Hot! The ‘Déjà Vu’ Skirt | Debi Fry


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The Facts

Fabric: 1.5 metres of purple and blue wool from a charity shop,  £2
Pattern: Simplicity 2154
Year: c.  early 60’s
Notions: purple zipper, £.05 (also a charity shop find)

Time to complete: 4 hours

Wear again? yes!

Total Cost: ~£2

There must be a glitch in the matrix because this is definitely a déjà vu skirt!  I’ve done a pencil skirt before–back when the days were long and there was sunlight aplenty (and before our camera started adding horizontal lines on all our pictures).  Said pencil skirt was also in a houndstooth wool fabric…

Picture 73
I did, however, use a different pattern this time around.  I introduce Simplicity 2154, a reissued vintage pattern:

Simplicity 2154

How cute is this pattern??  It includes a classic pencil skirt, an amazing blouse and a jacket!  I only had enough fabric for the skirt.  Well, that’s not really true.  You see, you may recognise this fabric….

Picture 74

Whatever possessed me from making a poncho out of some fabulous wool?  I think ponchos only work in sunny locations where there is no wind.  In Scotland, wearing a poncho is like wearing a garbage bag in a wind tunnel–it’s just no fun.  So, I’ve chopped up the poncho and am going to make a matching vest for my pencil skirt!!  It’s a bit funny that I’m refashioning my own creations! teeheee.

This wool is quite lovely and was an amazing charity shop find (about 2.5 metres).  It’s nice and thick.  I didn’t line the skirt–though I just saw Sunni’s tutorial for lining a skirt with a vent, which I might just try out!

I inserted a hand picked zipper–one of my favourite methods for inserting zippers on wool fabric (as the handpicked stitches just disappear!)

Hand picked zip
I don’t think I can ever have enough pencil skirts.  They are so versatile.  I plan on building a mini-wardrobe around this wool fabric much like I did with the Mrs. Peacock skirt.

Have you ever refashioned your own sewn garments?  Do tell!


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


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  1. (hmmmm…my post just disappeared into the ether, so I’ll give it another go)
    Great one Debi! I have the same pattern, lying on top of 2m of B&W houndstooth in my sewing corner. I agree that you can never have too many pencil skirts, and I have 3 black ones to prove it….but I have a very good explanation for that: one from my too thin pre-pregnancy days, one sausage shaped one from my post-partum days, and finally a new one I just made that fits like a glove ;)
    I’m also recutting something for this week’s challenge. I tried making a flouncy purple dress for the ’70s challenge, but it was a failure, so it’s getting chopped into a blouse this time around.

  2. Pencil skirts just plain work. Very stylish verison (and I’m glad to hear that your poncho is being put to better use. Such pretty fabric that it is a shame not to be able to wear it more often.

  3. I agree, I think ponchos only work when there’s no wind! I can’t wait to see the re-fashion. I have yet to do any dramatic refashions, but I have several shirts that are calling out in agony to be cut up and repurposed.

  4. Such a pretty pattern and definitely another fabulous skirt!

  5. I am in love with your skirt! I loved the Mrs Peacock one and the purple is just divine. I adore the combination of the teal pendrell with the purple skirt. I must sort out a pencil skirt or three!

  6. Go, Debi! I love this skirt!!

  7. Love it! I’m giggling over the “garbage bag in a wind tunnel” comment, too. What a smart idea to refashion your poncho if you don’t find it practical, into something that is!

  8. Extremely versatile, a good old pencil skirt and certainly a great fit for you! I actually like this one better as the skirt looks *more* pencil than the first one… a nifty pattern!

  9. That is a lovely skirt. I’ve recently started refashioning some long a-line skirts that I made a few years ago into shorter, straighter skirts because I’m bored with them.

  10. yay for refashioning your own shizzle! the first time i did it i felt like i was breaking some cardinal rule. apparently i like to sin, becuase i have to force myself to leave things alone now…
    and you must have the vest for that perfect skirt.

  11. I does feel strange to cut up something that you put so much work into. But, it also feels wrong to have something that you made sitting around looking bad and reminding you of your error. Sewing Deja Vu’ beats that bad juju any day!

  12. Gorgeous looks. You totally have the right hourglass shape to pull off these 40s looks. And the slightly wicked smile too:)
    I just refashioned something – had a pair of wide legged pants that came out slightly too tight in the butt and upper leg area – plus 3/4m more of the same fabric – hanging in a warddrobe for about ten years!!! as I stopped sewing till last winter…. when I started again by refashioning a jacket – more on that below. Pants turned into a long six gored skirt (New look, and it’s great! I really recommend this pattern – some very cute looks – but if you make the long one, don’t do the slit – it hangs badly as the fabric edge is on the slant. I lined it too so it wouldn’t stick to tights – easier than wearing a slip.
    The jacket I refashioned was this gorgeous black silk totally hand embroidered with reds and yellows that my sis got me from Afghanistan. shapeless, long and sort of Maoish. I found an old La Mia Boutique pattern for a cropped jacket with no darts and tiny revers and remade it, lining and all – the cheek of me – it surprisingly turned out brilliant and gave me the push to get back into sewing big time and thus I discovered cool blogs like this!
    Isnt it brilliant when you can take something unwearable or useless and make it into something great? Sewing your own clothes is always brilliant but this is even more of a buzz!

  13. I keep looking at that patern Debi and couldn’t work out if I like it because I like it!!! or do I like it because I like the colours and style. Nevermind, now I must get it regardless,I just need a pencil skirt pattern. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Perfection Debi, refashioning your garbage bag wind tunnel poncho into this!!?? Just fab.

  15. Debi, you rock pencil skirts like no one I know :) Way to go, lovely!