I know you've all been waiting with bated breath to see what I decided to do with my Middle East novelty print skirt: refashion it, or leave it as it is.
In fact, we had a whole discussion on it, and I really appreciate everyone weighing in! The comments really helped me decide what I wanted to do.
In the end, I decided to refashion the skirt into this top and skirt set (complete with puppy standing guard):
However, should anyone else get the idea to do this, I want to share in my decision-making and creating process. I did a lot of pre-planning and testing before I took the leap of actually creating the outfit, and I think it would be handy for others to try these tips before disassembling a garment to refashion. I'll tell about the actual pattern and construction details in a post in a couple days.
1. First, I checked to see if there was anywhere else to buy just the plain fabric.
I don't want to take apart a garment if there's reproduction or plain fabric available. While I did see that some of the fabric (the print is called "Casbah," by the way) had been for sale on Etsy sometime in the past, I couldn't find any more of it. Lizzie of The Vintage Traveler, who is pretty much a novelty print expert when it comes to travel themes, said there may have been a company that reproduced the fabric about 8 years ago, but although I searched high and low, I just couldn't seem to find it either.
2. Next, I checked to see how available Casbah skirts like this are.
If I have a one of a kind, rare skirt, I don't want to alter it. However, I found these had sold on Etsy already, not to mention I've seen the skirt worn on others in several color ways, including the version Jessica of Chronically Vintage has. Once again, Lizzie weighed in and said the skirt had indeed been mass produced and not hard to find, so I knew I didn't have a OOAK piece.
3. I measured to see if I would even have enough fabric to make what I wanted.
Most 1950s skirts like this that aren't circle skirts tend to be giant rectangles that are pleated (like mine) or gathered to the waistband at the top. Knowing this, I knew that measuring the circumference of the bottom hem and the length from the hem to the waistband would give me a general idea of how much fabric this skirt has. I found the skirt to be about 106" around and 31" in length. I used my handy-dandy tile floor and measured out this 106"x31" rectangle on the ground (using random whatevers to mark the sides and such), then laid down the pattern pieces I intended to use. I found that they did indeed fit, and it looked like I would still have enough to make a skirt.
After checking these three things, I felt confident that I was not ruining a special, OOAK piece and that I did indeed have enough fabric to do what I wanted. With that knowledge, I took the plunge and refashioned it!
What do you guys think of how it turned out? Does this change or affect your opinion on altering vintage? What do you think of my "pre-planning" steps? Would you have done anything differently?
Also, like I said above, I'll talk about which patterns I used and my creation process in the next post, so stay tuned!
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