After the Before

Refashion1Finally, after a lot of work (and a few tears) here’s the outcome of the refashion I posted about! I’m beyond happy with the result, but, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the work in progress almost ended up in the trash…

With a week off of work, I thought I had plenty enough time before me to make it in time for the contest, but I had forgotten that my boyfriend and I had planned to spend a few days at the North Sea. This led to me spending hours on end sewing on my free days, hoping to finish before I left last Wednesday, which I didn’t. I came back Saturday evening and spent my whole Sunday sewing. I was pretty sure the dress would be finished by Sunday evening, and it would have been if I hadn’t made the most stupid mistake. I carefully gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice, finished the waist seam with the overlock stitch of my sewing machine, trimmed said seam to 5mm… only to realise that the left side seam of the skirt, instead of corresponding to the left side seam of the bodice, was corresponding to the left front princess seam of the bodice! It looked awful, made even worse by the fact that I had added side seam pockets on the skirt: hello, kangaroo pocket!

Refashion2I had to restrain myself from cutting the dress into a billion little pieces out of rage and, following the wise advice of my boyfriend, I took a small break, ate something and, when I came back with a calmer mind, decided to unpick and redo the waist seam. It made me lose a lot of time, which meant that I couldn’t finish the dress on Sunday and had to do it on Monday evening, after coming back from my millinery course at 10pm… But I did finish it, and I was able to take pictures on Tuesday despite the gloomy weather, so everything’s well that ends well! To think the deadline for the contest was originally Sunday evening… It sure was lucky that they moved it to Tuesday! 😀



Now, enough dwelling on the negative, let’s talk about the dress itself. Doesn’t it look nicer than the original? 😀 I cut the whole original dress apart and used the pieces as fabric for a recently acquired pattern. The pattern is from this adorable Belgian sewing book I recently purchased. Here’s the original design as pictured in the book:


Click on the picture for the source

I changed the asymmetrically pleated skirt for a simple longer gathered skirt that used less fabric and, as I mentioned above, added side seam pockets. I also replaced the lining with bias binding at the armholes and neckline (and it was a real pain to sew that bias binding properly: next time I’ll use the lining and avoid a lot of drama) and I used the same bias binding to sew the hem (I used the same method – and the same binding but in black – as for my Chardon skirt). Contrary to the neckline and armholes, the hem was easy to finish that way, and the stiff binding makes the skirt stand out as if I was wearing a light petticoat, yay!

Refashion4I found the pattern a touch difficult to trace (I had trouble figuring out which lines belonged to which pieces), but I don’t really know whether to blame the pattern sheet or the lack of light when I traced it, and everything ended up fine in the end, so no real complaint here.


My invisible zip isn’t really invisible, ah well!

And can you believe how cute that pattern is? I mean, did you notice? Not one, not two, but THREE peter pan collars, I die! And the fit is simply wonderful. I didn’t take the time to make a muslin (oops, here’s that broken record again), but I first basted the whole bodice together to check for any fitting issues beforehand. And, I couldn’t believe my luck, it fit almost perfectly!


The two top collars are made from some cotton remnants I had in my stash.

I used French seams everywhere except on the waist seam: I don’t know who is responsible for the misconception that you can’t French seam curved seams, (probably the same person who spread the belief that sewing knits is difficult!) but it worked perfectly on the princess seams… and on the side seams with pockets! I used this tutorial for French seaming the side seams with pockets and it was a revelation. To think of all the times I thought I had to choose between side seam pockets and French seams…


The polka dot bias binding.

Despite the drama, I now have a dress I LOVE. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to wear it to work, but I know I’ll be wearing it a lot outside of work. And it’s so cute and comfortable, I’m pretty sure I’ll sew another version in a less crazy fabric, one that I can wear at work without the risk of mesmerizing my students with colourful tulips mixed with what, come to think of it, kind of looks like marijuana leaves…

51 thoughts on “After the Before

  1. Worth all the effort! I love it. The fullness and shape of the skirt are so pretty and flattering, very feminine. Too bad the yellow lace didn’t make an appearance. Just kidding!!

