Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Parole for Prisoner 101


You may remember my prisoner smock – Burda May 101/2012 and how disappointed I was with the sack-like look. Many of you very kindly offered commiserations and some great styling tips and improvements I could try. Most of these included creating a waist line. Oh yes you know me well and this is what I need. I really don’t suit straight up and down looks. But my enthusiasm waned so the smock was rolled up into a little ball and tossed into the stash box – out of sight – while I contemplated its fate and got on with real life.
I love the cross weave cotton though – organic, a muted blue tone, casual and yet classy – I didn’t want to not use it, if you know what I mean?
Then Prttynpnk posted this …………………….       
Classic and simple pencil skirt with colour complimentary blouse – just beautiful. 

So the smock was dragged out of the box followed by a swift snip snip snip of the scissors. The front and back seams were ripped apart, the pocket openings sewn closed and this is what is left of my original 2m of organic cross-weave cotton. It is a quite narrow fabric and having already cut it I was going to be limited in what I could make.

 Thankfully the smock fronts and backs were cut on the lengthwise grain without any shaping at waist or hips, so I had 4 rectangular pieces, already underlined.
It’s a bit of a mess inside where the pockets used to be but the clipping required for the pockets to work left me with very little fabric to tidy up with.

I dug out an old pattern for a pencil skirt free from a magazine that my mother gave me ages ago: self-facing waist with long darts front and back which are exactly the same shape on both by the way. The colour matching lace was put to good use too and slip stitched around the hem to look like my petticoat was hanging down. 

I had to make a side split to enable normal walking and ran the lace up to the point of the split. I mitred the corners to make it sit sit nice and flat too.

So, parole has been granted to Burda 101. She showed unremitting remorse at the hearing and the parole board granted her a second chance. She has been warned to behave well and contribute to society like a good citizen should and she promised she would, except she acts more like linen with those wrinkles.

The top is my first RTW item in almost three years. It’s from TK Maxx and the colours went so well with the skirt that I couldn’t resist. Nor could I resist mucking about with either – it didn’t look like this when I bought it. It was two rectangles with seams on the outside and a belt threaded through buttonholes on either side – like a beach cover-up. I created sleeves and removed the excess fabric that was floating around the outside of the blouse so that it could be tucked in when required. I kept the belt to use as such or maybe a scarf or maybe a twilly round my wrist.

We don’t have the warm, golden light of the south of France here – too far north – but what I do have is a wearable skirt.
Have you ever re-hashed an already made garment or just admitted that despite the hours of work you’ve put into something that it just doesn’t work?

Thanks for reading. Ruth


22 thoughts on “Parole for Prisoner 101

  1. Wow! That looks so fantastic on you! I can't believe you managed to make that out of the original dress and I really love the lace trim at the hem, so pretty!

  2. Oh how the Swinton brings light to our lives! Gorgeous- love the lacy edge- frs-kee!

  3. You really turned that prisoner around. Love the new skirt with the lace. Super chic, just like Tilda.

  4. OH, how Cute! Fabulous save!

  5. Super job releasing the smock from prison! I hope it know how to behave 🙂

  6. Such a sexy save!! Love the top that you paired with your "new" skirt.

  7. Absolutely stunning!! As others have said, the lace really compliments the skirt as well. I'll have to remember the side vent as well, I love pencil skirts for work. So glad you found a use for such lovely fabric. 🙂

  8. Such an excellent rehabilitation for the prisoner, if rather radical. What a terrific save.Burda's smocks are so deceptive in the magazine. I too have spent hours of work on one, only to have it languish unloved in the wardrobe. My latest failure is now hopefully adorning a pregnant friend (unless of course she hates it, always a problem with diposing of clothing to polite friends). There has to be some practical use for all that excess fabric in the middle!

  9. Nice save–great looking skirt! your RTW top is perfect with the skirt

  10. You did excellent alteration! That race trim is nicely matched with the skirt. Perfect outfit!

  11. Fitted is ALWAYS better on me – it just takes years and years to learn this fact

  12. You started it – but thank you as you saved the fabric from a life in the dark

  13. Thankfully the original pattern was really just 4 rectangles and enough could be saved. Thanks.

  14. She's quite happy about it too!

  15. I just loved this pattern and the fabric and couldn't resist. Why do I feel guilty about buying RTW and not tonnes of fabric?

  16. Thanks Mrs Mike. Long time no hear – nice to have you back

  17. Yes, you've hit the nail on the head! I looked pregnant in the smock! Don't want the neighbours talking……

  18. Thank you now all we need is a bit of summer back so that she can get the freedom she deserves

  19. Sometimes you just get lucky – thanks Linda, I appreciate your opinion.

  20. Dear Ruth,that is a extravaganza idee with the lace on the end of the hem. I like it very much. The combination with the top is also amazing. Und als letztes, du siehst großartig darin aus. Mema

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