frugal skirt in the eleventh hour

sarong skirtMother’s group last week was a Melbourne Cup luncheon. Great food, champagne, chatting, oh and babies. And dressing up.

It’s the dressing up part that had me. Since the little fella arrived, I’ve only bought a pair of jeans and a couple of t-shirts. I just don’t have the budget for frivolous dress purchases. Especially not for a single luncheon. And did I mention I hate wearing dresses?

I wandered round the shops aimless and frustrated the afternoon before, but without success:

Shop Keeper: Can I help you?

Me: I’m looking for a dress in a size 16 that makes me look like a size 8.

Shop Keeper: I’m sorry, we sold out of those last week.

I came home empty handed and it looked I was to wear the old jeans and t-shirt. At the last minute (ok, the night before) I remembered a sarong that was just waiting for some attention and I decided to turn it into a skirt. My first ever attempt at a wearable garment.

I used one of the tutorials from the skirt tutorial roundup as a guide: a ruffled skirt. Obviously I changed the pattern – no ruffle on mine. And my skirt is longer. Also, I didn’t bother making a pattern, just measured my hips, marked the fabric with a biro, ruled a line using a plank of wood (didn’t have a ruler long enough), cut and sewed the seam. The good thing about using the sarong is that there was no need to hem, I just used the tassels as the hem line.

When I went shopping, I was looking at skirts and dresses $40 and upwards. The sarong I used to make my skirt was given to my mother, who gave it to me thinking that I could use it. In other words: free. No pattern needed, so more money saved there, and the elastic was an old piece from my grandmother’s sewing stash that I inherited, so probably over 20 years old. A new skirt, no money down. And it only took 1 1/2 hours to make.

Now, I’m not going to win any prizes for best dressed. But I get to wear something other than jeans, without spending money we don’t have (a new skirt would have had to go on the credit card). I improved my sewing skills and my sewing confidence, and finally made something to wear, which has been on my to do list for a very long time. And I have the satisfaction of saying “oh this old thing, I just whipped it up one night.” Buying would have set us back, making my own has given me so much more than just a skirt to wear to a luncheon. And that is why we’re frugal and thriving.

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  1. says

    Bravo! and well done. I’m no tthe best sewer in the world, but skirts are the main success story in my life. I use to make some of my children’s clothes with easily, but grown up clothes have always been a hassle. I still have a couple of pieces of bargain material in my cupboard which when made up make the garment an even bigger bargain. Your skirt looks great and no hem – bonus.

  2. says

    Thanks Delphine. I’ve thought about making the little fella clothes – that way if it doesn’t work out, I’m not the one wearing it ;).