The Dress that Almost Wasn’t

Hey Everybody!  I know, I’ve been absent for about a week now, but you know I’ll always come back to you, right?  I was just feeling like I hadn’t been spending enough time with my friends, so I took a little break to relax.  Everybody needs a breather every now and again, right?

What follows is probably THE MOST frustrating refashion I’ve ever done, and a testament to my lunkwilled stubbornness.

It all began with this nautical number right here:

 

The loooooove boooooat!

The loooooove boooooat!

 

Had I found this a few weeks ago, it would have probably ended up being my dress for the Yacht Rock soiree I attended a while back.  Sadly, I had no use for this nautical look.

A close inspection of those star buttons revealed they were in pretty bad shape, so I removed them.

 

So sad.

So sad.

 

I also got rid of those giant shoulder pads!

 

Check out that sad & misshapen pad!

Check out that sad & misshapen pad!

 

As most of you know, I HATE wearing white (It only serves to bring out my ghastly pallor), so I tossed this frock into a nice, hot dye bath!

 

This looks like a cool combo...

This looks like a cool combo…

 

This is where things started to go awry.

This dress is a ramie/rayon blend.  Ramie takes dye.  Rayon does not.  This means that I knew I would only be getting a subtle blue out of this.

Except…

 

NOOOOOOO!

NOOOOOOO!

 

The darker bits are where a stain was that I didn’t notice in my initial examination of this dress.  They were super-noticeable and only on that one spot.

I almost gave up right then.

Before scrapping this refashion altogether, I decided to try to dab on a bit of bleach to the spots…

 

Well crap.

Well crap.

Yeah…that didn’t quite work out.

I was so close to giving up.

I took the bottles of dye I had used and splattered random bits of dye on the dress and left it in my sink overnight.

 

An act of desperation.

An act of desperation.

 

When I rinsed it out, I discovered that the splotchy dye hadn’t set at all.  I was back to square one.

I filled a pitcher with a bleach water solution and wadded the dress up inside it.  I figured that if I made the rest of the dress uneven, those splotches might look intentional.

 

I am clearly out of my gourd.

I am clearly out of my gourd.

 

Guess what?  It worked!  HUZZAH!

I was still far from done.  I found some cool buttons in my giant stash, and sewed three onto my dress.  I decided to just leave off the functionless buttons on the left side.

 

Cute, eh?

Cute, eh?

 

I grabbed my seam ripper and got to work removing the sleeves and collar.

 

Begone!  You've stayed your hour!

Begone! You’ve stayed your hour!

 

Next, I unpicked the front and back seams of the crotch.

 

Pick.  Pick.  Pick.

Pick. Pick. Pick.

 

All this unpicking left me with some rapidly-fraying raw edges to deal with.   I put what was about to be my new dress inside-out on my dress form and pinned the unpicked legs into a skirt.

 

See?

See?

 

I stitched this down and cut off the extra fabric.

 

Whirrrrr!

Whirrrrr!

 

I pinned down the raw edges of the collar and arm holes…

 

Securing the perimeter!

Securing the perimeter!

 

No more fraying!

No more fraying!

 

…and stitched those down too.

 

We're almost done!

We’re almost done!

 

I took in each side to make my frock perfectly fitted, like ya do.

 

Just a little pin & stitch!

Just a little pin & stitch!

 

When I tried on my new dress to see how it was shaping up, I was alarmed to see a little something extra I hadn’t planned for…

 

My dress…has…a penis.

My dress…has…a tiny penis.

 

It was awful.  After all that work on this extremely frustrating refashion, I had somehow ended up with a suspiciously bulgy-crotched frock that there was NO WAY I was going out in public in!

I almost gave up.

But then I took the bulgy area, folded it under and pinned in from behind to do a weird faux 2 piece thing that I think really looks quite awesome.

And now, BEHOLD!  The most annoying refashion I’ve ever executed!  :)

 

TA DA!

TA DA!

 

I actually love this.

 

What do you think?

What do you think?

 

Le back!

Le back!

 

I wore my fancy new frock to SC Pride, where I made some new friends!

 

I thought she said her name was Josephine, but someone told me it's actually Justine.  Whatever her name is, isn't she lovely?

I thought she said her name was Josephine, but someone told me it’s actually Justine. Whatever her name is, isn’t she lovely?

 

Beetlejuice!  Beetlejuice!  Beetlejuice!

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

 

I had a blast with my friends, who all thought my dress was pretty swell.

 

Love these guys!

Love these guys!

 

Such a great turnout!

Such a great turnout!

 

Dan and I even enjoyed brandy and cigars on a patio!

