The Forever Skirt

in #hive-1279112 months ago

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Today’s post will be short and fast. But the topic has a loooooong history: a pleated skirt I own for more than 10 years. The skirt is a fast fashion item which was super cheap when I bought it but felt well made. It’s made from a sturdy cotton fabric which has a bit of structure. The skirt was love at first site (till today) because of its usual print with dark black, magenta, and off-white flowers. Originally the skirt has a size 42… but as time goes, I somehow got wider, and the waist of this skirt was too small. As this reaches back several years, I neither had a sewing machine nor did I know how to alter clothes. Therefore, I brought the skirt to a seamstress, and she inserted two pieces of black fabric into the waistband and let out some of the folds. To even out the hemline – because the skirt was now sitting lower on my body – she also shortened the front hem. After the altering the skirt had a visible high-low hem which I like as it sits better on my body (read: bum :-D ).

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Fast forward to last weekend. I got a kind of cleaning frenzy and started to sort through my clothes and found this skirt. Again… Because the skirt is too wide for several years now and I never had the heart to give it away. I have worn it so often and I love the colors so much… but it really does not fit any longer.
You can’t see it on the photo, but I can slip the skirt without opening over my backside…

Design ohne Titel(119).jpg please try to ignore my strange facial expression and that I only wear an undershirt 😱

With a bit of headache and still not full hearing I thought to myself „come on, I won’t do anything productive today, (besides the cleaning) why not try to reverse-alter the waistline of the skirt“
With this thought in mind, I took some big fabric clamps and tried to clip the waistline smaller. My first idea was to take out the complete pieces which the seamstress so many years ago inserted. You can see the result on this photo (and you may notice I don’t like it :-D)

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This was too narrow. The skirt now sat on my natural waist and in my view, I somehow look like a Kindergarten child in the skirt. It makes my short torso even shorter and my hips wider. No, this was too narrow.

Next try was to take out only half of these inserted pieces: Tada, this was the way to go.
In my lazy manner I simply basted the wedge together, tried it on and after finding the waist to my satisfaction, cut the excess fabric away.

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To secure the fabric and make the new seam sturdier I then sewed it another time on my overlocker. I did not open the seams or ironed them, but simply sewed them together. Did I mention I am lazy???

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But it worked and I hope the skirt will get some wear in the future (to be honest… I am still a tiny bit insecure if I should make the waistline even smaller ors I am too old for this style of skirt, but I try to silence this critical voice).

Let’s share: do you have garments which accompanied you for centuries, which you have altered, mended, re-sewed so that you can still wear them? Some garments you are sentimentality attached to, so you want to wear them forever?

Thank you @crosheille for initiating and @marblely and @kattycrochet for hosting the #needleworkmonday and the community builder team @lauramica and @romeskie I am so glad to be part of. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric, and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community.

Ohhh, if you don't have a hive account and want to comment then visit my Wordpressblog Bliss and Blisters and write me there.

Read more about my art und upcoming exhibitions on neumannsalva or buy some of my digital artworks on NFT showroom.

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I have a skirt very similar to that (different colours, though) and I am much older than you, so I am sure it is fine 🙂 I like where it sits on you, that was a good decision to fit the skirt below the natural waistline.

Well, my skirt is gathered similar to yours and has an elasticated waist. For most of the time I have had it, it has been slightly too tight at the waist, and there was always the question of the right top. For a long time I had a black faux leather flying jacket which had perfect shoulders and collar for me, it was also padded and gorgeously warm ... but it was a man's jacket, so never fitted properly at the hips. Last year, I gave it away, although I loved it 😭.

Then I found a second hand cropped retro fitted jacket - grey, brand-new with tags, less than half-price from Oxfam. It has the right shoulders, fits perfectly ... but not quite right at the neckline. I really need an expensive Chanel silk scarf for it to work 😂.

Still I cannot relinquish the skirt (which fits me again). It is so different in colour, pattern, style to almost everything else I own, and my heart sings every time I open the wardrobe and it is sitting there 😍.

