Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Refashioned wrap skirt

This is another project from the refashioning stack in the sewing room. I picked up this skirt from a garage sale or thrift store or something ages ago because I liked the fabric (nice drapey rayon) and print, but it has always been too large. It had an elastic waistband in the back and buttons down the front. It kind of  stayed up on my hips when I first got it, but the elastic stretched over time to the point that it was just falling off.

I was going to make some front and back darts to shrink the waistband to the appropriate size, and I decided to take the elastic out of the back waistband to keep the darts smooth. After removing the elastic, I ironed in some interfacing to stabilize and stiffen the waistband a little.
When I was trying on the skirt to see how much material I needed to remove to get the waist the right size, I realized that it might work as a wrap skirt. There was about an eight inch overlap at the front. I really liked the way it looked, so I decided to go with that. I chose to put the side with the buttonholes under and the side with the buttons over, so there's a nice column of buttons going down the left front of the skirt. In the end, after I had placed all the buttons and snaps, the waistband seemed to have relaxed a little more, so I added two small pleats in the back of the skirt to get it the right size again.
I added a button to the waistband on the left side and snaps under the first five buttons on the right to close the skirt. It took me a few tries to get the snaps lined up just right. Then I poached a little material from the facing on the left panel (the "under" panel) to repair a hole on the button placket, and I was good to go.

I'm really pleased with this refashion. I've been wanting to wear this skirt for so long, and now I can. I think this can be dressed up or down, and it's nice and breezy for summer, but I could easily layer underneath it in the winter. It might be a little frumpy looking, but maxi skirts are in right now, so I think that makes up for it. (I don't really care that much, either, if I like how I look.)
For the first public outing, I chose to be a bold pattern mixer. I'm not too shy about pattern mixing, but I tend to stay in the same color family. This time, I decided to let the flowers be the unifying element. I've never done anything like it but felt confident and fun all day. I don't know what people thought of it, but Jon liked it, and I felt good, so that was that.
In other news, my hair has jumped the shark. (The shark is my waist?) I almost never wear it down, and I often wear braids that shorten it significantly, so I don't think I realized how long it has gotten until I looked at these pictures. Wow! I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I keep thinking about cutting my hair very short again like I did in 2000 and 2007, but I like all the cool braided styles I can do with long hair. But on the other hand, I also like making big changes, and a short hairstyle would be a nice big change. But on the other other hand, I think long hair is lower-maintenance on me than short hair is. Most likely, inertia will win out, and I'll keep it rolling, possibly with a little trim to get rid of the split ends. I'm curious how long it will get.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sea glass necklace

 Jon and I have been collecting sea glass for a few years now, and I've been wanting to make something fun with some of our pieces. When I saw this tutorial for small glass bottle necklaces, I thought it would be ideal. I found a few little glass bottles at a garage sale a few weeks ago, and last week I finally went to Michael's for the jewelry making supplies I needed. I used a serrated kitchen knife and an Exacto knife to cut a wine cork into the right size for the top of the bottle.

I'm very pleased with the final result. The cork is snug and doesn't seem in danger of falling out, and I think the glass pieces settled nicely so the colors are well-distributed and the two most special pieces (cobalt blue and light turquoise) are easy to see from the outside. The colors are very calming, and the fact that it's filled with sea glass from Lake Michigan (I should call it beach glass, since Lake Michigan isn't a sea) makes me think of both Chicago, where I found it and where I love living, and Jon, the person who found it with me and with whom I have enjoyed many hours of sea glassing. I think it will get a lot of wear.