So I started off with this sweater idea, of making a sweater with a really offset scoop neck. I had this burgundy sweater that I picked up a month ago for $2.
It's size 3x - quite a bit too big for me, so I had to totally resize it before playing around with the neck. Six seemed to be the magic number for this sweater -- I cut six inches off the bottom of the sleeves to make it 3/4 length, I cut six inches off the bottom so it wasn't a dress, and six inches or so off each side to make it a lot tighter. The little pleating is lingerie elastic, which matches the bottom pleats so well:) It's not as side-scoop as I originally envisioned, but I still love it!
I wanted a skirt to go with it, because skirts kick butt (as well as accentuating the butt:)). So off to the thrift store! I almost bypassed the smaller sizes, but this one caught my eye -- a vintagey brown suiting wool pleated skirt, with two tiny pleats facing two tiny pleats, and then a big gap between them.
I absolutely adore vintagey skirts like this, and was determined to figure out a way to incorporate it, reguardless of the size!! The skirt started out with a 27'' waist; the pins in the photo mark where I cut it off. (Having to pin every pleat so the it wouldn't slip when I went at it with the rotary cutter) The old zipper was completely cut out, and I replaced it with an invisible one. So a $4.50 skirt, at half price, was $2.25, plus a new zipper for $2.40:).
I really like how underlays look when they peek out from underneath a skirt, so I pulled out what my mum thought was an apron when she bought it for about $3 at a thrift store. On closer examination, it turned out to be a child's ballet skirt, which explains why it didn't fit around my waist....
So simply cutting a slit for the ballet skirt to show through wouldn't really match the style of the wool skirt, so I decided to divide the ballet skirt up up and insert it into the inside pleats of the skirt. Easier said than done! This skirt took me waaaay longer than I anticipated -- it was one of those projects that sounded really cool in my head, and I dove right into it before actually thinking it through.... Every new step lit off a light bulb of "woops, I didn't think of that.... Doh!" First, the ballet skirt was almost a perfect circle -- has anyone tried to divide a circle into 14 peices? So hard! The next problem was that I wanted the skirt to cover my butt cheeks -- but the little ballet skirt wasn't very long! So I settled for having shorted panels of that, since it would add to the "insert" type of look, and I still feel covered.. Then because the pieces weren't all the same length, I had to hem each peice of the suiting material. Since there were 14 sets of pleating, that meant 28 seams joining the suiting to the ballet skirt material, and then 28 serged seams so the pink didn't fray away to nothing. Then 28 2-3 inch side hems. Then, after trying the skirt on, I decided to sew down the pleats for 6 inches form the waist band, so that the skirt would look more flattering, and the pleats would look crisper, instead of stretching out at the curves. 56 6 inch lines of stiching later, and the skirt looked way cuter. Finally, the waistband! Obviously, the original tiny waistband wouldn't fit me, so I cut off some of the top part, ironed out the pleats, and made a new waistband. Et fini!
But then I had a bunch of pleated-y fabric left over, still attached to the waistband. Clutch time! I took the tiny, tiny amount of scraps from the ballet skirt (some were only an inch wide:)), serged them together for lining, and then sewed up one side and the bottom of some of the brown fabric. I don't know how to change the serger thread -- who can spot where I coloured the white thread with a brown sharpie to get it to blend in with the wool, lol! I stitched the lining in by hand so I wouldn't wreack the lines stitching on the waistband, added a few tiny snaps inside it for closure, and then the final touch -- gorgeous huge red button!
I'll see how much I actually wear this outfit, but I love how it all looks together, and how the little bag - which took a fraction of the time compared to the other two peices, less than an hour -- ties it all together. I may use the purse just by itself.
So grand total from the thrift store:
Sweater - $2
Ballet Skirt - $3
Wool Skirt - $2.25
Total -- 7.25 CAD