Sunday, December 12, 2010


I was going to post this days earlier, but for some reason the pictures just weren't coming out right.  So - you won't get to see me in the whole suit, but I can show you some bits and pieces.

Once upon a time (well, actually just a few years back) I made a navy suit.  Lovely wool with a woven stripe.  Pants were the bottom half of the suit. Every time I wore those pants I couldn't wait to get out of them.  A more uncomfortable pair I have never made in my life.  Classic case of overfitting.  A tweak here, a tweak there, another tweak somewhere else, and before you know it - the world's most uncomfortable pants.  The jacket got worn with one other pair of pants that I have in a very dark navy wool.  Every so often I would yet again wear the pants, only to remember why they generally languished in the closet.  I still wanted a whole suit, because - well - just because.  Then along comes this brilliant idea - if trousers are drafted from a  skirt sloper, then I should be able to turn the trousers back into a skirt with no problem.  Right?  Wrong!  First I undid the inseam and tried to make straight seams front and back.  (Don't forget that I had a fly front zipper in there that I really didn't want to take apart.)  Didn't work.  Stupidly, I lopped off  some 14 inches from the bottom of the pants.  After some point, when I really should have called it quits, I finally took apart all the pieces.  I pressed and steamed and got rid of any evidence of old seams.  I laid down the pattern pieces for my favourite strait skirt.  Guess what - not enough width in the legs to make a quarter of a skirt.  Saner people would just give up at this point.  I was DETERMINED that I was going to have a matching skirt to this jacket.  I did it!

  One navy skirt with 2 pleats in back and side zipper.
I cut the side pieces according to the pattern, measuring the amount that I was missing from the centres.  Then I pieced those bits that I had cut off the bottoms, lining up the stripes and stitching in the middle of one of the stripes, to keep the stripe pattern consistent.  In the front I ended up with just a straight panel.  In the back I needed pleats for walking ease, so I made one on either side of the inset panel.
I reused the zipper that I had, and (should I admit to the fact that my thread wasn't exactly matching?) I did a hand picked zipper so that I wouldn't have thread showing.  The little decorative hook matches the hooks on the jacket closure, so it went on the skirt.  The pants had no waistband, but I decided to add a very narrow waistband on the skirt.  By the time I got to the lining I decided that I had had it with messing around with preused pieces of fabric, and rummaged around and found some rayon lining.  Because I cut the lining according to the "normal" skirt pattern I had a back seam, so I took the easy way out with it.
Was it worth all the trouble?  At times I thought I must be absolutely crazy.  I could have made a number of skirts from start to finish in the time  it took me to wrangle this skirt from the existing pants.  But now I do have a whole suit from one fabric, and to me it was worth the effort.

Here's what else I've been doing this week - cleaning snow.  Lot's of snow.  

This is my car on Monday night, when it finally stopped snowing enough to get out to shovel.  Average depth of snow in my driveway was mid-thigh.  On Tuesday we had more snow - this time only knee-high.  Wednesday was a really easy day - only ankle deep snow.  And why was my car not in the garage?  Because I procrastinated for eons and didn't sweep the floor in the garage after the roof had been done this summer.  Needless to say, now the garage has been swept.  The car resides in the garage, and it's much easier to deal with the snow, which just keeps on coming.  Maybe I should be drooling over snowblowers instead of fancy sewing machines!


  1. Good save on the trousers-come-skirt! It might have been a lot of work, but it is quite rewarding to win the uphill battle!

  2. Impressive job on your skirt. You are getting so much snow! Wow!

  3. Your final result looks really good, so I can see that your hard work was worth it! You have had a lot of snow.

  4. Well done with the skirt!
    I can't believe the snow!!! Having only seen and walked in snow once in my life it's just amazing to see the amount you are getting.

  5. Great pants to skirt tranformation. I like the way you used the horizontal stripes. It is an interesting detail.

  6. Your skirt looks amazing! Well done for persevering and getting such a beautiful end result!
    The picture of your "car" is funny.... you are getting so much snow!

  7. Wow, your skirt is so chic with the blend of vertical and horizontal stripes. I so admire your perseverance in making that skirt happen. I would have been annoyed at the pants and wanted to donate them....but you turned them into a design opportunity. Good life lessons here.
    And I so relate to your car story. I think I have company sometimes just to make myself clean out the dust bunnies. Hope you don't have anywhere far to travel in all that snow.

  8. That was a daunting challenge, many times, how to improve the road longer. But the result was worth the work. Awesome!

  9. Talk about the perfect skirt! Nicely done.
    You know Navy is the new black this next season? You're right on top of things!