The Problem with Patterns II: The Recovery Refashion 1
Refashions,  Skirt Refashions

The Problem with Patterns II: The Recovery Refashion

Thrift Store Thursday: Crystal (?) & Couroc
The Problem with Patterns

In my most recent post, we discovered that sewing patterns don’t always work out the way one would like when refashioning from an existing item of clothing. Thank you to everyone who provided tips on how I might execute this maneuver with more success in the future! 🙂

You’ll remember that I was left with a bunch of pieces cut up from this dress.


For my attempted recovery, I chose these bits from the pile.

The skirt, the elastic, and the neck tie thingy!
The 2 skirt pieces, the elastic, and the neck tie thingy!

A lot of guessed where I would be going with this refashion. We’re gonna try to make this a skirt! 🙂

First, I stitched the two skirt panels together. Then I serged all the raw edges, including the ones at the top and bottom.


Next, I folded over the top and bottom serged edges and stitched over them with my regular sewing machine.


Next, I took the neck tie thingy, and cut one of the ends open, and nicely unpicked the other end.


I stitched a line about 3/4″ from the bottom of it. This would become a casing for the salvaged elastic.


Then, I pinned the neck tie thingy to what was about to be the waist of my new skirt.

Here we go!!!!
Here we go!!!!

I threaded the elastic through the casing, using this handy doodad:

A safety pin works too!
A safety pin works too!

After it broke on through to the other side, I stitched the two ends together.

Almost done!
Almost done!

For my final trick, I tucked the raw-edged part of the neck tie thingy into the nicely-unpicked side, and stitched that down.


And now I have an…alright…ruffle top skirt!

Meh. It'll do.
Meh. It’ll do.

It’s not my favorite by a long shot, but I think it’s a pretty good save. I styled my skirt over a purple minidress and tossed on a little boy’s tux vest (both thrifted for $1)  that I probably wear way too often.

A closer look!
A closer look!

I don’t think the fit is super flattering, and I’m generally not a fan of ruffles (So, why did you add one, Jillian?), but it’ll do for work I guess.

Also, try not to be alarmed and my band-aided & scraped knees! Over the weekend I had to dive to the ground to save Douglas from a neighborhood dog that got off-leash. He and I are both okay, even if I’m a little worse for wear.


Ribbet collage


  • jenny_o

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I think I might have thrown my hands up at the end of Day 1 and hidden the offending material at the back of the closet … but you kept on going and used your creativity.

    I’m glad Douglas is okay and hope your knees heal fast.

  • Murielle

    The fabric has such a beautiful pattern I totally get why you had to use it. And the skirt was a great idea…the ruffle not so much. But yay for styling, and yay for pretty patterned save.

  • Donna

    Look forward to your daily post… the life of me don’t see how you get it all done….one busy girl…very talented….and an encouragement to me to recycle …Love it…so happy I found your site…keep up the great work

  • Anne

    I love the expressions on your face. Why not look for a caftan to sew up with a pattern?…or a poncho….something basically a large flat piece of fabric.

  • Lauren

    I’d take it in and maybe up a little bit so it fits more like a pencil skirt. I think it would be cute with some patterned hose and boots! Good save!

  • Tina

    This summer pull it up over your bust (the ruffle will add volume to the chest) and tie a sash/ribbon around your waist (making your waist look smaller) and you have a cute summer top.

  • GirlFriday

    The important thing is you saved it. And you can refashion it again, when the spirit moves! Poor Douglas. I’m glad he’s ok. Also, THANK YOU for slippiing “break on through to the other side” into your post! I’m still laughing!

    • Nancy

      I love me a Jim Morrison reference, Girl Friday.
      You look adorable as always, Jillian. Nice save.
      The suggestion (from Tina) to wear the skirt next summer as a top is a good one. Kate Middleton did something like that to get William’s attention. It worked for her.

  • Cathy

    A cute idea but I would’ve used the tie thing to put a tie thing on the waist of the skirt or a pull up of an edge of the hem and skipped the ruffle. But I’m also a good deal older than you and I think ruffles should go down, not up….

  • Lori Nevin

    I’m heading to hubby’s side of the closet where he saved some suit pieces from his dad’s wardrobe after his passing. I remember there’s a vest in really great shape in there. I wonder if I can convince hubby to let me have it for a little feminine shaping…

  • amber

    I think u should take said the skirt and refashion it to a top that kinda looks like your “porch edition” dress from 2013. It was a Yellow curtain you turned into a summer dress.

  • Riff

    not my fav either, Miss Refashionista, but you tried 😉
    i cross my fingers for you to find two identical dresses next time you go to the thrift store, so as you’ll have enough fabric for a new project 🙂

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