Clothing upcycling : from tunic to skirt

Two years ago, I decided to make a short tunic from a japan style inspired magazine. I had some tweed in my stash, just enough to sew this pattern. It is simply made of 4 rectangles, so it would be quick and easy to make !

As I thought the tunic looked good in the magazine, I adapted the it to my measurement to reproduce the proportions of the photo. I increased the width and the height of the front and back pieces and increased the measurements of the sleeves accordingly.

As I didn’t have much fabric, I was satisfied to at least match the horizontal lines of the back piece with the lines on the sleeves.

I have worn this tunic quite a lot, but each time I would, I got annoyed by the sleeves : they were too bulky in a mantel and they would get caught in door knobs all the time. The tunic looked also a little too loose fitting near the sleeves and shoulders. I thought it could be a good idea to decrease the bust width a little.

I cut the serged sleeve hems and cut a stipe af fabric on each side of the front and back pieces. I also cut a stripe at the bottom to keep the proportions and decreased the size of the sleeves.

Sadly, the result didn’t look better at all and got quite ugly indeed. I didn’t want to threw away the fabric, so I decided to unpick the tunic again to make something else like a skirt.

I used a seam ripper for the bottom and sleve seams and I cut away the sleeve hems and looked in may patterns to find a garment that would need so few fabric.

In one of my books by Annabel Bennilan, I found the Miami skirt. I like this pattern because it’s cute and it has pockets..

I had already made this skirt once in size 36, but with lockdowns I have put on some weight, so I decided to make a size 38 this time. I draw the pattern on tracing paper and cut the pieces in fabric using my new Hello K***y sewing weights.

I sew the pocket pieces together sewing only the curved part and then sew the small pocket part to the front part. I then made a sandwich with the front part, the pockets and the back parts an sew the side seams from top to bottom.

Before adding the waist band, I made a small stitch line to ??? the top of the pocket to the top of the front part, so it would stay in place.

To make the waist band, I used the remaining  fabric pieces. I made a few  rectangles that à assemble with my serger. To avoid bulk, I cut the serged seams where the fabric had to be folded to turn the seams in two directions along the seam line. I was carefull to not cut the tread that was farther from the edge so that it wouldn’t unravel later.

I also decided to double the heigth of the waist band because i had found it a little to thin on my first attempt. As there is no technical drawing in this book and the model is wearing a sweater that hides the waist, I didn’t know who it would look like the first time.

As I had to reduce the width of the front part because I hadn’t enough fabric, I adapted the size of the front folds to match the lengh of the waist band before sewing it to the skirt.

I then looked in my stash to find a zipper that would match the fabric. I pinned the zipper in place so that the check pattern of the two back pieces would match.

Then I was ready to fold the waist band lenghtwise and sew it in place. I used a ditch foot to stitch in the ditch so that the stitch line would be invisible.

Then I just had to make the bottom hem. I serged the raw edge of the skirt and then sew the hem with an invisible stitch. I used my invisible foot and a zig zag stitch. On the right side, the stitches can’t be seen.

Kitty, won’t you let me try on my skirt ?

And here is the Miami skirt ! I would rather have it a little longer, but I had not enough fabric to do so.

I will just wear tights when I will wear it with high heals.

Thank you for coming in the B&r studio today!

See you soon,

Didine