Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to DIY Old Capris into a New Skirt, OnBlank Style

1. Emasculate the pants. First, take a pair of capri pants that don't fit very well so that you may ruin without guilt. Using a seamripper, those little golden stork scissors your grandmother had, a straight-edged razor or a paring knife, carefully cut away all the threads holding the inseam together. This is time-consuming, so you may want to put a movie on for this step. Something girl-powery to celebrate how liberated you feel to be changing pants into a skirt. (In your face, suffragists.)

2. How low can you go? Next, put on your assless chaps capris and get an idea of just how long you want the skirt to be. Too long and you will have trouble running after that endorsed check that blew out of your grocery sack briefcase. Too short and you will have to sew a bottom seam. I think we all know the right decision here.

3. Needle in a haystack. Pin the seams back together like a skirt. Be sure to use the tiny pins that vanish in the carpet. Don't worry: you'll find them eventually.

4. Line in the sand. Put the skirt back on again, being mindful of the pins. (You'll only make that mistake once. Especially if you sew commando. And who doesn't?) Fold the pointy bit that used to be the crotch over and hold it flat against your thigh. Using a pencil, scratch out a line in that fold where you plan to sew the new seam of your skirt. The back seam will be more awkward, but you'll manage. Your telescope-wielding neighbor will wonder where you're going with that pencil, but no matter. He needs something interesting to think about anyways.

5. Pin and regret. Now, pin that line on the front and on the back and iron them into creases so that you know just where to sew. The crease will hold unless you have sweaty hands because you realize you've already spent an hour cutting the inseam stitches and sewing it up could take an hour and ironing the seam and cleaning up will take another hour and if you'd been working you could have billed for those three hours and with that money just bought a damn skirt. And a cocktail.

6. Make the most [hic] of it. Well, you're invested now. Put a silly straw into that whiskey bottle; we don't have time for mixers. Or glasses.

7. Sew perfect. With or without a sewing machine, sew along those now soggy creases in perfect, perfect stitches. Doing it by hand gives you that extra special womanly feeling. The one you have when you wonder why don't you have a sewing machine. While applying your third Band-Aid because nobody likes needle-prick blood spots on their new skirt. No matter. Just make sure the seam is straight.

Perfect, perfect stitches. The next person with their head up your skirt will be very impressed with your handiwork.

8. Finishing: it's a good thing. When finished, with the skirt inside-out, fold your new seams open and iron them flat. This will give you that crisp, professional finish you're looking for.

9. Ta dah! Wear your new skirt with pride! Parade it around the neighborhood for all those crafty sorts to eyeball and envy. Just remember that if you haven't taken quite enough out of the crotch in front, the folks at the block party will think you're extra happy to see them.

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