Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Black Silk Tent

Seriously, yes, a tent...these pants could've been dismantled to make a tent...or a parachute! ;) But when you see this much silk for $4 then, you gotta go for it.

Now if I were more adventurous, I might have kept these as they were and just wore them because they give the functionality of pants and the look of a skirt. Win, win, right?! Instead, I decided to take these apart and just before starting I decided on what I'd want to make...

First up, I took the waistband off and separated the legs from each other. One leg could totally be a dress all on its own!

Now, one of the things I liked about the original piece was the high waisted fit but all of that pleating was just too much, which is why I unpicked the pleats. It did leave a lot of lines, but I feel that they end up blending in.

I took some freezer paper and traced out the inseam and crotch of one of the legs and then cut out the 'pattern' piece. I had already measured the desired rise (from waistline to crotch plus a bit for seam allowance) and my desired waist measurement (several inches bigger than my own in order to allow for some gathering at the waist). I laid it on the individual legs lining up the outer edges so that I could maintain the pockets and that makes less work when putting these back together :). I ended up cutting the length of each piece to be a few inches shorter than my pattern piece.

So, yeah, I'm making shorts (hopefully you've figured that out by now, lol). I sewed up the inner leg seam by using a french seam...nice and neat for straight edges. Then, I sewed the two new legs together using a straight stitch and finished off the raw edges with a zig zag stitch. I gathered the waist by measuring out a piece of elastic a couple of inches shorter than my waist measurement and stretched it as I zigzagged it onto the waist. Next, I thought to reattach the existing waistband, but it didn't end up being as substantial as I wanted. So, I cut off the hem of one of the original legs and used it to make a casing to cover up the elastic and raw edges.

Next step I had to decide what to do about the waist. I wanted it to be thick, so I got to looking through my stash for just the right piece...pieces. I came across this black sash and a length of lace that I had thought to sew onto the sash to wear as a belt. Perfect for this project :). First, I sewed the sash onto the waistband. Sorry for pic quality here, this project took me way longer to complete than I'd expected and daylight didn't last.

Next, I sewed on the lace along the top flat edge of it. I finished off the back by adding snap buttons and folding the edges over and sewing in place. Now, I didn't sew the black sash all the way around. I left around an inch and a half open in the back to allow for a bit of stretch so that I could put these shorts on, while not leaving too much slack causing gaping when they are buttoned up. For the moment, I've finished off the bottom hem by cutting across them with my pinking shears...that will probably change but I hadn't decided how I wanted to do the hem.

Here's the new waistband!

And here are the shorts! I'll be able to dress them up and down and I'm loving the flowy light feel. And they have pockets :). 'Nough said.

 Here's one last look at the before and after:

The only thing left to do is decide what to do with all of the leftover silk! No worries, I'm pretty sure I'll be turning that into a top :). Hope you like this one. I sure do :).



  1. Very pretty and lots of fun! Maybe a narrow rolled hem would be a nice finish? Or lace hem tape turned under?


    1. Thank you, I think they're fun as well! I was also thinking of a narrow rolled hem, DressUpNotDown...I'll think on the lace hem tape though because I've got lots of it! Thanks for the ideas :)

  2. WOW brilliant, you are getting daring that's for sure. I would not try this ever so nice to watch how you did it. For me it provides inspiration. Thank you for sharing. from Karen at Facebook Group Bowerbirds Journal.

    1. Thanks, Karen :) Just glad to feel comfortable wearing shorts again! Even if it is only indoors for now...