Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Clearance dress re-imagined

I was in the supermarket and spotted this dress in the clearance for only £12- It was plus size with a gathered skirt so had huge amounts of Broiderie Anglaise fabric in it, lined, so I couldn't resist buying it to cut up & re-make to fit!  I had almost bought some Broiderie earlier in the day so it was a bit like fate!
 So it was the wrong size in every way so I cut out all the different elements - I carefully removed the sleeves by cutting as close to the seam as I could (with a view to re-using them), I cut the  skirt off from the waistband, then I cut down the side seams of the bodice, leaving only the shoulder seam intact.  I kept the lining & top fabric together at all times as I wanted to keep it lined
First job was to fit the bodice, so I put it on my dress form inside out.  Firstly I pinned in some darts at front and back to get the fit right.  There was the nice detailing in the pattern down the front & back so I got the darts as close as I could manage to those, without going over them so I kept that looking good.  Once the darts were pinned, I then realised the shoulders were a bit low (armholes were too low) so I took up the shoulder seam a bit to get it all into the right position.  Final job fitting the bodice was to then fit the side seams.  The dress form makes this super easy...

Once I was happy with the fit on the bodice, I moved to the skirt.  Just look how much fabric I had to play with!!
I cut the skirt down the side seams given it needed a lot of reshaping & I decided I would put pleats, directly aligned with the bodice detailing.  I also matched up the zig zag of the pattern top & skirt.  I marked the mid point on the fabric, then measured out to the pleats on either side.  I made the pleats 12cm each, so folded over at 6 cm and sewed down for 15cm.  I then pressed it open & sewed it open.

I then shaped darts into the back skirt piece &  using the dress form again & fitting it to the bodice sewed the side seams back together.     Whilst working on it, I sewed the lining to the top fabric down all the seams so it didn't move: 

Next job was simply attaching the bodice & skirt.

Next job the sleeves.  I basically just cut the arm hole so it was in the right place on the bodice & then re-attached the sleeves  on all sides but at the top - as you can see there was a lot of extra fabric there:

I then just put in a pleat to take in the extra fabric, aligned with the shoulder seam:

I wanted to add some detailing to jazz it up a bit and I had the wonderful thick ribbon I bought recently - so that was destined for the waistband!  Here I first just pinned it on to check that it was sitting right, then I stitched it carefully in cream down the cream stripes top & bottom of the ribbon.

And it was nearly finished!!  I had originally planned not to touch the hem (lazy :), but I realised it was just too long so I did cut it and re-hemmed  it to the right length.  And a zip had to go in-, down the side seam (site of the original zip but a lot further in) big job was lining the ribbon up so the stripes sat well - it would look terrible if that was off (well it was off the first time I tacked it and it did look awful, but I got it right with a bit of alteration)

So then it was finished- except I felt the sleeve was a bit boring, so I went for a bit of added detail and made a placket to add to it using a small button:

And then it really was finished!! I thought it may have been a quick project given I was starting from a finished dress, but I re did everything apart from the neckline & avoiding to make a separate lining- but it is a very cost effective dress and I like it a lot !!!

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