18 September 2012

wedding dress alteration

No, I'm not talking about the DIY dress I wore to a wedding... though it somewhat counts...

The original material:


It was after cutting up the jeans that I realized that they were technically 1/2 of my wedding attire. So the before picture is... plain jeans. They looked like jeans. That photo there? Matt and I had just gotten married. So jeans totally count as a wedding dress. At least in my world.

I never did wear jeans much, simply due to lack of pockets. That pair (why are jeans 'pairs' anyway?) had been at least somewhat affiliated with my wardrobe since sometime in high school. Let's call it '02 or '03 for the sake of a conservative estimate. All I know is that they were still 'nice' when I left Illinois (nice = not worn in the solar car shop!) and that within a few months of living in Marathon, the left knee was ripped straight across from one seam to the other. I've been wearing jeans a lot out here and I guess those were just the most threadbare. Some of my solar car jeans are still intact! Must be the epoxy holding them together.

Anyway, all of my previous skirt sewing adventures have been with t-shirts. My only non-shirt projects were dog beds and a sewing machine cover - so fairly heavy duty canvas. Denim is a new thing; especially because it's not the really heavy denim. And it's not stretchy, like the jersey knits. Intimidating!

Photos should have been taken mid-process, but that would have required a bit of effort, and once in the sewing 'zone' it's hard to step back long enough to take a photo... because once you're that far back, you might as well have a snack, check email, water some plants and two years later, the sewing project is still sitting there. True story.

The peach ruffle is actually 2/3 of a skirt that I snagged a 'sharebox' type event* - it's technically a medium (for who? an ice skater? it's SHORT!) and held on to with this specific denim skirt idea in mind. This skirt ended up being longer than originally planned - I cut everything at knee-rip-height - but it's a perfect length for work. Because really, nobody at a cute little boutique really wants to see my shins.

* Sharebox (Also: Share Box. Noun, verb. Adventure!) - a box located in the basement of each dorm on the Principia College campus. Useable items being discarded may be placed in the box. Items of interest may be removed from the box. It is a free exchange with novel and admirable outcomes.

As you can see in both photos the peach ruffle is still safety-pinned in place until further notice. It was interrupted tragically by a thread tension disaster that took the better part of a week to clear up. A few more projects have been tinkered with in the meantime, but it'll take a bit of courage to get that ruffle firmly in place. It doesn't help that the skirt's side seams will have to be taken in about 1/2 inch total because the skirt is ever-so-slightly wider than the ruffle. Not bad for the first round of a new experiment!


  1. When you are done, send me a pic so I can show my sister. Since it was once her skirt after all. ;)

    1. Sky, you may have to send her the photos of the skirt as is - it might be like that for a while! The challenge is to keep the denim from fraying further or sewing too close to the edge (I haven't hemmed the denim at all - not even a running stitch along the bottom to prevent additional fraying, perhaps I should do this after taking in the 1/2 inch), but also - the top of the skirt is still fully intact. I know that a few inches can be trimmed and folded under without too much trouble, but I'm still too chicken to do it!

  2. You know, H... the singer 603 (good ol' 1964) is available on ebay for like $80 right now... would make very quick work of that, and would allow you to use two hands to push the fabric through :)

  3. Wow, that's it. Amazing. I like 🌲