend Megan. She once wore a 76 cent clearance skirt (76 cents!!!) to a church activity, and forgot to take the price tag off. It was embarrassing and awesome. But that is a story for another day.
Last week I was in Macy's, scouring the clearance rack, when I found this shirt (p.s. sorry about the dark photos ... I craft at night!):The top part was cute, but the never-ending bottom was problematic. It came down to like mid-thigh. Stacy and Clinton would not approve. However, it was exactly what I was looking for, because I was feeling inspired by the incredibly talented Alexis of My Mama Made It. Have you seen her blog? I love it. Especially the very last dress in this post.
With my partially cute bargain shirt on hand, I was ready for a little experiment, which resulted in this:
Here's how to do it. First, I got out my trusty seam ripper and carefully removed the bottom half of the shirt from the empire waistband.
Then I took the side seams out of the bottom of the shirt, and unpicked the pleats from the front and the darts from the back. I didn't iron them out though, because I wanted to recreate them on my skirt.
I laid the front piece of the shirt on top of my skirt material and cut it to the same size, only I extended the length . I cut mine to 27 inches long. You want the top of the skirt to be the same width so it will fit back in the shirt waistband. Do the same thing with the back piece of fabric.
Next I recreated the pleats in front and the darts in back. I didn't really measure ... just folded and pinned my skirt fabric in the same places the shirt had pleats/darts.
I forgot to take pictures at this point, but here's where the sewing started.
- Sew across the top of the front skirt piece to hold the pleats in place, and then sew up the darts in the back.
- Attach the front and back skirt pieces to the waistband (just slide them right back inside the waistband and top-stitch it closed).
- Sew the side seams along both sides of the skirt
- Try on the dress and pin the hem to your liking. Using the blindest blind stitch you can muster, hem the skirt. (I have little patience for hand-sewing.)
I was nervous about the bright orange fabric, but now I love it. Gives the dress a little zing, don't you think?