Refashion: Jersey Maxi to Slouchy Tee (aka “embrace the unexpected”)

Every now and then, completely bodging something up can turn into a “happy accident”. Case in point; having refashioned this jersey maxi skirt into a slouchy top I had the cracking idea of dumping it into a stockpot of dye that I had sitting on the hob from another project. Then promptly left it, got distracted and forgot about it. I didn’t stir it or rotate it periodically and consequently the dye only took in certain areas, related it seems to how the fabric was crunched up as it sat in the dye. My initial response when I realised my cock up….was a few choice words. But as this effect gradually revealed itself while it dried, I went from cursing myself, to actually kinda liking this subtle, “accidental shibori” effect….

The refashion itself was simple enough. After removing the waistband and pressing everything flat, I removed a large portion of the length and cut out this trapezoid shape. Cut out a neckline, overlocked the shoulders and side seams (leaving a 7″ opening for armholes), then turned and stitched the neckline and sleeve hems….

I used the fabric that I had left to create a folded/double thickness band that was approx 5″ smaller than the hem of the tee(and about 3″ smaller than the circumference of my thighs), and gathered the tee to fit it, overlocking to join the two pieces…

So a really simple way to convert a skirt to a top, yes. But by far the overriding thing that makes me smile about this make, is the dye job that could’ve been. And how much less interesting it would’ve been compared to what I ended up with!  Have you ever had that happen? Have something go completely awry, and end up being happier with the outcome?

Sewing aside, it happens alot in my life.  Things rarely work out exactly as I’ve planned. But more often than not, it becomes apparent down the line that it was the best thing that could have happened anyway. If “X”  hadn’t have happened then I wouldn’t have met “Y”. That kinda thing, you know? That cliche of everything happens for a reason? Well I’m a firm believer in that, and lets face it, all cliches become so, because they have been proven have an element of truth, more often than not! It’s taught me to embrace the unexpected and just go with it. (after I’ve allowed myself a bit of ranting and thrashing of hands, ha ha!) Tangent over….sorry…drifted off there!

Aaaanyway, as a fun side note, someone pointed out to me on Instagram that you can see an image in the dye pattern of this tee. I hadn’t noticed until she pointed it out, but I totally can now!. Be interesting to see if any of you can see the same thing too, or indeed something completely different!


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  1. GiddyAunt Lola February 2, 2015

    this is insanely brilliant; it just works so well and so glad you didn’t throw the skirt away when you thought you’d messed the dying up.

  2. Tiffany February 2, 2015

    Nice! I love happy accidents. It really looks like a new, fancy top.

    • Portia Lawrie February 2, 2015

      Thanks Tiffany! I can only take half the credit here, he he 😉

  3. February 2, 2015

    I really like this! It’s beautiful! Almost nothing I do goes according to plan, if that makes you feel any better. 🙂

    • Portia Lawrie February 2, 2015

      That makes me feel infinitely better! If your makes are anything to go by you must be bottling kismet and drinking it by the gallon 😉

  4. February 3, 2015

    I adore this, and want one. I’m sure I’ve got some maxi skirts somewhere, but how to replicate your dyeing accident?

    • Portia Lawrie February 3, 2015

      I have been pondering that myself. Have seen a few bits on Pinterest where fabric is laid flat on a surface then twisted into interesting shapes then fabric paint/spray applied to specific areas…ie where the twists or peaks in the fabric are…could be worth a Pinterest session!

  5. Caroline February 3, 2015

    I love your accidental dye pattern. I really enjoy re-fashioning and a lot of what I make turns out a little differently from what I originally planned – so far, usually for the better!

  6. DressUpNotDown February 8, 2015

    I see lips and a moustache…maybe a face??? :o)



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