@tibaire had an interesting thought... that the skirt looks a bit like a school uniform. And I can imagine that's the reason I think it is looking especially "young". I wore it yesterday, but I am still not convinced it looks ok (with the new waist), I will give it some more chances and then decide if it has to go nevertheless.

And what a shame with your leather jacket. But better to give it away than to look at it and feeling sad because it does not fit. Maybe you can find one which looks similar but has a better fit at the hips? (Or is the offal cropped jacket a leather jacket already?)

And I had to laugh with the Chanel silk scarf… yes, naturally this is the only solution to a „not quite right neckline“ 🤣 Do you have a concrete scarf in mind?

ANd with the skirt… if it fits why should you give it away? Or is it the problem of finding a top which looks good with it? If its the latter perhaps we need a needlework clothes combination video conference :-D I absolutely could benefit from such a thing :-)

Edit: I did not forget that you bought a weaving loom. I hope you will write about it soon (or do I? it could be infectious:-DDDD)

offal cropped jacket

Offal? like liver? 😂 I'm not sure which word you meant there. It's a fabric jacket, here's the scarf I wanted: Salvatore Ferragamo - not Chanel, the Chanel one is twice as much and the wrong colours (thank goodness). Sometimes, the website asks you if you think the article is priced correctly, I have told them that it is too expensive, but so far they have not taken my feedback into account 😂.

Broadly, the skirt is the wrong shape - too puffy and wide where I am already wide, it has a shortening effect, emphasised by my tiny shoulders ... the jacket has to be larger, more dramatic around the shoulders and neck to bring the skirt back into balance. When I was writing my comment yesterday I was wondering why I had given the leather one away ... I am thinner now and it could be worn blouson style. Ah well, it is living a better life with someone else 🙂.

I like your skirt, it has a retro look that suits you and I can imagine it with some of your other garments. A video conference sounds great: when shall we do it?

Oh, the weaving loom has arrived, it is tiny hehe. I'm not able to use it yet - I knitted too much and I have aggravated my hands. I tried a few minutes yesterday, but they are still too sensitive. Another week should do it. I've been trying to do some drawing and water colour painting everyday while they are recovering. I visited Leicester Art Gallery today to look at the German Expressionists again - the Gallery has about 500 pieces in its collection now. I want to try copying a few. We have a drawing-for-design session at our next sewing group in July, and then an outing in August where we can practice so I am looking forward to that.

Ohnoooooo I blame the autocorrect. I guess I wanted to write "oxfam cropped jacket" 😱 A bloody liver jacket… not sure they sell this second hand :-DDD
And with the scarf - wow - thats a price. I cross my fingers they follow your feedback and change it (have they ever done this? I have no experience with Oxfam)
Anf with the skirts shape, maybe I have the same problem. Theoretically I like pleads, practically I always feel weird wearing this skirt. I never thought about wearing something which makes my shoulders broader… hmmm… (I will send you a PN with a photo of me trying out trousers. I made the photo with a self timer and somehow the angle of the photo is distorted: I look as if I have huuuuuge shoulders and a minuscule waist. It is crazy how much a photo/perspective can distort the reality)
But back to your skirt… do you wear shoulder pads? Or I rephrase: how is your general opinion of shoulder pads? I for longer avoided them, but are lately thinking, maybe they are not so bad and can help to even out the figure (if this is the aim)
So sorry to hear with your hands/fingers. I feel you… and I hope they will get better soon. Is painting pain free? Perhaps this could be a nice substitution for now (I ask, because sketching with pencils is also hard on my fingers… watercolours or marker are ok ).
Not sure if you saw my „rejection“ post… But we are likeminded, I also started to sketch daily. I wanted to try out a tiny sketchbook with for me „meaningless“ sketches instead of pressuring to finish a whole planned painting. I love it so far. If you ever want to share your sketches… <3
And video conference: from Sunday on I have much more time as my showroom is then set and the auction on OpenSea started… I am fairly free… Do you prefer a day/time?

