Have you ever heard of a convertible skirt? No, it's not a skirt to wear while you are riding in your convertible. Or maybe it is! It essentially is a skirt with a wide fold over waistband that doubles as a strapless dress when you don't fold the waistband over. I have a slight obsession with travel wardrobes, and whenever I hear of anything that could potentially serve two purposes on a vacation, I'm all over it.
There are several patterns for this type of skirt available, but I liked the handkerchief hem on New Look 6379. I found this gorgeous abstract art rayon knit at Fabric Mart, and I thought it would be really cool in this design. The pattern is basically just two pattern pieces- a waistband and a front/back skirt that are the same. You do insert a thin piece of elastic in a casing at the bottom of the waistband, where it joins to the skirt.
Here it is as the strapless dress. I probably won't be wearing it this way, except as a beach cover-up if we go on vacation.
As a skirt, it really could not be easier! I did find that I needed to size down a couple of sizes because the rayon knit was very stretchy. My fabric has a stripe like print, but when it hangs, the stripe gently curves down. You can kind of see more of the stripe when I'm sitting here:
The tank top is also from a rayon knit. I knew that I wanted a black tank to go with the skirt, but I just didn't want to make a boring black tank- I could buy one of those anywhere So, I looked for something that had a little twist. I found what I wanted in one of my old Burda magazines. The issue is July 2007, and the pattern number is 130 if you have that issue. Unfortunately, it's not available for download on the Burda site, because it is really a neat tank top.
Here are the line drawings from the magazine- you can see that it has really long straps on the front, that you knot, and then gather to attach to the back. The front neckline, straps, and armhole are finished by cutting a second front that ends just below the bust, and then sewing that as a facing. Very ingenious! Because my knit was so stretchy, I ended up cutting the straps about 4" shorter than the pattern. It takes a little more fabric than your average tank top, but I think it is definitely worth it.
I originally made a loose fitting white tank to go with this skirt, but didn't really care for it. It felt a little too pajama-like. Do you agree? Here it is on the dress form:
There are so many colors in this fabric that it will go with just about any top, but I really do like how the black lets the skirt have the spotlight. My husband's getting pretty good with the camera! I will end with his "art shot" at the bicycle racks.