Monday, 16 June 2014

A creative moment Jean/skirt style

I've been taking in clothing and curtains for altering for some months now. Amaaaaaaazing how a moment of desperation set the ball rolling and how I quite hap hazardly fell into a little business venture that now supports my family and lifestyle.
It's a funny kind of business, interesting and full of variety in many ways and at the same time a vent for my creative energies. I've met some amazing people along the way so far and each piece of work seems to carry a tale or curiosity that never fails to capture and enchant my thoughts for a moment or two.
I've also learnt quite a lot. My sewing tuition was on a very basic level, at an early age, from my grandma, so I mainly consider myself a 'self taught' sewer and some how seem to possess a skill for being able to make things work. I have a vision of the end result and love making it happen.
When I first started out on this venture I had actually done very little with regards to altering clothing (although had much experience for creating things) and my first few jobs were really experiments in more ways than one. I struggled with charging initially and often completed jobs and charged just a fraction of the cost that I should have charged. I decided that if I thought of this initial period as 'in-house training', a sort of self-guided apprenticeship then that made me feel a whole lot better about doing jobs for a song. Along my journey there have been many challenges - all good of course. I cannot let a challenge slip me by!
The latest challenge was when a lovely lady arrived on my doorstep asking me to change a pair of jeans into a skirt. 'Yes, of course I can do that' is my usual reply and then I worry about how I'm going to complete the job later. This one was no exception. I gave it quite a bit of thought but decided that the job really couldn't be that difficult.....could it?
So I thought I'd share my little adventure with you. Please feel free to be inspired and replicate....inspiration is good! Make it your own if you can.....

Step one:
Find a pair of jeans that fit, you don't want to be adjusting the waist band as well as totally transforming the garment!
Put your jeans on and decide the length you want the finished skirt. Pop a pin or two at the finished length on one leg.

Step two:
You'll need a stitch ripper for this bit......undo the inner leg seams on both legs up to and including the curved bit of the crotch either side.

Step three:
This is the point of NO return.....cut off the legs straight across about 2 inches below the length pin that you marked in step one.
Can you see things taking shape here?

Step four:
Undo the leg pieces. Position part of one piece into the 'V' gap at the from of the skirt and pin it in place. Do the same for the back with another piece (you might have to bring the skirt in slightly here depending on how flared you want your finished skirt and how wide your off-cut leg pieces are. If they don't fit or if you've somehow messed them up you could add another piece of fabric here).

Step five:
Carefully sew the front panel in place. I've sewn mine using tram lines which are common on jeans, I've also used orange cotton to match up with the other seams.
Repeat for the back panel.
Then turn the skirt inside out and trim away the excess fabric leaving about 1cm for fraying.


Step six:
Lay out the skirt and measure down to the length pin. Pin along the same distance from the top along the skirt hem.

 Step seven:
Cut off the base of the skirt an inch below the length markers (this excess is for the turn up).

Step eight:
Turn up the skirt to the length line and iron the hem. Turn the hem back on itself to conceal the raw edge. Pin in place.

Step nine:
Sew up hemline.

I neatened up the raw edges on the inside with my over locker machine but you could easily do the same with a zig zag stitch or simply leave the edges to fray.

Ta dah!!!! All finished :-)

Ed note: Of course mine went swimming well until I reached the hemming stage......I thought I'd neaten up the raw edges of the underside with my rather super cool over locker sewing machine which makes things look really professional :-) and somehow I managed to pinch the wrong bit of fabric and it sewed that too and ALSO cut off a bit of the fabric which it does......arrrrrhhhhh a walnut sized hole right in the butt area. Bugger! Damn! Poops!!!
 'I'm going to have to replace the jeans.....
 not charge for other work......
 my good reputation will be ruined.....'
I spent three days deciding whether or not to fess up or to try and fix the issue. I'm glad to say that all was resolved by removing a section of fabric and inserting another piece. Breathe out, mahooosive sigh of relief. The lady loved it :-)

The story continues.......

The following day I had a call from a friend of said client who was shopping with her friend in the same charity store and purchased the same guessed it...could I do the same to her jeans???

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