I like to think I'm the kind of person who sees the potential in a piece of clothing. A thrift store find that is just waiting to become something better. The problem for me, is that I have the ability to see these things, but no way of actually doing them. I can sew a button and even stitch up a small hole, but that's it.
Lucky for me, I have this sweet lady in Stanley Market who does alterations. I've lost count of how many items of clothing she's shortened for me. This project, however, was a step up for her.
I bought these pants in Causeway Bay (in the market there) because I couldn't resist the cute pattern of the fabric. The style was cute, too. They were slouchy, with an almost MC Hammer-esque quality to them (odd, I know, to refer to any item of clothing he wore as cute). The problem with these pants was the material had very little give to it. Not stretchy at all. In the markets (and some cheap Hong Kong fashion chain stores), you aren't allowed to try anything on, you just hope that you are free size. Usually, I am. This time, I was not.
All was not lost. I decided, and my sister agreed, that there could be enough length in the slouch to make a skirt. My alterations lady gave me the eyebrow up look when I explained what I wanted her to do and that in order to keep as much length as possible, she'd need to do a tiny hem. But, she did it.
And, here it is!
I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. It's a perfect summer skirt.
Now for a DIY update. Several months back, I posted about some sarong fabric I'd picked up on my trip to Malaysia. I had plans to make skirts, blouses, etc. Yet, the same problem lay in my way. No way (or skill) to actually sew them. I took this fabric to a few tailors (my alterations lady did not want to tackle this one), but it was ridiculously expensive. All I needed was a hem and some elastic.
After overhearing my frustration, sweet Eva, who takes care of us at home, offered to send the fabric over to the Philippines with a friend to give to her mother who runs a dress shop. In a mere three days, her mother sewed this skirt and one other and I had it back in my possession in Hong Kong. She even used some of the extra fabric to add a pocket. I love pockets in skirts.
I realize I use the term DIY loosely. I didn't do any of this myself. I had the idea or design. But, I aspire to change that. My mum dug out her sewing machine this week, dusted it and as soon as it's serviced, I aim to learn to use it. Mind you, work starts again the day after tomorrow, and I have three kids.
Still, there's hope.