This refashion made me curse. A lot. The really naughty swears too. Not because it was p'tictly difficult but because I apparently don't know when to stop.
It made me rethink my most dearly held belief, "everything looks better with a ruffle or a bow" and I had to take TWO days of stepping away from it to realise that it was done. AFTER I'd made unnecessary meters of ruffle and after I'd drafted and cut out a Peter Pan collar (which actually was good practice but frustrating not to use).
Anyway. Here's the before, purchased for silly cheap in the Old Navy sale :
It's, well... when my sweetie saw it on for the first time he said, completely earnestly,
"I like your new nightdress".
Which yup. Totally fair. I explained that it wasn't in fact a nightdress and he stammered about what a nice new dress it was (because he's awesome).
But I knew he was right the first time. Still, I actually wore it in all it's shapeless glory a few times with jeans and a cardi. And an extra 42 lbs of Erin chubs. It was not my bestest look ever.
But I turned it into this:
It's now proper dress length instead of unflattering tunic length, it has slightly puffy sleeves and it has a drawstring waist. I'm actually really happy with it.
Here's what I did.
First I snipped the lining of the dress out. Which means that I'll need to wear a slip. But actually, turns out my granny was right, one really should always wear a slip. Avoiding cling and smoothing bumps AND not flashing your dainties is awesome. She was less right about the smoking and alcoholism, but you can't win em all.
Then I got rid of the STINKING pockets.
Those suckers sat exactly at my hips and puffed out. I'm plenty puffy on the hips already. So I sewed the gaps up and cut the pocket fabric out.
The length was just exactly wrong on me. . I used the hemmed bottom of the lining to add length (yay for LAZY!) but I added a bit of interfacing so it wasn't so flimsy.
I used the blue bias binding along the hem to tie together the two colours and (I hope) make the bit at the bottom look less random. I used it on the sleeves too.
Next, I unpicked the ruching from the back yoke and added a huge, practically-the-whole-length-of-the-dress dart, which made it a bit less sack like.
I was going to add darts at the front under the boobs but while I happened to be perusing Anthro (big surprise!) I spotted this little Orla Kiely number.
It's the Beanstalk dress and it's $229 Canadian.
I decided that a drawstring waist was the way to go, so I made a channel on the inside of the dress to run a drawstring through. Then I hand stitched two buttonholes to pull the ribbons out of. I can take pictures of what that looks like if you've a burning curiosity. I found it about a MILLION times easier to hand stitch the buttonholes than to machine them and pick them out 50 times.
I used a spot of grey ribbon as a drawstring but I might switch it out for the plain light blue. I tried it with the dark blue but it was a bit "HEY TUMMY! WHOOO" which, as previously discussed, is not cool.
And ta-da. Done. Well it would have been if I had the sense to leave it alone. But nope.
I made acres of ruffles out of the light blue. They looked... not awesome.
So, inspired by the Orla dress I made a collar which looked.... nightdressy. Also not awesome.
So I stalled. Hung the dress up and left it alone for two days.
And realised. Dude. That dress is done. So here it is.
While we've had a mild winter it hasn't been, strolling-around-in-shirtsleeves-warm; so I've shown it as I'll be wearing it now. But here's how I'll wear it when it warms up a bit. (um, but with a slip underneath. You can see my foundation garments a bit in this shot. Avert your eyes if you're easily offended!)
As a weird aside, I look a bit like a picture of my mum in the '70's in this shot, only not as pretty (my ma, is a stone fox).