I’m no stranger to repurposing Ikea – so far I’ve turned two pillowcases into four placemats, a shower curtain into a dress, and a pillowcase into a skirt. I picked up some blue, pre-hemmed table runner fabric back at the same time I bought the shower curtain, but it’s just so narrow that I couldn’t really think what to do with it and it’s languished in my stash ever since.
But I’ve been in the sewing doldrums lately, waiting for the weather to warm up, so I had another look at the table runner and saw the potential for a cute, flirty skirt using this Patrones skirt pattern from the October 2007 issue (#261, pattern no. 22). Big, big thanks to my generous Patrones benefactor, Zoe, for letting me borrow her past few issues so I don’t go broke on German eBay!
Because the Ikea table runner fabric was so narrow, I had to get out my seam ripper and unpick one entire hem in order to make the skirt as long as possible. I kept the other side hem intact to use as the bottom of the skirt to save myself a construction step!
I made a few changes to the Patrones pattern – the pattern has four pleats across the front of the skirt, with the outer ones facing in and the inner pleats facing out. Rather than coming close together as in the line drawing above, they were actually about two inches from meeting and looked really odd, so I changed the direction of the outer pleats to also face outwards. I also prefer back zippers in all my skirts, so I cut the back (unpleated) skirt pieces with a centre back seam rather than the intended fold. Finally, the pattern called for a waistband facing that was only an inch or so deep, which just would’ve looked and felt awful. So I made double the waistbands so my facings would be the full waistband depth, making the inside seams much, much neater. I also placed the waistband pieces across the fabric so the stylised bulbous flowers went across rather than down.
This fabric is a bit louder than I’m normally used to, and it’s definitely as close to an ethnic print as my white girl bod is going to get without looking completely ridiculous! The nice thing about this fabric is that it works so perfectly for this shape of skirt, holding the pleats and keeping the full shape in front like the silhouettes are moving to for spring and summer.
I had just enough fabric left over to make a shopper from the rest of the table runner, and I measured the straps so I can wear it over the shoulder or held in my hand without skimming the ground (as modelled above). I also replicated my “reusing Ikea’s hem” trick and placed it along the top, open edge of the bag. This bag used the full width of the fabric (running from top to bottom on the bag), so you can see how narrow it really was!
For you, lovely readers, I braved sub-freezing temperatures in a short skirt and sleeveless top for the above photos. Watching the models at the photoshoot on our boat in January inspired me to suck it up and mentally turn off the shivers when the camera’s going…