  2. Ah la la!!! J’aime bien quand les histoires se finissent bien!!! 🙂
    Le résultat est à la hauteur de la souffrance que tu as endurée!!! Cette robette en jette un max didiou!! 😀 Bon ben évidemment je ne me suis toujours pas remise de l’histoire des 3 cols superposés!! Hi hi hi Obligée, la créatrice du patron pensait à toi en la dessinant! Hi hi hi!
    D’ailleurs j’ai vraiment hâte de voir ce que tu feras des autres patrons du livre qui regorge quand même de sacrées pépites!! Mais pourquoi je comprends que dalle au néerlandais???!! Pourquooooooaaaaaaa??!!!! 😀
    Au fait merci pour le lien vers le tuto des coutures en anglaises!! Ça me sera bien utile je pense: moi aussi j’étais persuadée qu’on ne pouvait faire des coutures de ce type que sur des lignes droites: encore une légende urbaine!!!
    Bon en tous cas je suis fan de ta robe à l’imprimé flashy: il y a vraiment un effet ´Waooow´ entre l’avant et l’après, et j’espère vraiment que tu feras partie des gagnantes du concours!! 😉

    • Bah c’est pas grave si tu ne comprends pas le néerlandais: le plus important c’est les patrons, tu as assez de connaissances en couture pour t’en sortir sans les explications, et puis je peux jouer les traductrices en cas de problème!
      C’est fou hein ces histoires de légendes urbaines de la couture?! Je me disais qu’il y avait au moins une technique spéciale genre cranter l’intérieur des coutures anglaises courbes, eh ben non, même pas!
      À très bientôt!

    • Dare I say it? I watched… Smallville, season 2, while unpicking! It’s my go to series at the moment for when I need to do something boring that won’t let me concentrate on a quality programme!

  3. Tassadit, this refashion is ace! Those three (3!!!) peter pan collars are super cute and I admire your vision with the fabric: I must confess that when you showed us the before photos I was a little suspicious that it could be transformed but you have proven that anything is possible with skill and patience Don’t bit yourself up for the tears through the process… that’s how we learn, from our mistakes, right? And too bad that Belgian book appears to be written in Flemish. The patterns look cute and while I can follow instructions in French, Flemish is definitely out. A great dress all in all!

  4. Perfection !

    J’ai trouvé ta creation en consultant les participations sur le site T&N. Ta robe est MAGNIFIQUE ! Ca me donne envie de trouver ce bouquin et d’apprendre le neerlandais…

    BARVO !

  5. WOW such a stunning dress, the ones that cause us the most trouble making usually end up being the best in the end, and you will love it for so long because of the work you put into it!
    Well done !

  6. Fantastic! You are very clever. I love that pattern, if only it wasn’t in a Belgian magazine 😦 I love French seams too and was scratching my head about how to do it in a recent make (it’s complicated), gave up and serged the seams 😦 I should have persevered. Thanks for the tutorial link!

  7. Three peter pan collars!!! How cute is that? Love your dress.. Well done for persevering and getting there in the end. Sometimes I hate sewing… knitting is more peaceful 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂
      Hmmm, I’m not sure about knitting being more peaceful. Well, it is, usually, but I remember shedding a few tears realising I had made a mistake that forced me to frog fifty rows! 😀

  8. En voyant la première photo, je me suis dit que j’avais déjà vu ce modèle quelque part… et en effet, j’ai feuilleté le livre la semaine passée chez Veritas. J’étais déjà quasi convaincue que j’allais l’acheter mais j’ai d’abord voulu vérifier s’il n’était pas moins cher sur le net (non donc). Bref, il rejoindra très bientôt (tantôt ?) ma collection de livres. Je suppose que tu connais le livre de Gertie ? Il y a plein de modèles rétro très bien expliqués !

    J’adore la robe, elle te va super bien et quel changement avec le modèle initial !

    • À part l’une ou l’autre petite objection niveau organisation du livre (la manière peu claire dont les tailles sont présentées par exemple), c’est vraiment un livre super, plein de chouettes modèles! Et je connais bien sûr le livre de Gertie, je l’ai d’ailleurs, malheureusement je n’ai pas encore pris le temps d’en réaliser un modèle (alors qu’il y en a plusieurs qui me font bien envie!)…
      Merci en tout cas! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Sewing Book Crush: Little Miss Y.’s Homemade Wardrobe | Rue des Renards

  10. Ah chaque fois que je tombe sur cette robe (la tienne) je craque, elle est juste magnifique 🙂
    Tu méritais vraiment de gagner… dommage 😦 Encore bravo pour la transformation !!!!

  11. Pingback: Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! | Rue des Renards

  12. This is absolutely gorgeous and such a smart way to use the fabric from the before dress. Well done for making it through the tough parts!

  13. Pingback: Outfit Along: I’m In! | Rue des Renards

  14. Pingback: Edenham Chelsea | Rue des Renards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s