Dead Elastic to Drawstring Skirt

Sewing

This skirt is ancient. Already a hand-me-down when I got it, the elastic was dying. As it gave up a little bit more each wash, I’d gradually add another dart to the waistband to keep the skirt up. Eventually, the elastic bit the dust completely and the skirt was relegated to the “repair” pile for years…

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Until now! The repair pile made up a part of the fabric box for my Fabric Use-Up 2020 project, so this skirt gets another chance at being in my wardrobe again!

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First, I took out all of the darts. There were so many.

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Then, I found a saved scrap of drawstring. It came from some other skirt or sweatpants. I never throw away a useful component from worn-out clothes. I carefully made a slit the size of the drawstring in the waistband of the skirt.

I attached the end of the drawstring tape to a large safety pin, then threaded the drawstring through.

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Now I have a skirt again!

Fabric Stash Use-Up Project 2019 Review

Repurposing, Sewing

My goal was to use up my fabrics until my 2 boxes were pared down to 1 box.

I have used up:

Blue-Green cotton-poly 50/50 blend sheet and here

White cotton pillowcase and here

White/Natural cotton batting

Yellow 65% poly 35% cotton fitted sheet

Minty Green Cotton

Various Yarns Here, Here, Socks 1 2 3 4 5 6, Hats, Headbands

Additional Random Scraps into Slippers

What I have learned from this year and last year’s use-up projects:

When historical clothing is involved, petticoats are my go-to for using up lots of fabric that isn’t necessarily cosmetically flawless. I know the majority of the material will be covered up by skirts but the fabric is still useful because it lends fullness to whatever garments it is under. Eventually, I got into a petticoat rut, but I’m hoping that this pays off by providing me with a variety of under-garments for historical clothing going forward. Once I get around to making proper outfits, I think it would be nice to have a few different accompanying undergarments and other pieces that I can add to change or complete a look. Also, headwear is a lot more complicated than I expect it to be, every single time I set out to make it, but it is perfect for using smallish, less than 1 yard pieces of fabric and seeing a completed headwear piece is just so satisfying. Hats can be really cute. I like chemises and shifts (they’re super comfortable and great to wear to sleep) but I didn’t make as many of those as I could have. I really wish that my fabric stash contained less synthetic fabric blends, but this is what I have to start with and I can choose better fabrics (and better secondhand fabrics to upcycle) from here on out.

Yarn is both easy and difficult to use up. One project takes so much yarn, but each project is complex, and with my limited skills in this area, it’s a challenge. There has definitely been a learning curve as I try to create more complex projects such as crocheted socks. The hats were fun but I didn’t always have enough yarn for them, and would have to unravel and make something else, as I am working my way through a stash of secondhand yarn so there’s a varying amount of the color available. Headbands are probably my favorite thing to make because they are so easy, and they’ve given me the opportunity to learn and practice a few new stitches.

I’ve learned the value of every little scrap. I didn’t buy anything to make my new slippers, and the end scraps of several projects went into making them possible.

Overall, this was a fantastic year-long project. I had some phases of making lots of one thing a few times and that gave me the opportunity to improve my skills. I solved some problems using what I had on hand and that itself is a valuable skill. It’s a pretty neat feeling to be able to produce something you need without spending any money because you have skills to do it yourself. It’s also cheap entertainment to make things out of what you have on hand.

For 2020, I want to continue using what I have on hand, as I still have plenty of fabric and a little bit of fiber left to use, but I’ll be less stringent with myself about not purchasing things for projects- if I don’t have any other projects in progress when I want to purchase (and I always have something in progress, haha). Components to allow me to finish existing projects are fair game if it’s in the budget, of course. I’d love to really get into making historical clothing items, but at the same time I’d also like to make more practical things like my slippers, maybe make some household stuff that makes life easier. My 2019 Fabric Use-Up Project set me up for an even better year of sewing in 2020.

Pale Yellow Petticoat from Upcycled Fabric

Sewing

This petticoat is made from an upcycled poly-cotton fitted sheet. There’s some fading on the fabric, but nothing too noticeable. I covered up a marred spot with a patch. Conveniently, I was able to use the selvage as the hem of the skirt. The material is very thin and light, giving a delicate look. It is photographed over my 1700s style hip pads.