Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pillowcase Skirt, The Revenge

I was successful in making a skirt from a pillowcase, so I decided to try something a little more challenging. A friend of ours, Ann, generously donated a bunch of her old clothes to me for use in sewing projects. As a way of returning the favor, I wanted to give a couple of her old tattered pillowcases new life. She didn't ask me to, she just said, "If you're going to use these, take them, but if not, I'll keep them because they have sentimental value." A couple of the pillowcases had some crochet edgings that had been stitched by her grandmother.

Here is one:

Here's a close-up of the same thing:

Okay, so I didn't take pictures of the progress as I made it. Mainly this is because I didn't know how it would turn out and I didn't want to invest even more energy on documenting when I was already sweating bullets just cutting into the fabric.

But here's a synopsis:

I tied up and repaired as much of the damage as I could. The pieces that weren't salvageable, I just had to let go. It didn't matter because I still had enough material to work with to make a decent skirt out of.

I estimated Ann's measurements to be slightly more than what one standard pillowcase would provide, and each pillowcase had only one side embroidered, so I separated fronts and backs from both pillowcases first. Actually, that's not true. I first cut off the crocheted edging, to be sewn on later. I cringed before, during, and after I did it, but I went ahead and did it and in the end didn't regret it.

I used the two embroidered pieces as the front and back of the skirt. Since I needed more material for it to fit, I cut up the plain backs of the pillowcases that I had left over into strips for the sides. I serged the pieces together, and then I cut up a pair of pink micro corduroy pants I had lying around into strips and serged those with the crocheted edging onto the edge of the soon-to-be skirt. Then I serged the skirt shut, making sure I had right sides together.

Then I made two buttonholes on one layer of fabric close to the top, but with enough material left over to fold down and make a casing. I straight stitched to make the casing. After that, I got lazy so for the cord I decided to chain stitch using a crochet hook and three strands of pink yarn together. I chained it until it looked long enough, and then I finished it off. Pulled it through the buttonholes and it was finished.

Here it is:

Close up of the serged crocheted edge and former corduroy pants:

This was a nail-biting project. Working with heirloom type material, not knowing if I was gonna mess it up... Ugh. The sort of thing that gives me nightmares. Thankfully, it turned out okay.

A project that took this much energy should have an equally impressive package to go in, imho. So I got a Whole Foods bag, cut it up, turn it inside out, zig-zag stitched the sides, punched some holes, and blanket "stitched" it shut with some leftover yarn.

Here it is:

Oh yeah, I also glued some leftover corduroy material on it as an accent. Looked too plain without it. Or maybe I was covering up a mistake. In any case, I'm happy with it, and I hope Ann will be to.


Blogger Cat said...

I can see now why you were so nervous about getting on with projects -- if I were trying to make something to thnak someone for donating heirlooms to me for play fabric I'd be sweating buckets too! But I'm so glad ou took the plunge -- the results are aboslutely beautiful. I hope Ann likes the skirt! It's gorgeous!

4:54 PM  

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