Saturday, 9 August 2014

Quick Holiday Wardrobe Fixes + Do You Miss Sewing When You're On Holiday?

I took a few shortcuts for some of the things I needed for holidays this year.

I wanted comfy skirts to travel in. I made this one from a large but I think unworn skirt found in the RSPCA shop:

I cut the yoke off, re-used the elastic for the new waist and saved the lining for a future project. The 'new' skirt is the same shape as Sewaholic's new very beginner oriented pattern, the Rae skirt, i.e. it has panels and an elastic waist. I've not been able to wear elastic waist skirts as an adult as they look so bulky - many of them are just gathered squares - so it just goes to show what a big difference a little bit of shaping makes.

Another skirt was cut down from this striking but unflattering dress from the Red Cross Shop:

This is more of a tube shape and despite being so simple, I've worn it several times already.

I also wanted capri length trousers for windy days on the beach. For these I reused my old jeans which I found among the clothes I use for decorating/gardening. I cut off the stained and frayed bottoms and made cuffs.

They are very soft to wear, having been worn in thoroughly already.

I made another skinny pair from bootleg jeans from the charity shop by taking in the side seams and shortening:
I went a bit over the top with the skinnifying despite tracing my well fitting skinny jeans. Another lesson learned in the differing amount of stretch in fabrics! Next time I will put them on inside out and pin them to the shape of my legs. I think this might give a better result.

I gave up having my photo taken at this point in proceedings. I do not enjoy modelling and although my children do a sterling job of taking my picture and never object, I am easily bored and rarely have the patience for a 'perfect' shot. Sorry!

Finally I shortened these capris from chinos (originally from a charity shop). They were hanging in my wardrobe unworn despite being a great fit and apparently new. They will get some wear now.

Doing these alterations has shown me that sometimes a change of hem length is all it takes to make an item wearable again. The 'new' pieces cost around £10 total as I had most of them already, and very little sewing time. 

Also, Zoe has some great refashions for making old jeans into shorts, which I'm bearing in mind for when the knees on my jeans finally 'go'!

Well I've had my holiday now, which was lovely, and I wore all the things I altered. But after a few days I felt as though I wanted to do some sewing. It's become part of my daily life, and sitting down with idle hands feels wrong (even on holiday!). My way of sewing is 15 minutes here and there, for example while I'm waiting for something to finish cooking or as a break in the day. It is more achievable for me than waiting for several hours, so when I sit down it appears my brain thinks 'sew'! 

Do you miss sewing while you're away? Do you think holidays should be a complete change, or do you take some sewing with you? I'm seriously considering taking some hand sewing next time!

Happy sewing, 'til next time,

Philippa x


  1. You've been doing some great adaptions from charity shop clothes recently, I love the skirt in particular.

  2. I just went away by myself with three kids, including a kamikaze two year old. I was so tired each night I fell asleep and there was no time to miss sewing. However I think I would be inclined to do handsewing if I were on a more restful holiday! In the past I have taken crochet or knitting, as I find those easy to transport. Great holiday wardrobe from charity shop finds :) x

    1. I am not entirely convinced you had a holiday! Hope you are getting the chance to put your feet up in the second half of the summer! X

  3. I especially like your skirts - the print and stripes are very satisfying! I have avoided gathered skirts too, but tried the Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt recently and found I really liked how the flat hip panels sat. Shaping does change everything!

    I've been pondering a similar question about sewing recently; my machine started making a noise last weekend and I've been without for almost a week as it's been in the shop! I've missed it quite a bit but I've noticed that I'm spending a lot more time taking care of my garden and have been practicing hand-sewn buttonholes. I think more than anything, I have busy hands! I hope you had a great holiday.

  4. You look awesome in those denim capris! I live in my one and only pair of them in the sizzingly hot months, especially when out with Miss Annie, and don't even like to think what I'll do one day when they give up the ghost. Finding a pair that fit well took years (these came my way in 2012, I believe). Guess, I'll just have to have them cloned! ;D

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Great refashions! I particularly like the stripes. This summer break has not given me much time to sew but instead of lamenting, I have been knitting. I like to knit out on the deck or in the car on drives...I think like Crab and Bee...I too have busy hands!

  6. What a great job re-purposing these! I, too, fear skirts with elastic. I'll have to look into the Rae one and see how it is. Being pear shaped I worry adding bulk there.
    Your skirts look great on you - I'm jealous of those great jeans too. What a great job getting your holiday wardrobe ready! I hope you enjoyed yourself

  7. Glad you had a great holiday and well done on all the refashions and alterations that you completed in advance, it sounds like time well spent. Thanks for the link to my refashions BTW. I definitely miss sewing whilst I'm on holiday, I must admit I even did a little bit when I was on my honeymoon! It's not that I was at all bored, it's just that sewing is my creative outlet and my usual reaction to feeling inspired, and with so much visual stimulation in NY, my natural reaction was to want to get sewing... xxx

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