Monday, 10 December 2012

Before & after project - snow machines and tweed skirts

I don't know about you, but during the winter I find it really difficult to dress nice. Largely because it's cooold and comfy, warm things become irresistible. And then there is the factor that pulling on whatever is nearby instead of putting together an outfit means x extra minutes in bed. Minutes that are pure gold when it's as dark outside at 7 am as at 3 am.

But sometimes you have to get out of the flannel and/or wool (in my case definitely "and"). For me this was most recently on Saturday night when the boyfriend asked me to help out with on a photography shoot he was doing, involving a snow machine! Not one to turn down snow, even if it is made of plastic, the flannel had to be abandoned for the night and some normal clothes, suitable for stepping out in public, were required.

I decided on all black. And as these things go, when you want something you suddenly have nothing in that category clean. The local charity shop came to rescue and I found this gorgeous black tweed skirt. Size-wise fine (it looks huge in the pic, my bad choice of a hanger that stretched it out), but about 2 meters too long, being calf length. 

It couldn't be easier to make it short and cute, yet maintain the elegance that, thanks to Chanel, is an integral quality of tweed clothing.

  • Skirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Not pictured: measuring tape/ruler
  • Not pictured: Sewing machine or needle and thread

Decide how much you want to shorten the skirt. Do this either by putting it on and measuring, or by laying a skirt with a length you like over this one and marking the desired length. 

Make sure to cut through both the main fabric and the lining, if your skirt has any.

Remember to measure all around the skirt to make sure you get an even hem (unless you are going for an asymmetrical cut, that is :).

Tweed looks best with frayed edges, so instead of hemming the end I used a needle to pull out fibers to hurry up the fraying. You could just cut and leave it, wear and washing will fray the edges enough, but I planned on wearing mine already the same day as making it.

The lining doesn't look good frayed though, plus it should be a little bit shorter than your main fabric, so it doesn't show, so fold this in, pin in place and sew.

Now, I wanted to add a little detail, a band of the same fabric, extra frayed, by the hem for extra texture.

This is a great way to use up the cut off bit. If  you had lots over you could sew bits together into a looong stretch of fabric to make the band ruffled.

Decide how wide the band should be, measure and mark and cut. Tip: neon yellow is surprisingly visible on black.

Fray fray fray.

Pin all around the skirt and sew in place. Sew close to the upper edge of the band, otherwise gravity will do its thing and the top will fold over and hang down. 

If the shoes look familiar, it is because you have seen them on the blog before.

Yup, the snow machine was as fun as it sounds. For an idea of how fun:


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