28 September 2009

174. Refashion 31: Art Therapy Tunic from Skirt and Jeans

I've been absent from the blog.

It's been almost two weeks since my last post and I haven't even responded to the comments yet -- sorry. The last month has been a real doozy, ladies (and the occasional gentleman). It's been a tough year for my friends and family in the areas of jobs/ careers and divorce. Maybe because of our age, or the length of time most of the people we know have been married, or the economy, or some combination of all those things, there is an almost alarming frequency of major career or family upheaval around us. So the blogging has been slow. It has felt this past week like my creativity has been muffled.

After some news Saturday, it's fair to say that I felt quite funky (and not in the good way) on and off all day Sunday. I needed some art therapy big time.

Kyle recently posted a photo of her favorite skirt, and I recognized the fabric from a thrift store garment I bought to refashion. So I pulled it off the shelf and threw it on Clementine:

It was very big on Clementine as a skirt:

I didn't want to just make it a smaller skirt, though I guess that would have been the easiest route in retrospect. I pulled it up on Clementine and the size L skirt was fine around the bust with an extra inch or two to spare. From the front:

From the side:

From the back:

So I sewed pleats on the back, effectively taking up two inches of diameter around the waistband. I'd been working with some distressed black jeans, and I had one leg left from the previous project. I cut it open and draped out some sleeve-ish things. I worked up a sweat. Me, a pair of scissors, a handful of pins. I don't even know if I think it looks good! It's just barely "finished" -- but I'm done, I think:

Nothing like a fake moustache to lift the spirits. I'm 1000% sure the (un-?)sleeves were inspired by a houndstooth Alexander McQueen dress I've shown you before. Wednesday Workshop returns this week! xo


  1. Wow! That is definitely hot!!!

  2. Very cool! I love taking skirts and making them into tops! so fun!

  3. Zee garment ees fabulous, oui!

  4. very clever, the fabric is gorgeous - too lovely not to reuse - and this way you get to be more creative than just pegging it back a size. Beautifully styled too (although I prefer it without the moustache, call me old-fashioned)

  5. I love the print on the skirt, and it looks just as cool as a top. I wonder whether the denim "straps" are a bit warm to wear though?

    Unfortunately for me, most of the clothes I try to refashion (apart from the men's dress shirt I've had so much problem with) are too small for me rather than too big. Which means I have to turn them into purses or kid's leggings...

  6. Nice redo! Love it (and the mustache does add a certain something, too ;)

  7. Sorry to hear about all the upheaval! It is a stressful time indeed - both personally and in the world and nation at large, though I'm sure that the two influence one another and cannot be thought of separately. I hope you're managing OK and that your friends and family are, as well. And, well, that creativity can serve as balm, when needed.

  8. pretty creative for being in a funk, my dear. sorry for all the juju vibes surrounding you... i'll use my mental powers to put a pink cloud around you today. :)

  9. I hope everything is okay! Not you too!!

    I love the tunic. The shoulder straps are so cool and attractive!! Keep up the art therapy! I used a ton of !! in this comment!!!!!!

  10. That is fly! I would so rock that. I'm glad you had an opportunity to release some tension. These times are really stressful on people, relationships, and so on. I'm thanking God for my blessings and praying for others.

  11. You are so talented lady! I don't comment much but i read your blog on the regular. Keep posting! :)

    Midwest Darling

  12. Wow, thanks so much for your comments. Your words of support with non-sewing stuff is appreciated, too.

    @Kyle - Thank you -- it was 91 degrees yesterday so I had this outfit on for about 4 minutes before wiggling back into shorts and a t-shirt. So glamorous, I know.

    @Laura - This was my first time following through and converting skirt to top! I am encouraged. :)

    @Lindsay T - Merci beaucoup!

    @Mary Nanna - It was more creatively satisfying, but I admit that while stitching down that bulky denim in gathers, I thought for a second I should have just sized down. LOL

    @Violet - I made this to wear this winter, prob. over a long-sleeve tee. You're right, those denim straps are thick and heavy. The skirt isn't quite right for winter but it helps that it's black. Maybe if you combine your refashion candidates with other garments you can get them where you need them size-wise. Maybe I would take a skirt that wasn't big enough to fit around my high bust, cut it down the center back, and add a panel of another contrasting or complementary fabric. Don't give up! There are too many ugly or unwanted clothes in the world that will just end up in landfills!

    @Flamingo K - Thanks, I knew the moustache wasn't for everyone but it made me smile. :D

    @Jessica - Sometimes I think it's too much pain the world right now. Being creative has helped and I actually went jogging yesterday morning. You know I'm STRESSED OUT if I am exercising of my own volition. It helped a lot. Thank you.

    @glam.spoon - Thanks, babe. Can you fit in a trip to Austin this weekend for Austin City Limits? Stay with me and we'll go see The September Issue? xo

    @Cindy - Yep, I think this junkety junk is all over. I think everything will be OK. After the shock comes the realization that there's a big heaping mess to clean up. So I'm doing my best to help clean up. I love !!!! so keep the !!!! coming. LOL

    @Edris - Thank you -- I know you would rock something like this! Yes, we have so many blessings. Thanks for the reminder.

    @Paige - What a cool blog you have! I clicked over and I just love your outfits, sense of style, and ability to take great self-portraits. Maybe you can give me some tips sometime! Thanks for commenting.

  13. I've been absent too for similar, but not the same reasons. Great refashion. Hope thing cheer up for you really soon.

  14. You are too funny. I really appreciate the reading your refashioning posts. They give insight and inspire me to spend a little more time thinking about the versaility of a garment.

  15. I love that skirt!!the floral designs are amazing

  16. @Gail - I am glad you are blogging again. I missed you.

    @Cennetta - Thank you, ma'am. I think versatility is a big piece of the puzzle for me this fall/ winter.

    @Luxury Ties - How lucky that I picked it up for $1! Thanks.

  17. Bummer, I posted a comment last week here about everything from mustaches to having many friends going through similar situations a few year back and how they all in the end came out in even better situations than before, even though it was tough at times before things worked out. Oh well, for some reason Blogger didn't like my comment or something!

  18. @Johanna Lu - I am sorry, I think my blog might have had the hiccups last week. Mary Nanna said she was getting weird error messages viewing the blog and stuff. Anyway, maybe these life crises come and go in waves? That saying keeps coming to mind, "When it rains, it pours." Would love to hear more about the mustaches -- you can see I find them particularly inspiring this season. ;)


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