Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Refashioners 2013 - Lauren of Lladybird

Hot Hot Shorty Shorts

You know, I’ve refashioned hundreds of garments, but this is the first time I’ve ever given full reign to someone else and let them choose the starting point. This is mildly terrifying, because you have no idea what might pop up in your mailbox, not to mention you can’t shove it in the garbage can and pretend it never happened should something go terribly wrong (oh yes, I do this. Often. No shame.).
This is what ended up in my mailbox – a large pencil skirt in my favorite shade of Nard-Dog orange. After hearing everyone else talk about how evil and sneaky Portia was with what she sent (I was one of the last people to receive my package, figures!), I was actually pretty relieved!
I would have loved to put this thing on and model it for y’all, but srsly that shit was so big I could literally pull it over my shoulders without unzipping the zipper. I had to pin it to my form to keep it from falling off.
I knew exactly what I wanted to make the minute I pulled it out of the package – pin-up style shorty shorts, using the Rite of Spring shorts pattern from Papercut Patterns. Saucy!

The very first thing I did was rip the entire skirt apart. The fabric is actually a really lovely cotton sateen, lined with some polyester lining in a slightly darker shade of orange. I pulled the seams apart, ripped out the hem, and ironed everything flat.
I saved the zipper and the button, as well as kept the waistband intact. The pieces were juuuust big enough where I could fit my pattern pieces on, cutting one layer at a time...
In true refashioner’s form, I decided to utilize the lining as well – and turned it into bias piping!
First, I established a straight edge by giving one side of the fabric a good rip. Determining the straight edge makes it easy to find the bias – just fold the edge over to form a triangle, then cut.
The resulting angle is right along the bias, making it easy to cut your bias strips.
(No, my cutting mat didn’t magically turn black – that’s just my self-healing mat. Apparently, rotary cutters are 100000x easier to use when you have a self-healing mat WHO WOULDA THOUGHT)

To make the piping, I folded one bias strip around a piece of cording. Then sewed it shut, using a long basting stitch.
I used my zipper foot to baste the piping along the edge of the fabric. When sewing the front and back pieces together, I made sure to sew just barely outside the existing stitching to be sure that everything was nice and enclosed. 
Et voilĂ ! Piping!
There’s not much else to say about the construction of these shorts… I basically just followed the pattern and treated my pieces like plain ol’ fabric. I did reuse the skirt waistband, instead of cutting/interfacing/sewing a new one… partially out of laziness, partially because I wanted to keep some of the ~flavor of the original garment.  I also reused the button and the zipper! Can you believe the zipper was EXACTLY the right length? Fate, y’all. Fate.The shitty non-fate part was when I cut off the end of the waistband with the button hole (since it needed to be shortened by several inches), thinking, “I can make a prettier button hole with my machine.” Spoiler: It’s not prettier, I done goofed that one. But it works!
One thing I like to do with my refashions is keep the original label on the garment. It cracks me up to think that someone might see these shorts and be familiar with this brand, and wonder why the hell they produced a single pair of booty shorts. HAHA.

Speaking of booty shorts…
Well, what do you think?? I would have loved to make a matching top – this one is thrifted, soooo close enough! 
...but my time management tends to run either super-duper early, or at the last possible second. Guess which one this falls under? ;)

Ha, Portia is probably staring at these pictures thinking, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” (and you know, I should probably be thinking the same thing, with regards to SHINY COTTON SATEEN ON MY ASS, WHAT WAS I THINKING), but this is what happens when you give me free reign to make whatever I want. I end up half-naked in a pair of booty shorts :B
I had a lot of fun with this project! Letting someone else choose the refashion definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, and coaxed me to try new things (like utilizing the rest of the skirt – the lining, the button, the zipper, even the waistband – instead of *just* using the main fabric). I love my shorty shorts and I’m excited to wear them out all summer – maybe even to the Hot Chicken Festival? They are the color of hot chicken, after all J

Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Portia!

I'm ACTUALLY staring at these pictures and thinking, "I WISH I could rock a pair of half naked booty shorts like THAT!" These are phenomenal Lauren. I love the piping detail. It really ramps up the retro vibe. I'm picturing retro bowling shoes and a striped tee. Cute! Great re-use of the fabric and notions! Now go get you some hot chicken girl. You deserve it!


  1. Those look great, Lauren, you do rock those shorts. Thanks, Portia, for such this segment

  2. LOVE THESE! :) Such an awesome hot chicken colour :)

  3. this is awesome! great job lauren, and you have my eternal awe for rocking yellow sateen booty shorts and look amazing!

  4. These are fantastic! I love the color - I think these are the most perfect booty shorts for summer :)

  5. I loved Lauren's first version of these but the piping and colour and oh-my-godness of her general babeliness is really kicking this up a few notches for me...

  6. Remarkable! I totally love your little hot booty shorts, and the piping from the lining is an awesomely cool touch!

  7. I love that you keep the label on a refash . . . so do I! One of my favorites is a Leslie Faye Dresses label inside a handbag I made. I lined the handbag with the 80's polyester paisley fabric from the dress and stuck the label on underneath the welt zipper pocket opening, just like a Kate Spade.

  8. I never though to keep the label! That's a great idea, and funny too. I also like the tip to reuse the waistband. Those shorts are HOTT!!!

  9. I second Portia, I wish I could rock a pair of booty shorts like Lauren!

  10. Wow, that outfit is ah-maze-ing! Those shorts are to be worn with some serious pride :-)

  11. Wheeeet wooooo - that's me wolf whistling at you by the way! You looked hot in your first pair of these hot pants and you look hot in this pair make me want to get thin so I can make some too! Love how you utilised the lining as piping and preserving the label is such a sweet idea!

  12. Holy crap you look INCREDIBLE!!!!! God those shorts are insanely phenomenal!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love everything about them, particularly the gorgeous colour and pin-up vibe. Portia did a brilliant job at choosing a starting point for you Lauren, and you did a seriously good job at delivering the goods!

    Zoe xxx

  13. Terrific refashion!!! It's great that you used so much of the original skirt - and I do hope that someday, somewhere, someone finds these shorts with that label in them and does massive online research to find out what season/collection the Designer released them hah!

  14. Hello! New follower here. I absolutely ADORE this!!!!!! What a completely brilliant revisioning of an already pretty great skirt! I have officially added you to my feed and am anxiously awaiting your next refashion.

  15. Looooooooooove these! Seriously killer refashion!

  16. Holy smokin' shit Lauren these are hotter than hell!! I neeeeeed to make these guys, like, yesterday! xxx


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