Beautiful thanks for sharing @neumannsalva

It always a pleasure

Your skirt reminds me of my high school uniform. I'll let you in on a secret: I don't like pleated skirts, I look weird. I think that's what's happening to you.

On the other hand, if one day you get into a cleaning frenzy you can come over to mine and help me, I'm always in permanent lazy mode. hahahahaha


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I think I like the look of pleats on others, but I am not sure i like it on ma... and as you mentioned the school uniform, perhaps thats the reason in think it makes me look strange.
And with the cleaning: absolutely would I come over... but I am not sure I am the best help :-DDDD I am not very organised, my cleaning sprees are like an attack. I try to do everything at once (which naturally does not work :-DDD)

Maybe that's what's wrong with you, that it reminds you of your high school uniform. Oh, you're a lot like me. I half clean every other day, but deep clean maybe once a year.

Good for you! You weren't lazy, lazy would be not altering it at all! :)
I love your pouty face when you didn't like the first go at modification. xD
I think it looks great on you!!
As to, do I have some clothes for a very long time ...yes! Many, lol. But for an example of one I've mended and need to mend again, this sweater:




This was a friend's sweater when we were in high school and I totally loved it. When we were in our early 20s she was getting rid of some clothes, and this sweater was in the pile and I claimed it. I still love it. I'm 43. LOL

Years ago, one of the seams on the right sleeve came undone almost all the way up, and I hand stitched it with embroidery floss to repair it. But just recently, the left elbow is now looking worn (I always wear out the left elbow), so I need to mend it again.

I also have a lot clothes for centuries (OMG I am old) but they are mostly with some kind of elastic, jersey or knit. The garments which are more fitted... most of them I have altered so many times, they do not fit really well any longer :-D
So, I feel you on the sweeter. Often the garments are connected with memories and feelings, which one wont miss.
Its so great you are skilled in mending. (My mending is -ahem- inventive) DO you already know what to do with the elbow?`Will you sew a patch over it or will you try to repair the knitting?
ANd with my face... the funny thing (for others) is I don't stage such photos, I also look like this in real life (often not always, I can be serious too)... Its perhaps funny for friends, but in work context its not so good 😱

My mending is inventive, too, lol. I think I will try and stitch up the elbow with embroidery floss first, and if that still feels unstable, I might put a patch on the inside. We shall see how it goes!
And don't worry ...I am consummately "unprofessional." Work Professionalism is overrated, anyway. Be yourself! :)

Ohhhhh embroidery my love and nemesis. Looking forward how you will tackle this (In my mind I see you embroidering, then sewing, then sculpting and then there is a doll on your sweater‘s elbow 😁🥰)

most of my favorite clothes are at least 10 years old with me, skirts, dresses and some blouses, I have always kept more or less the same size, but since I had treatment for covid last year I began to gain weight and although I have not checked my wardrobe it that the clothes no longer fit me, I hope this is only temporary and I will return to my weight otherwise I will be very sad because that type of clothing does not have modifications, I am glad that your skirt could be adjusted

I just wrote @phoenixwren that I also own a lot of clothes which are realllllyy old, but these are mostly clothes with some kind of stretch to them, like knitted things or jersey skirts. The woven ones are not so forgiving :-DDDD Many of them (like the above skirt) are altered so many times, they do not fit well any longer.
Do you know why covid had this impact on you? (is it from medication? Or because you maybe are too exhausted to move?... I am only speculating, please feel free to ignore my non-medical-trained thoughts)
I hope you will recover fully and come back to your old self or find a solution to alter the garments (if they do not fit). Covid is no fun... sometimes people seem to forget it (in Germany) and think because they were lucky to not have any problems everyone else is also lucky... but thats not the case (e.g. I still have impaired hearing although I had this tiny surgery on my ear)

I had treatment for covid with dexamethasone injections, that is a steroid and as a result I gained weight but that was added to my lack of physical activity because I was always at home working sitting down, my mom gained weight due to the same treatment but I managed to lose weight again with no problem, but not me, I stayed the same ☹️

