Much better, don’t you think? Let me remind you what it looked like before:
A friend gave me this house dress years ago, when I didn’t know how to sew yet. I loved the fabric and I had quite a quirky sense of style at the time, so yes, I did intend to wear it as was. But there was a definite problem with the bottom of the button band that created the most unflattering side view, so I actually never wore it. Luckily, the hoarder that I am never got rid of it and when I learnt to sew, it went straight to the to-be-refashioned pile… where it languished for a few more years.
It’s not even that I didn’t know how to transform this dress; I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do, but I simply never got around to it. But hey, I did get to it in the end and I’m really happy with the result, which is exactly what I had in mind!
Here’s a list of the changes I made:
– I cut the dress under the bust and under the button band and sewed the bottom part of the dress to the top (after unpicking the side seams at the bust to remove the bust darts that were much too low and restitching the side seams without darts).
– I lined the bottom part of the dress (with turquoise Bemberg rayon – oops, forgot to show that in the pictures!) in order for it not to cling to the tights.
– I used the discarded middle part of the dress to make two patch pockets, which I underlined with the same Bemberg rayon lining so that they are more stable.
– I shortened the sleeves to a more flattering length.
– I added six belt loops at the empire waist to hold the belt (or any thin belt as a matter of fact) in place.
– I changed the buttons.
I initially hesitated between leaving the empire waist as is or elasticizing it, and I found adding belt loops was a better solution since it allowed me to wear the dress both ways. And with the way I placed the belt loops, I can also tie the belt at the back, so I have more styling options!
Don’t look at the above picture for too long or you could get a headache (I know I did!). No, I didn’t sew the pocket with the fabric upside down: there are flowers and leaves facing up and others facing down. In any case, I love this fabric! It’s this almost bathing suit like material (I think it’s a polyester knit) but it drapes really well and, although I was afraid it wouldn’t be breathable enough, it is in fact very comfortable to wear.
And I love refashioning! I got a new dress for much less money (I only had to buy four buttons and 50 cm of lining), work and time than if I had started it from scratch! Plus I love seeing the face of the people who compliment me on it when I tell them that it used to be a grandma house dress. :-)