Hot! The “Pixie” Skirt

The Facts

Fabric: the skirt from the Green Is Green dress I made last year
Pattern: Style 1541
Year: 1976
Notions: 23cm invisible zip, $4
Time to complete: 1 hour (40 minutes of which was unpicking the original dress)
First worn: Sunday 26 February, to a fair and a sculpture exhibition
Wear again? yep

Total price: -$3 (from reclaiming a longer, and therefore more expensive, invisible zip)

You know how every so often, you make something, and it just doesn’t work out quite as you intended it to? And even though you spent several hours working on it, it ends up languishing in your wardrobe, because, well, you just don’t like wearing it.

Well, last year I made one of those things. A 1976 dress pattern. The pattern itself was fine (and in fact I intend to make it again, just to prove to myself that it wasn’t the pattern’s fault). The problem lay in the fabric. It was bright green, heavy cotton drill. Heck knows what I was thinking, trying to make a dress out of it. It sat horribly. I wore it once, just because I thought I should, and felt uncomfortable in it all day. After which, I decided that the only thing to do would be to turn it into a skirt and hope that that would rescue part of it.

This week, it was time for that dress to become a skirt!

Here’s where I started, the Green Is Green dress from last year’s St Patrick’s Day green colour challenge.

Sure, it may not look all that bad in the photo, but wearing it felt like I was battling the fabric into submission all day. (Plus I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of looking a bit like one of Santa’s Elves.)

So for this week’s challenge, I dragged it out, and took to it with my quick-un-pick. I took out the invisible zip, and separated the bodice from the skirt. Then I added a skirt-length invisible zip, and did a basic fold-and-stitch at the top since I didn’t have any of the fabric left to make a waistband. After wearing it around the house for a bit, I decided it just didn’t feel right with the bias binding and the big flaps on the pocket (and was also informed by my other half that it looked a bit like a costume with those pocket flaps) so I folded the flaps inside for the rest of the day, and will stitch them down tomorrow.

The result? A bright green skirt with massive pockets on the front! I figure it’s a pretty successful recycle of a failed creation. I wore it all day today, and it was actually not bad to wear at all. In fact, I intend to wear it again. (Which is a vast improvement on when it was a dress, that’s for sure.)



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. Love that green, and just in time for St. Patty’s Day this year!

  2. My first thought was one of the workers in the Emerald City, which I love by the way, but I see your point. You did a great job reclaiming this and, as Cheryl said, in time for St. Patty’s Day!

  3. That green is gorgeous! Yay for the rework!

  4. That looks like something that you will get a lot more use out of. I did like that dress but in the wrong fabric I can imagine it was not comfortable.

  5. I like the dress, and I like the now more wearable skirt. I love the envelope pockets and feel sad they are not loved. They look perfectly made – not easy.

  6. I really liked the dress too, but I can certainly relate to a wrong fabric choice. Now, as a skirt, it looks great. Nice save there, Kat.

  7. Picking fabric is so overwhelming, it looks great as a skirt and a great reFashion.

  8. The dress does look cute in the picture but I’ll take your word for it as I too have made many things that have ended up in the donation pile. I like the skirt and the big pockets!

  9. I can add to liking the dress too – but if it was uncomfortable, then hack it to bits! Have you still got the top? I bet that would look sweet minus it’s skirt.

  10. I love that you made this into a skirt – the color is so fantastic, how could you resist wearing it right away??

  11. I dig it both ways, but love the styling in the skirt version! Purple cardi & plaid jacket are great.