Friday, 21 December 2012

Retro revival

Time for another sewing show and tell.  This gorgeous silky fabric originally formed the skirt part of a floor length maternity dress that my mother made for herself.  Once she no longer needed the dress, as thrifty mothers do, she removed the zip and stashed the material only for me to discover it and repurpose it a few decades later.

Unfortunately, there are no photos of her wearing it when she was expecting, and I forgot to take a photo before I took the seams apart so you'll just have to imagine a basic A-line skirt cut on the bias with a split where the zip would have been.

I love everything about this fabric, the pattern, the colours and thought it would make a great tunic. Because the fabric is really old and was stored for years without adequate protection, there were a few moth-eaten patches, so it was a very careful exercise to cut my own self-drafted sleeve and bodice pieces around the holes.

The front worked out well, the bias cut drapes well and I like the fluted sleeves.  I would have preferred the sleeves to be a little longer, but I was constrained by how much useable fabric there was to work with.  I had just enough fabric left for the neckline facing and bias binding.  It was meant to be.

Of course, there had to be several holes right in the middle of the back bodice and there was no way to avoid them, so the only option for me was to cut out a keyhole back.

Excuse the poor photo, it's really hard to photograph yourself and hide the mess in the background (heehee). Maybe one day I might be bold enough to wear the top back to front (ha!).

Degree of difficulty: This was my first time upcycling a garment and it was largely painless, surprisingly
Time taken: I forgot to take note of the time, maybe 4 hours, most of which was spent cutting around holly fabric (Autocorrect kept wanting to change that word from holey, it's Christmas, let's go with it)
Result: It's my go-to top when we go out (which is never, but if we were to go out, this would be my go-to top).


  1. I love it! Well done you, wish my Mum had some treasures like that!!!!!

    1. Thanks Sara. Your mum might still have some items stashed away that she has forgotten about. Our family jokes all the time about Mum being a hoarder. We used to have a sleep out that doubled as a dress up room and it was packed with boxes of vintage clothes and footwear. It was all disposed of once we left home, such a shame as now I realize just what a treasure trove it was.


I love that you take the time to comment. Except for spam, not loving that. I no longer allow comments from anonymous users for that reason.