My Sew Sew Life-Repair & Wear

Today, I have a tale of two skirts. They’re great summer skirts but each had a problem that made it unwearable. Using two very simple sewing techniques, I was able, in short order, to fix them. Now, I’m enjoying wearing both of these beauties.

Because both skirts have strong personalities, I’m using simple white tops to complement them.

Skirt #1-The Bright Floral from India

redfox copy
A couple of weeks ago, we ventured to The Red Fox Winery in Uric, Missouri for lunch. Social distance wasn’t hard as we were the only ones on the patio. Greek cuisine is their specificity, which is always a winner with me.  For the wine, we picked their Chamboursin, a dry red, which went perfectly.

Skirt #1, Last summer, this beautiful bright print from India just out shown the other skirts at Goodwill. However, it was very obvious why it was there. Attached to its hem was a dangley bead trim with a good amount of dangles missing.

That was an easy fix; get the seam ripper and remove the bead tape from the hem. But the hem was a pretty sloppy job because, well, they had the beaded trim to cover it up!

I just turned the width of the hem up and using a blind hem stitch, made a new hem and now I get to wear my “new to me” skirt.

floralhome
Adding to my summer skirt: blush wedge sandals from Lifestride, A Chico white 3/4 sleeve tee (old but here’s similar), a fun thrifted beaded pink bracket and a very old pink quartz necklace that I bought in 1990 at the Sackler Gallery when we visited the Smithsonian. I decided to match my bag with my sandals and am carrying my ecru and blush leather tote, which I found years ago at a small Kansas City boutique. Strangely, there’s no label of maker, just Made in Italy. I found a long pink tassel on sale at TJ Maxx a few years ago and can put it on or take it off, whenever I feel like it.

I Love YouTube!

Anymore, when I’m having trouble with some technique, I turn to YouTube. Just this summer I finally mastered two knitting techniques that I had been struggling with for a while. Being a left handed knitter, sometimes things get a bit of a challenge.

YouTube is also great for learning sewing techniques too.

I’ve included a tutorial from YouTube on how to do this really handy stitch. All you need is needle and thread.

The Classic hem stitch-which is the one my Mom taught me and I always use. Each stitch is locked so if one stitch is broken, the rest stay in place.

classichemstitch

Skirt #2-The 5-Tier Indigo Ikat Print

Sometime during the fall of 2011, I picked up my five tiered ikat inspired skirt from a Macy’s clearance rack. At the time, I also picked up a sleeveless white top to go with it. But truthfully,  I never liked how the whole thing looked together. The end result was that I just didn’t wear the two pieces that much.

I did pull the skirt (not the top) out for a post back in 2016. Included in that post was the history of tiered skirts in American fashion and what makes the ikat weaving technique so special. You know me, always trying to pull my history and art in. A link to that original post is HERE.

featureikat
I’m really happy with how my old short sleeve linen blouse works with my skirt and wished I had thought of it years ago. I added a pair of straw and jute platform sandals and a second hand Sak bag that I found on eBay at about the time I bought the skirt. I wore this out when we went for one of our late lunches (The Wine Journal is pretty deserted at 3 in the afternoon).

My skirt got put back in the closet and forgotten until last November. That’s when Reni of Reni’s Odds and Sods published a story about her trip to the south of France.  Towards the middle of her article was a photo of her in a blue and white tiered skirt, white top and a straw hat. It could have been me!

I soon pulled  my skirt out to try it on. It turned out that in the ensuing years, the elastic in the waist had completely disintegrated. That was a problem and I had a decision to make; donate it or fix it. I procrastinated and put it in the indecisive pile.

Then came “Covid Time” and it was time to catch up on those lost projects and repairing my skirt was one of them. I decided to put in a wider elastic so I completely  removed the stitching for the casing, pressed  a new casing with my iron, ran a quick seam, inserted good elastic and I was done!

If I had the exact width of elastic, I’ve could have just taken out the old elastic and put in the new. However, I wanted to use what I had, even if it meant a little extra work.

Using a sewing machine did make my work quicker, but I could have used the blind stitch from above and everything would have been just fine.

