Yellow Flowered Skirt Into Batwing Tunic

I picked up this lovely yellow flowered skirt at a garage sale. Tried it on and it was not flattering at all, but I loved the fabric and was determined to make it into something I could wear.

So sorry, but in my excitement to transform this skirt I forgot to take a before pic. For those of you who just gotta have that before pic here’s a skirt that is similar to the skirt I refashioned.

Just imagine this as a yellow flowered skirt & you have my before pic.

In the process of trying it on I ended up with one arm in and one arm out and Viola! I’d found the inner diva in this skirt! It still needed a lot of work to make it fit my vision but we were on the way. First I measured across the widest part of my body (which in my case is my hips). (Take note: I measured across NOT around.) I made a mark on the skirt that indicated this width so that I would know where to make the cut to separate the sleeve from the body of what would be my new bat-wing, one-shouldered tunic. I laid the skirt out and smoothed it as flat as possible before making the first cut (scary!) straight up through all layers from the bottom of the skirt to 5 inches from the top of the skirt. If I were not planning to use a scarf insert (more on this later) I would have cut to 9 inches from the top of the skirt, as I wanted the sleeves to be loose and flowy. You can easily get the correct measurement for your own body by choosing a shirt or blouse that fits you well and measuring the length from the shoulder seam to the bottom of the armhole seam which will most likely be somewhere between seven and twelve inches.

measuring armhole

At this point I tried on the tunic and could clearly see that even though the skirt was very full, it was not full enough to give me a bat-wing sleeve AND a flowy tunic. I mentioned above that I cut the sleeve area too small because I had a plan, but the reality is that I didn’t know what I was doing and now had to find a way to fix it. I pawed through my scarf drawer and found a scarf I had bought years ago and never worn and wonder of wonders, it was a perfect match for my skirt. Sometimes the fix gives you a better end result than the initial design 🙂

The fix was so easy I’m sorry I wasted any time worrying about ruining the skirt. I simply lined up one of the short ends of the skirt with the bottom of my tunic pinning the length of the scarf up one side of the body of the tunic and right along to the end of the sleeve, doing the same to the other long end of the scarf. I could have pinned it wrong sides together to end up with a nice seam but I decided instead to pin the scarf under the raw edge of the tunic so that the frayed edges of the tunic would show.

frayed edge of tunic sewn to scarf

scarf insert saved this tunic from the trash pile

After sewing everything up with a zig-zag stitch, I ran a line of fray check along the scarf just above where I planned to cut the scarf to match the length of the sleeve – NOT. What really happened is that I cut the scarf length to match the sleeve length, wore it all day and ended up with over an inch of frayed scarf that kept catching on my bracelet. I applied the fray check solution later in the day.

badly frayed sleeve fits right in with the deconstructed tunic

And here’s the finished product, perfect for a beach coverup or over a cami on a cool day.

Can you tell I didn't want my picture taken today?


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About Kat

I started this blog to share with you all the results of years of turning trash into treasures. Hopefully I'll spark some new creative thoughts and if that happens I hope that you'll share your discoveries and together we’ll build a blog that will singlehandedly reduce global warming and save the world! Okay, maybe that’s a grand goal but we should be able to at least downsize our own trash output.

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