Case of the refashioned LC Bias Skirt.

…. where LC stands for Liz Claiborne. Here are the facts: a 100% linen skirt was purchased 21 years ago, worn very few times, acquired oil stains, but saved so I could do “something” with it. The time to do something has come.

Before. Calf length bias linen skirt.

(Don’t worry, friends. I’m alive and well; just took a hiatus from the blog without telling you. A combination of hitting a dry sewing spell and some other things —- well, something had to give, so my weekly posts went to the back of the line. Oh well, I am back and hope to keep a consistent writing schedule.)


I reviewed this inspiring book in a previous post. You can read it here. I just received notification that Ellen W. Miller is now selling kits for the embellishments, with access to video instructions. Disclaimer: no business affiliation; I just love Ellen’s work.

This top in Ellen Miller’s book (Creating Couture Embellishment) resonated with me and I immediately pulled out the LC skirt and some stashed cotton lace — it’s time had come.

Pattern: out of print Vogue but it’s amazing what a straight shift dress/blouse version can be turned into; I added a flare, starting from under the armhole. This flared hack was used before in the yellow pique top with the Bonnie Cashin inspired pocket. Remember?

Methodology: the goal was to get this flared shape without ripping open the side seams unless necessary.

The green line is the only cutting line in this refashion. The pattern front and back with abutted (even overlapped) side seams are placed on the skirt side seams, and turn it into one pattern piece.

The shoulders, arms and bust are a good fit, so placing the Center Front and Center Back of the pattern on CF and CB folds of the skirt was the way to go. The paper pattern side seams were on the original, un-ripped side seams of the skirt, and overlapping just enough. All I had to do was cut out the shoulders, neck and armholes. But wait!! What about the bust dart? I decided to pivot the bust dart on the pattern to the shoulder. The continuity of the stripe had to break at some point if I was to use a dart while keeping the side seam intact. It worked out, in my opinion. Guess what, there were back darts on the skirt which ended up as back shoulder darts on the top. Yay.

Embellishment: Now was the time to apply lace along some of the bias stripes. No issues here, since I just pinned the lace to audition it, then machine stitched it on. The lace is more pronounced in the inspiration top, but you can see the subtler effect on mine if you squint….

Finishing: the neck and armholes were finished with “narrow bias facing” (edit: sorry, an earlier version said “french binding”); the hem was evened out because the original somehow ended up with a high-low look (not my thing). Done! But wait some more….

Further embellishment: What is that lace bow thing on the shoulder of the inspiration top? I had no more lace left. Something similar has to be done for a focal point on the shoulder. Using lace trim scraps (from another project), silk scraps, and bits from the LC linen, I decided to create a cluster of yo-yos to be placed on the left shoulder, cascading down a few inches — this gave some dimension and texture to my top. Sewing on a small cluster of beads and buttons onto the center of the yo-yos finished them off. I have found new admiration for yo-yo art in fashion, thus far relegated to quilting arts. Heck, I also used a plastic yo-yo maker by Clover.

Now, a chatty, non-sewing item for book readers; did you read this piece of non-fiction? I love real spy stories, and this gripping one is about Virginia Hall, an unsung American agent who helped the French Resistance during World War II. I read this “two books ago” (yeah, I’m not just always sewing, I’m also always reading).

Friends, it’s good to be back on the blog! Hope you all are well. I’ll try not to disappear again.


18 thoughts on “Case of the refashioned LC Bias Skirt.

  1. So neat. I have a linen bias cut skirt with batten berg lace I have been thinking about refashioning into a top. Thank you for sharing your process. I absolutely love your embellishments! Abbey

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is great when inspiration hits, and the way you were able to fit the pattern onto the skirt to make a swingy dress. I was just thinking, where are Samina’s posts? I can’t get WordPress Reader on my outdated Chromebook anymore, so when I checked on the desktop going back a ways and expected to see several from you, I noticed your absence. Glad you’re back with all your insights and sewing and fashion details.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A veritable WIN/SAVE here. And I really love and appreciate the pattern layout photo.. All in all, it’s well done and very pretty. I have never cared for yo yos. But these make sense and look really nice (also well done). So, I only care for THESE yo yos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I used to make fun of yo yos. Now I’m hanging my head in shame, because used a certain way, yo yos can be beautiful.


  4. Lovely re-fashion, Samina! I appreciate your showing how you laid out your pattern on the skirt — clever! And the lace and yo-yo’s are quite elegant!
    Interesting non-fiction suggestion — thank you!


  5. Samina- I love your new top! It’s a beautiful refashion of the skirt’s fabric. Thanks for the mention of Creating Couture embellishment and the kits. Xo


  6. Love your re-fashioning ideas. I need to put my thinking cap on for a couple of projects I need to re-fashion. I love the fabric, but the finished project isn’t right.

    By the way, A Woman of No Importance – loved that book. Have you read The Paris Dressmaker or The Dressmakers of Auschwitz? I’ve read the Pairs Dressmaker (really enjoyed it) and have the other book on my Kindle and ready to read.


    1. Lynn, good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliment. I’m ready to dress for intense Texas summers.
      I have read The Paris Dressmaker, but not Dressmakers Auschwitz. Will look for it right now.


  7. Once again you’ve come up with your special, and beautiful, way with textiles and style, Samina. Just wonderful to see and it’s so good to have you back on the blog! You’ve been missed.


Leave a Reply to seweverythingblog Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s