Remix: Set the table

  Top: Tirelli

Skirt: DIY Remix

Belt: Modcloth

Shoes: Gorman

Been a while since I did a remix, huh? This is actually a bit of a remix, and bit of a DIY: it’s an old embroidered tablecloth that I’ve re-purposed into skirt.

I found this big circular tablecloth at a trash and treasure market, and really loved the embroidery and scalloped hem. The cotton has that lovely softness that you get with fabrics that have been well-used and, the colour is a pretty apricot-tinged blush.

I thought it would be an easy project, and it really is!

To start with, you have to figure out where to cut the hole for your waist. The easiest way to do this is to measure the diameter of your waist (plus maybe an inch for seams) then divide that number by 6.28 (because, math).

Now fold the tablecloth into quarters and measure that number from the point at the top of the pie piece (I used a bit of string at that length to mark where to cut).

Once you’ve cut the hole for your waist you should cut a line up the back – this is where you’ll insert your zipper.

Next, you want to find some fabric that more or less matches the colour of the tablecloth so that you can make a waistband. Cut a long strip about three inches wide, and about an inch longer than your waist measurement.

Apply some interfacing, then fold one long edge up and stitch it into place.

Right sides together, pin the waistband to the waist of the skirt – with the raw edge matching up to the fabric of the skirt – and stitch.

Now insert the zipper, and stitch close the back seam.

I haven’t included instructions for this step, since – to be honest – every time I insert a zipper it feels a bit like I’m making it up as I go along. Are there different rules for different kinds of zippers? I’m pretty sure they are. Insert the zipper according to the instructions on the packet, I guess.

Once your zipper is in, press the raw edge of the skirt waist up into towards the waistband, and fold the finished edge of the waistband over it. Pin it in place, and give it another press, just to make sure you’ve got a nice clean edge. Does this photo show that? Who knows? It was very late by this point.

Flip the skirt right side out and sew a line just a smidge over the seam. This should capture the raw edge between the two sides of the folded waistband (I hope this makes sense!)

E voila!

One tablecloth skirt!

DIY: Seamwork Veronica Dress

Dress: DIY from Seamwork “Veronica” Pattern

Shoes: Seychelles


I’ve had my eye on the Seamwork “Veronica” pattern for months and months now, but without a dining table to put my sewing machine on, all of my sewing projects have been sitting on the back burner.

The very first free weekend I’ve had in our new place (with our new dining table) I took the opportunity to finally put the sewing pedal to the metal. I bought the digital Veronica pattern, had it printed it a local print shop, marveled at how much easier it was than sticky-taping together 40+ sheets of A4 paper, and took a trip to Sydney Road – Melbourne’s cheap fabric mecca – which is now conveniently located just near me, and bought some fantastically 80’s viscose to give the pattern a dry run.

The Veronica’s a very simple frock with dolman sleeves, a solid banded waistband that’s elasticised at the back. The dress fastens with a zipper at the back and features the slightly blouson style that I’m kind of loving right now.

The pattern seemed straightforward enough; the only tricky part was the waistband, but I took it slow and steady and didn’t have to unpick once.

BUT (and it’s a big but) it was much too big in the waist.

Because it was just a wearable muslin, and I couldn’t figure out how to correct the size issues without taking the entire thing to pieces and starting again from scratch, I just frankensteined my own lazy fix, by pinching a couple of pleats into the waistband and sewing it up.

It’s… OK. The pleats makes the top a bit more blousy than I needed it to be, and the dress is not as flattering as I’d hoped – the neckline’s way too high and the shape’s a bit boxy, plus to be honest the zipper at the back seemed to be totally unecessary – with the elasticised back waistband it would be easy to pull on and off.

The pattern’s a solid 6 out of 10, but I’m not sure I’d make it again. I thought I might actually try the Olivia dress from Style Arc next time, which seems to have everything that I like about the Veronica, and none of the stuff I didn’t.