Here’s another YouTube video to explain what I did.
MAKING A CASING FOR AND INSERTING ELASTIC 

elastic

Here’s Reni’s and my blog photos side by side. See what I mean?

sidebyside

That’s the tale of my two newly mended skirts. Rather than being folded up in the useless pile they are now on hangers. Ironically, outside one short white summer skirt, these are the only two that I have. It’s nice to have skirts again!  I’ve been wearing them out for our isolated afternoon luncheons.

It always feels good to me to make something useless work again. Have you done anything like this lately in your time at home? Or have you learned something new that you wanted to learn for a while? For me it was those two knitting techniques I mentioned early on.

I think that’s all I have to talk about for today. I’ve been mainly sewing, knitting, dying Alpaca fiber and working in my flower garden. I’ve really been exploring independent pattern companies and have expanded my list on my People to Read + Places to Go. I now have links to over sixty two independent pattern companies! I had no idea there were so many.  Some have been having July sales and I’ve picked up some that I’m pretty anxious to make.

Take care and stay safe everyone-and stay creative.

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A little view of my flower garden; Playtime, an oriental Lilly that I got from Jung last fall. The scent is incredible. Three plants can fill the air! It’s decision time for what I plant this fall for next year’s spring and summer flowering.

20 thoughts on “My Sew Sew Life-Repair & Wear

    1. Yes, I do and a lot. But repairing and alternations is a big part of my sewing experience too. I’m trying to add more refashioning and up-cycling to my sewing rotation.

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  1. Oh Terry, it’s amazing how the two of us look like fashion twins! It’s a shame that we can’t go out together in our blue skirts, isn’t it? I also do a lot of repairing and alternating these days – much more than making new pieces.
    Thanks for the link to my blog!
    Stay safe and enjoy the summer of skirts!
    XOXO Reni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now you understand why I wanted to use your picture. I knew you had never seen mine since I did that post almost four years ago and we didn’t know each other. I thought it was uncanny. I’m making a new round of masks for the whole family, so we are trying to stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Mireille, thank you for coming by and seeing me. I did think the blue skirt was worth saving but if I had to pay someone to do that for me it would have cost more than the skirt was worth and quite honestly, I would have had to just get rid of it. I think interest in sewing and repairing has taken hold the the younger generations. It must be or there wouldn’t be so many independent pattern companies sprouting up-there’s someone out there to support them. My daughter is even teaching our grandson a few skills so he can be a little independent. Again, thanks for popping by-I’ll run over and see what you’re up to.

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  2. Gosh, you and me, girl, are resuscitation “experts”. Obviously, I’m in front of my screen applauding your fixes! Too bad we don’t live close enough to go out for coffee and swap sewing stories! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! My feeling exactly. It’s so much fun and gratifying to save things. I finally just put my foot down and would not let myself make anything new until I got both of these skirts fixed! And it took a fraction of time than to make something new. I’m in mask mode again and making a new round for everyone in the family.

      Here’s to the virtual coffee date!

      I will tell you one other thing. Ellie and Mac have been having $1 PDF sales on just a few of their patterns these past two Wednesdays. I missed the first round but got two last week. I don’t know if this is something they do regularly of it just for July. They have this jacket that folds up into a sort of back pack-don’t know if I’ll ever make it, but for a $1, really didn’t worry about it to much. LOL

      Take care XOXO
      TERRI

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  3. Terri, I love both skirts and now I can’t wait to get back to some thrift shopping of my own! I do need to learn how to make minor repairs and alterations for those cool thrift shop finds that may need a little help! Thanks for sharing and linking up.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thanks for coming by Shelbee. I haven’t been to a thrift shop for a long while now. It’s one of those things that can wait for me. Learning a few little handing sewing tricks is a good idea. I think I might add a few beginning sewing kits that I have found on one of my next posts sometime.

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  4. I often use YouTube for tutorials , it’s a fantastic resource isn’t it. I love your fixes and the results look fab.
    I absolutely love ikat prints, they are among my favourite. The skirt on the right in blue and white is just gorgeous.
    Stay safe Terri xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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