Wednesday, January 25, 2012


In this case it is one woman's trash.  I have written several blogs on the "Trash to treasure" theme.  This one is in that theme.  I was going through my closets, purging them of clothes I didn't wear.  I still had clothes I wore at my heaviest.  I noticed several had lots of fabric in the skirts.  They were all great fabrics.  My mind started reeling by the thought of getting rid of "Fabric".  You see I am a self proclaimed Fabricholic.  I love fabric of all kinds, not just my quilting cottons which threaten to run us out of our  house.

I just came home from a trip west to visit my family.  Visions of the three great nieces, swimming in my head.  I wish I had taken pictures for you of the clothes I disassembled,  but I only have the reconstructed versions of them (It didn't occur to me I would want to blog about them.).    I spent five days deconstructing and reassembling dresses  for three young ladies.                                                                                                                                                          
This is the first out fit I constructed.  It was hard to take a picture because of the design in the fabric.  It is a herringbone that is not even 1/32 of an inch (you need a microscope to tell it is herringbone). 

This dress was made from a long "vest" dress.  I kept the hem in the dress and measured up from the hem the length I needed for the skirt of the dress.  (my dress was fully lined and I used the lining too.  The skirt and bodice is fully lined.)  If you look close at the bodice you will notice a decorative stitching down the middle.  I joined two pieces to have enough fabric for the bodice.  I flat felled the seams.  The belt is made from red taffeta of another dress.  I used wonder-under to fuse it, so both sides would be finished and I wouldn't have a seam.  I covered the ragged seam joining with a piece of grosgrain ribbon that was on the front of the dress (I used the wonder-under to fuse it, also.) This stiffened the belt. 
Behind the bow are two very large snaps (which came off the bodice of the vest dress).  That is what closes the belt.  The belt is the only thing that is not washable.  "Washability" is important in a dress for a 6 year old.

This is the back of the dress.  You will see three seams on the back that look to be decorative.  They are there for the same reason as the ones on the front are there.  I ran out of enough fabric and had to piece for the bodice back.  The zipper and hook and eye are recycled from a skirt I dismantled.  The Belt loops are chained 6 strand embroidery floss.
This photo shows the lining in the skirt, used as it came from the dress.  I only needed to  seam it and gather it to fit the waist.

Dress number two was actually 2 items of clothing.  The oldest niece is 9 1/2 going on 20.  She needs clothes which aren't as "fru-fruie" as the younger ladies.  I had a skirt and what you would call a baroque style long jacket. (I made the outfit when Nehru Jackets were the thing.  I couldn't throw tit away because I dearly loved the fabric.)

The skirt was made from a "sueded cotton".  It feels like a light weight velvet.  The Jacket was made with a pinwhale corduroy that was so tiny it too, feels like velvet.  It is a paisley with a gold thread running through it.  The skirt was perfect, all it needed was to take up the hem and take the waist in. It was a simple elastic waist straight skirt, no deconstructing necessary. 

The Vest is an over sized style with a long tapered front with large arm holes so a sweater or other over sized top can be worn under it.  The jacket I cut it from was long enough accommodate the front pieces and the back was perfect to use for the back of the vest.  I am so pleased the fabric is reused.  I  am really in love with the fabric.  I have enough left in scraps to make another project.

This is a plain black skirt, but on it is oh so classy.  Since it is cotton/poly blend and not velvet it is totally washable.  It gives the look without the "terror". 

This vest from the paisley pinwhale corduroy.  The light colored designs have the gold threads running through them. 

I searched the closet for clothes with suitable fabrics to make a dressy blouse to go under it.  Nada, so a trip to Walmart was in the works.  I purchased her a black turtle neck shirt.  Sent the receipt with it so if it didn't fit she could return it.

Two outfits down and one to go.  The next closet reject was a suit made of a light weight polyester.  A long skirted "suit".  The skirt was a full flared A line.  Plenty of fabric as it was a size 24 suit.  I used the same procedure I did with the first dress.  I cut the skirt off the length I needed.  BTW, for a poly blend item it sure was "shreddy" .  It shredded like it was a satin.  I was glad the existing hem was already serged. (I had taken out the hem when I deconstructed the item, so I had to re-hem the dress.)

The original skirt was not lined. I had lots of white lining fabric in the stash for the task.   Since the fabric was light weight, I used the fabric for the lining of the bodice.  The belt on the dress is made from two pieces of satin I had in my scrap box.  The zippers and hooks and eyes were from the old skirt.  The belt loops were made with chaining embroidery floss.
Dresses for three sweet girls,
Their hair they will have to curl, 
Getting ready for a place to go,
Their new clothes they will want to show.

I  hope you will try your hand at turning your trash into treasures. You never know, you may develop a passion for re-purposing.  I have to clean up the mess I made, I know I will get distracted by the fabrics and will have that "craving" to be constructing!  I already have ideas for the rest of the paisley pinwhale.

Make it better today.

Other blogs I write:
Where I have stories of my cats and other pets 
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry
Blog about Spartan Arrow Beans.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own. 
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .  Please do not copy without permission.