When I saw this skirt in an op shop I think I just saw "white" and "kind of lacy" and grabbed it thinking yeah! But on getting it home I had second thoughts about the applique-y pattern on the net overlay; it was too geometric and ordered, or something, anyhow just not pleasing to my eye. I love white and lacy, but I think I like an element of deconstruction, too. I decided I could get a skirt and a top out of it, as it was quite a long skirt, with godets sewn in all round. It also had a nice white voile underlay, soft and worn-in from washings over the years and I planned to make use of this too.
The waistband of my new skirt is the original waistband, with the original zip and button closure, but I re-arranged it so the voile underlay was the outside layer and the original net top part of the skirt was now a petticoat. I also added an extra overskirt of some of the voile, which is wrapped over the front and has its own button closure on the opposite side.
From the lower part of the net overskirt I cut the front and back and two sleeves of the top and fitted them to Bessie, aiming for a kind of loose "stand-uppy" neckline, which I edged with bias tape made from some more of the leftover voile underskirt.
I also, and this was fun, attacked the applique, snipping portions of the sewn-on fabric to try to break up the geometry of the original print and introduce a bit more randomness and unpredictability to the design. I think the applique is now much improved!
The sleeves, hmmm, the sleeves were an entire disaster story on their own; I planned to remove the applique entirely from the net for the sleeves. I proceeded to unpick all the stitching and applique from the sleeve pieces. It. Took. Hours. When I finally finished, a few Top Gears, Man vs Wilds, Wallanders and various foreign films later, I sewed up the sleeves and the top, and was finished? Threw it on for a look in the mirror..... well, dear reader, my hard-labour sleeves actually looked awful. Because I had cut them from the bottom of the skirt, where all the godets were, and of course, what do godets have, yes, seams. The new de-appliqued sleeves had overlocked seams running across and through, and, whilst I like randomness in fashion design, embrace it even, this time it just didn't cut it. The sleeves let the whole thing down and had to go. But I had my heart set on sleeves now! So I turned to my stack of leftovers and found a little bit of net from a previous project of which I managed to get out some new sleeves; final result, much cleaner and a better foil to the raggedy randomness which is already there in the main body of the top. Much better.
Apart from the sleeves, it's all from the old skirt, this pleases my sad passion for minimal wastage. I'm pretty happy with the final look of my new outfit too, of course I do have a real weakness for white garments!! But, can you ever have too many white clothes? (pleading pathetically) Reassuring myself, of course not, there's always the dye-bath if I feel the need of a change... But I like it just how it is for now.
Top and skirt; refashioned from old skirt, own design
Grey camisole; Country Road
Belt; op shop
Shoes; Marco Santini, from Marie Claire