Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 11- Skirt from Old Jeans

Of all my creations so far this month, this one makes me most proud.  I consider myself to be at a beginners level of sewing.  It still mystifies me that people can make their own clothing, and other than some little baby pants and bibs, I haven't attempted anything that someone could actually wear.

But I had this old pair of jeans in my stash of fabrics.  While sorting and purging the other day, I decided either I needed to use them for something this month or throw them out.  It occurred to me that I could turn them into a skirt, but I had no idea how to do it.  

There were a lot of online tutorials to choose from.  

Some were almost too simple, and seemed to be missing steps.  Others used sewing terms I didn't understand.  But they all started with using a seam ripper on the inseam of the pants, so that's what I did.

And then I straightened out the "flaps" and cut an extra wedge from a piece of the leg.  Once it started to look like a skirt, I became more sure of myself.

I sewed everything up, and finished the bottom edge with a stitch on my sewing machine I've never used before.  I hate the look of a homemade folded-up hem because it doesn't have the finish of a real jeans hem.  I wanted something that was a little more "raw," in keeping with some of the frayed edges and wonky sewing on the rest of the skirt, and yet, I wanted something there to keep the bottom from fraying too much.

As for the inside seam allowance, I left it alone.  One tutorial suggested pressing it and finishing it, and that didn't seem necessary to me.  Plus, it was way more work than I wanted to do.  This project was already going on three hours.

In the end, I'm thrilled with how the skirt turned out.  I've been wearing it already.  It's definitely rough-looking and you can tell it used to be a pair of jeans, but I think it's cute.

I will try this again with another pair of jeans I have, and I'm sure it will go fast the second time, now that I understand what goes where.  

This is where I'm really seeing the payoff for doing an exercise like 30 Days of Creativity.  Forcing myself to carve out a few minutes (sometimes a few hours) each day to make something has gotten me to 1) take stock of the materials I have and decide how I want to use them, 2) learn or practice skills to execute my projects.  It's empowering to make something I didn't know how to make before.  And I get a rush when I get to the point during a project when I know it's going to come together how I envisioned it. 

I can't wait to look back at the end of the month and see what I've all made.

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