Sometimes sewing projects go to plan.
And sometimes sewing projects seem like they are really simple, and then get more, and more, and more complicated…
I’m sure you can guess which one this is from the title!
The Can of Worms skirt didn’t even start out as a skirt. It started out as a dress that looked like this:
I bought the dress while op-shopping with Lauren of Wearing History after Costume College last August. It wasn’t quite right: the zipper was a terrible mess, and it needed a sway back adjustment (SBA).
But the fabric was amazing: hand worked embroidery, indigo dyeing and reverse appliqué. I suspect it’s Hmong in origin.
So I bought it, figuring I’d put in a zip, do a quick SBA, and everything would be fabulous.
Haha. Famous last words.
I bought it in early August, but didn’t get around to altering it until mid November, by which time I’d entirely forgotten about the SBA.
So I unpicked the terrible zip, realised that the stitching holding the skirt to the waistband was ridiculously shonky, unpicked and re-attached the skirt, put in a proper zip, put the dress on, and discovered that 1) it REALLY needed the sway back adjustment and 2) it didn’t fit me at all over a strapless bra, which was what it had to be worn over. I’d tried it on over a light summer bra when I bought it, and that was fine, but the straps showed. Over a strapless, with a bit more padding? No dice.
So, time to take it off and see about that SBA and adding bust-space!
I took a closer look at it, and realised there was no way to add space for my bust, because the bodice was just a rectangle of fabric with no side seams, and it seems a travesty to cut up such an amazing textile to insert gores for space at the side.
There was also no way to do a SBA, because the bodice was horizontal stripes, which meant that raising the back waistband would look really, really weird.
What’s a girl to do? I figured I’d try it on again and see if I could come up with a solution.
As I tried to do up the zip on the very-snug bodice a second time, I felt a bit of a sharp stab in my back.
I figured I’d pulled a little muscle, would take a nice bath, and be all good.
It was not all good. It was the worst thing I’ve ever done to my back in my life. I was off to the South Island the next morning for Thanksgiving. So I spent five days on serious prescription painkillers (which I have for something else but rarely use), or struggling to move without crying when they wore off, before I could see my doctor.
(yes, this did happen at the same time as my final fight with TV E01. Oct/Nov was not my best sewing session!)
When I’d finally come right, I glared at the skirt, carefully unpicked the zip and my beautifully re-sewn re-attaching the bodice-to-the-skirt stitching, inserted a new short zip, and turned it into a skirt.
So it didn’t get worn for Thanksgiving, but I did wear it for Christmas.
It’s all for the best in the end. I think I like it better as a skirt, and it’s more versatile.
It does need a tiny bit more work done. I took these photos with help from Nina of Smash the Stash, on the same day as I took my preppy Miramar pictures, and at the end of the photoshoot (whether or not I’d intended it to be the end…) I did a little jump, and heard a suspicious ripping sound…
Yep. The original stitching up the back seam of the skirt had given way, and the skirt was no longer fit for public consumption…
So I need to re-sew that, and while I’m add it I’m going to unpick and re-sew the waistband one more time, because it’s just a bit loose.
But for a month at least it WAS done, and did get worn a half dozen times!