I guessed this (I am also taking cortisone/steroid right now)... steroids are such a helpful thing, so sad they have side-effects. But I would not give up hope that you go back to "normal" Sometimes it needs a lot of time... arg no fun. But just that you know, you look no different on the photos you publish, so I think you did not gain a lot… maybe your clothes are not so tight as you fear.

fortunately I don't show my belly or butt on Hive 🤭🤭🤭 Thank you for your comment sister, you make me feel better

I gained a lot of weight during quarantine and I didn't have covid, lol, so I think a lot of people are in this position now, no judgement! <3

I had to smile at the ironing part (I never ever iron while sewing) glad you feel the same, I guess taking out another thing is just to much in the work flow of trying to get things done as fast as the idea came up...:) And I think you should definitely wear it!! too old? never, I think it is a bit sad that we are made too feel like only kids can wear fun patterns... (even though I say that I also hesitate sometimes, with bright and crazy fabrics, but I try to get better at not caring about it and wear whatever I feel like, even some people might think you too old for it..:))

I somewhere read a joke about only ironing when sewing... thats me, only i also do not iron often during sewing either :-DDDD Perhaps we both need a self-help group for ironing-rejection :-D
And wholeheartedly yes to the problematic mindset of "too old" too fat" too thin" too too too... Although (or perhaps because?) I work about this topic a lot in my art, I still am not free of beauty standards and norms. Especially regarding myself. Sigh - double sigh.
So it is good to hear from you that I should skip the doubting (naturally you too, you look so lovey and your art/craft journey is so cool and interesting, that looks and aesthetics are second)

hahah yess or we can give courses of how to avoid ironing..:))
well I guess having the thoughts about it and doing art about it is one thing and applying to ones self a whole other deal... but already setting the focus as much as possible on "enough" instead of "too..." helps i find:)

I love this, I am very attached to my clothes, especially to skirts that I made, in general they are the clothes that cause me problems due to body changes, the first thing that suffers is my hips hahaha, I still have the first skirt I made, and over the years I try to modify it so that it stays with me a little longer, it's impossible to let go haha I perfectly understand what's happening to you and also do things in the simplest way possible, I love the print on that skirt

Yes skirts and trousers both are not so forgiving when the figure changes. But good to know I am not the only one who love garments so much that I alter then repeatedly.
If you are ever up to it, I would loooove to see your first skirt 😍

Hi @neumannsalva. I am so glad you could repair the skirt so you could wear it again. I also have a favorite skirt but i don't know how i could fix it because it also doesn't enough on my present body (psst, i also getting wider).. if you were near i would like to ask for your help to fix mine too

Its really annoying that clothes do not change their shape with us. That would be so practical :-D But if you love the skirt so much, perhaps you have a friend or a seamstress who could help... or you could ask the community here, maybe our hive-mind comes up with a good idea on how to alter your skirt. (If I were near you I would love to do it with you together)

That would be so practical we won't need new size of wardrobes then, lol.
:) honestly yes if we were near, it would be nice to do it with you @neumannsalva. Great idea when i opened the old suitcase someday i would let you know and we and the community could discuss how to repair it, thanks for the suggestion

wow my dear!!! you sew so well on a sewing machine that I thought you had been sewing for decades!!! and you write that a few years ago you did not have a sewing machine. I am amazed!!! congratulations on the successful rescue of your favorite skirt!!!! I have a lot of similar clothes that I love and have altered several times already. Of course, sometimes you want to buy something new from clothes, but comfortable old clothes are an indispensable thing in your wardrobe!

Ahem... thank you so much for the compliment, but I really do not sew so well, especially not with woven fabric. I still find it really tough to get the fitting right or to sew things like zippers or buttons. But nevertheless it is encouraging to read you like my sewing <3
And I know that we are both likeminded regarding clothes. I always admire how inventive you are to change your garments and to re-fashion them.