Blue Stripes

BlueStripes2Woohoo, it’s a dress, not a tunic! And I felt totally at ease when wearing it to work, so it’s not even one of those projects I can only wear when I’m not working! And I love it, it’s very me! And it’s soooo comfortable! And, and, and… !

BlueStripes3In short, if only I had known when to stop the first day I worked on it, this could have been the perfect sewing project! But I didn’t stop when I was tired and it made me both use pins that were too thick (and blunt!) for the fabric, resulting in tiny holes at the side seams (where I had to pin a lot to match the stripes), and… cut a hole in the bodice with the serger blade while serging the waist seam! Twice. That’s how I lost a few centimetres of the bodice and ended up with a babydoll mini dress instead of a high waisted normal one.

BlueStripes4

Just checking… Yes, I can raise my arms without revealing too much!

But I’m pretty proud of myself because for once I didn’t freak out, I just thought ok, how do I fix it, and fix it I did! Also, I’m terribly happy I chose to use this cheap fabric to test run the dress I had in mind instead of the precious fabric (like really precious: there are foxes involved!) I eventually plan to use.BlueStripes5The stripes are still a bit uneven at the waist seam on my left side, but I didn’t think I could fix that without loosing too much length. I first wanted to cover it up with a bow, but I finally chose to let it be, and I must say I don’t see it anymore unless I’m looking for it specifically.BlueStripes6As I said when I showed you my sketch of the dress, the pattern is Sewaholic’s Renfrew top. I changed the top into a dress by adding a gathered skirt. I also added patch pockets (I love patch pockets: easy and cute!) and I omitted the sleeve bands (and lengthened the 3/4 sleeves) and cut my own collar band. I gathered the skirt with elastic, but when I had to redo the waist seam, the elastic got cut away, which resulted in a looser fit, perfect for a babydoll dress.

BlueStripes1I took the pictures coming back from work yesterday, so this is the exact outfit I wore to work. I really don’t understand why black and blue shouldn’t be worn together, so I refuse to abide by that stupid rule!

Wearing a garment as soon as I’ve finished it is usually a sign of success, so I feel like I can say without a doubt that this dress will be worn a lot! I hope the couple tiny holes at the side seams won’t shorten its life too much, and I actually plan on mending those to prevent them from getting bigger. Anyway, let’s hope I learn from my mistakes and my next version goes without a hitch!

Babydoll Dress

Babydoll1Much better, don’t you think? Let me remind you what it looked like before:

Before1.1

Meh with or without a belt.

Side view: what the FUPA?!

Side view: what the FUPA?!

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 it 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.

Babydoll2

With the empire waist belt.

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!

There are pockets now!

There are pockets now!

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.

Babydoll4I 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!

BabydollDetail1I love the new buttons. The old ones were green and silver and much too small, both aesthetically and for the buttonholes. The new ones are the right size, the right colour and shiny as can be!

BabydollDetail2Don’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. 🙂