tutorial: easy DIY gathered full skirt with pocket

Last Friday, after we visited our printer for Black Bile, the boyfriend and I found ourselves in Countrymall. It’s one of those malls where you wouldn’t want to be caught dead chilling in. But behind the seemingly ill-maintained structure are fantastic treasures. I am talking about cheap and unique apparel, Sriracha sauce, and fabrics! Oh, the fabrics. So easy on the pockets AND the eyes. I came home with these.

And the dotted one simply had to be turned into this:

 photo dottyskirt4.jpg

The skirt turned out cute that I had to make another. And write a tutorial in the process.

To make a DIY gathered skirt with pocket, you will need the following:

a. fusible interfacing (width: twice the width of your preferred waistline || length: waist measurement with 3 inches add)

b. front and back pieces with 1-inch allowance all around (width of one piece: hip measurement + 8 to 12 inches || length: preferred length or true waist to an inch above the knee)

c. 8-inch zipper

d. waistline (same  as the interfacing dimensions with additional 1/2-inch allowance all around)

e. pockets in fabric that contrasts your skirt, preferably (any seam pocket pattern you can download online will do; you can also construct your own with your hand as size guide)

f. hook and eye (not in photo below)

 photo hooplaskirt1.jpg

Here are my seam pocket pieces. I know these things are usually “curvaceous” in nature. I had to fashion mine with straight edges because I don’t have a serger.

 photo hooplaskirt2.jpg

All right, let’s move on to constructing our DIY gathered full skirt!


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tutorial: an easy way to turn a dress (or skirt) to a blouse

I was supposed to post my Valentine’s Day DIY today but I got excited over this new project. I did this yesterday and have worn the blouse to dinner and grocery shopping. Yes, I am in love with it.

First, a few things about the original dress. It was a tube dress that I thrifted several years ago. I probably wore it less than 5 times. The top bandeau section had a vertical seam right by the left chest area. It was quite a wayward seam that sort of annoyed me. This section was also a little too narrow for my liking. The bottom seam didn’t reach my underbust; the whole thing was a study in squashed upper body parts. The length of the dress was also problematic. I am nearing 30 and I feel like I have no business wearing things that reach no more than 2 inches above the knees.

And so I butchered it to make a blouse. (Finally, I have a cat motif piece of clothing. That I like.)

So you want to turn a dress into a blouse, too? Here are the steps I took. But first, some notes:

1. This will work best on jersey fabric.

2. I used a dress with an empire gathered cut. Any dress will do as long as the bottom section is gathered or pleated. This is because you will need wide fabrics to play with. Pencil or body-hugging dresses will not work.

3. You can also do this to a skirt by simply removing the elastic casing or the waistband. This method will also work using a shirt that is too large for you.

The tutorial:


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to twee or not to twee?

What? Another dress, Meream? Yes. Because, as I implied in my last post, I have been slowly questioning my previous propensity for sewing short dresses and skirts.

This was the inspiration. Or Pinboard, if you will:

pretty fabrics from a local store | a Modcloth dress | dotted mint fabric I got on sale and a drawing of the dress I planned to sew

While the boyfriend entertained his guests (he had a PS3 party) last Saturday, I stayed holed up in my studio and started sewing the dress. The goal, if it’s not too obvious from my shoddy drawing, was to sew a dress with just the right amount of whimsy; to create a look that is 29-year-old-appropriate, if there is such a thing. While I LOVE the Modcloth dress above, I thought it looked too young for someone my age. I did, however, still wanted a few cute elements from it so I went for the shirred bottom.


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