Denim pencil skirt against all odds

I think I mentioned this project before … I planned it back in october or november when I saw this nice one from ACNE at Pinterest. Buying was no option … 430$ for a (professionally) destroyed denim skirt – no way!

ACNE denim skirt
Famous denim skirt from ACNE

So I startet looking for a simple sewing pattern to create my own version. I found one in BudaStyle magazine 04/2012 … the Princess Seam Pencil Skirt. I traced it from the pattern sheet (size 36 … this was the smallest size available), cut the pattern pieces and tried to place them on an old pair of jeans my boyfriend gave me to do what ever I like with it. The german Burda patterns have no seam allowance included. But I couldn’t find a way to place all pieces on the jeans with enough space for the seam allowance between them. So the skirt became an U.F.O. (unfinished object) for several weeks. When I finished my peplum top I realised that last years sewing plans can come true in 2013 too … and I had another enlightenment … size 36 is to big for me anyway! I could just drop the seam allowance to easily grade it to a smaller size. I shortened all pieces as the final step of my SDA (skinny dwarf adjustment) and now all pieces found their place on the jeans.

jeans and pieces for denim skirt
The jeans and the cut pieces … finally

As I am a lazy stitcher I sewed all seams with my overlock machine. I looked at the almost finished skirt and just couldn’t imagine to destroy it to create the look of the ACNE skirt. I couldn’t see myself wearing a ripped skirt … not in 2013 😉
My plan was to decorate the skirt with a Ikat pattern. There was a nice little tutorial (I found on Pinterest, of course) on how to apply such pattern onto denim using bleach. I really like using bleach to decorate fabric … do you remember my swimming pool dress? Before I use bleach on the garment I always try it on a scrap of the same fabric. So did I with the denim. I tried different ways of applying the bleach … a nib, a brush, a spray can. I let it dry over night … well, there wasn’t anything happening! Finally I took a scrap of two differnt jersey fabrics to see if there is anything wrong with the bleach. The colour changed within seconds …

bleach on denim and jersey
bleach on denim and jersey

I came this far. No bleach resistant denim could stop me at this point. A brush, thinned fabric paint and some hours of painting brought the final result. Not enough hand work? I did a blind hem on the lower edge by hand. To avoid to much bulk at the waist I finished this edge with a satin bias tape.

blind hem denim skirt
blind hem
bias tape on waistband
bias tape on waistband

Finally I attached the exposed metal zipper and there it was: my denim pencil skirt with ikat pattern!
denim skirt ikat pattern
denim pencil skirt ikat pattern exposed zipper

denim pencil skirt
pattern battle: birch vs. skirt
denim skirt and hi-low shirt
the more casual version: the hi-low shirt over the skirt

denim skirt and hi-low shirt
There is only one garment left on my to-sew-list from last year: a blouse. Let’s see which surprises it will bring.
How about you? Have you ever struggled in the sewing process?
Thank you for stopping by!


Painted Black Peplum Top

Last week I wrote that I’m about to sew a peplum top (I know I’m a bit late for this trend…) I finished it on wednesday but saturday is the first day of the week when daylight and free time come together (and I need both to take photos).

My turban style hat was quite popular on BurdaStyle. So if you are interested in sewing one yourself, this is the tutorial I followed.

I based my top on the pattern  #114 BurdaStyle 08/2012. I chose the smallest size available which was a 34 (XS). In the end the most time consuming part was adjusting the fit. You read a lot about Small Bust Adjustment and stuff on sewing blogs. But I almost always have to do the Skinny Dwarf Adjustment (SDA 🙂 ) This time I forgot to shorten the bodice. Now the final result is not as short as the original. But this way I can wear it with leggings (Keep in mind: leggings are no pants! 🙂 ) I used some other long sleeves from Burda I already had from another project (because I didn’t want to trace one more piece from the confusing pattern sheet than necessary). I had to take in several cm on the bodice and the sleeves. I added black cuffs to the sleeves to bring back the colour of the skirt part. The final adjustement was the neckline. I made it wider and droped the facings for my beloved facing stripes. This normal facing thing never works for me when working with jersey…

neckline peplum top
Neckline with black facing stripe

The final step was painting it black 🙂 I thought of Bob Ross while doing it. But I didn’t do happy little trees. I just wanted some rough brush strokes to create a kind of ombré look.

painted black pelum top
…I want it painted black…

I like how the black an the very pale green go together.

peplum top burda

peplum top burda
Nice detail: The top is longer in the back and the seamline between bodice and skirt part is curved

Yesterday I bought an app for my phone to organize my fabric stash, patterns and projects. Now I’m photographing and describing my fabrics. Beside that I will maybe find some time to finally sew the denim skirt I planned to make last year… maybe 🙂
Thank you for joyning me in this sewing adventure… there are more to come…