 

We're so fancy...

We’re so fancy…

 

Breakin' the law.  Breakin' the law.

Breakin’ the law. Breakin’ the law.

 

Such a lovely day!  And I’m SO very very happy I didn’t give up!  Do you find yourself stuck on a refashion like this every now and again?  How do you get over the “I really don’t want to do this anymore” hump?

Cheers!

 

ba92114

About these ads

An Off-the-Cuff Off-the-Shoulder No-Sew ReFash!

Could I possibly fit one more hyphen in that title?  Who am I kidding?  Of course I could.  Just be happy I spared you!

Thanks for your sweet comments yesterday, you guys.  You’re all pretty terrific.  :)  I need to take you all out for dinner sometime.  Rest assured, I’m much happier today!

Ahem.  As I said, I’d love to take you all out for dinner, but on this night I had plans with my dear pal, Ryan.  But what did I feel like wearing for a casual dinner-and-drinks evening?

How ’bout this?

 

Hawt.

Hawt.

 

Okay.  I didn’t have the time or the inclination to expend much effort on this one (hence the no-sew).  Luckily I didn’t have to.  I just removed everything from this dress that wasn’t a cute dress.  Easy!

 

There we go!

There we go!

 

I used that bottom cut-off hem to cinch the waist, and pulled that new expanded neckline off my shoulder, a la Flashdance.  That’s all it took!

 

Well hello there, mysterious orb!

Well hello there, mysterious orb!

 

Tasty Hunter Gatherer brews were enjoyed!

 

Wheat is neat!

Wheat is neat!

 

…and here it is in the daylight!

 

…as my neighbors look on in confusion at the camera and tripod in my front yard.

…as my neighbors look on in confusion at the camera and tripod in my front yard.

 

Ryan thought it was pretty swell too!

 

Hello!

Hello!

 

Cheers!

 

ba9914

What Would Julia Do? Dress

Blogs are weird.  I remember a conversation I had with a slightly tipsy acquaintance last year.  She told me, “I don’t read your blog anymore.  I’m going through a really sh*tty time right now and I just can’t deal with seeing you being all happy all the frikkin’ time.”  I thought this comment was kind of rude, but I actually got it.  Blogs are weird.  You’re only seeing what I care to show you, and yes, I’m pretty happy for pretty much most of the time.  If you’re feeling lousy, you might not want to see that.  But then, every now and again I’ll have a completely sh*tty day that leaves me feeling quite melancholic.

I hope that acquaintance is reading this right now, as she’ll finally get the schadenfreude fix she was craving.

Even on a day that I pretty much know in advance isn’t going to go well, I can somehow still manage to eek out a refashion.

I started with this dress right here…

 

Don't look so happy there, m'dear.  This day doesn't end well.

Don’t look so happy there, m’dear. This day doesn’t end well.

 

…and this holey & well-loved Tshirt right here:

 

Julia Child is kind of my hero.

Julia Child is kind of my hero.

 

Swallowing my slow simmering feelings of dread, I pinned the sides to take it in, 1″ at the bust, 1.5″ at the waist, and .5″ at the hips.  I got these measurements by just pulling the fabric of the dress taught against my body while I was wearing it to see how I wanted it to fit.

 

Bust, Waist, and Hips

Bust, Waist, and Hips

 

Then, I filled in the  gaps between those pins with more pins.

 

ALL THE PINS!

ALL THE PINS!

 

I stitched those sides down…

 

Don't fret!  I serged it when I was done!  :)

Don’t fret! I serged it when I was done! :)

 

I gave my new frock a new hem…

 

Just pin it, then stitch it!

Just pin it, then stitch it!

 

…then pinned something pretty awesome onto the bottom of the skirt.

 

Hey girl, Hey.

My apologies for the pins in your face, Julia!

 

I stitched these two pieces down.

 

Carefully whirring around the outline of one of my favorite people!

Carefully whirring around the outline of one of my favorite people!

 

And that’s it!

 

A funky frock for a lousy day!

A funky frock for a lousy day!

 

 

WTF, Universe?  I thought we were buds.

WTF, Universe? I thought we were buds.

 

What would you have done, Julia?

What would you have done, Julia?

 

She's not very helpful, I fear.

She’s not very helpful, I fear.

 

So, there ya go.  A refashion.  Woooooo.  Currently feeling rather bummed, disappointed, and uninspired, but I promise to be back to my old obnoxiously happy self soon.  In the meantime, I’m just happy to have lovely friends with lovely kitchens that are always there to answer a text that simply says, “Mind if I come over for a minute?”

 

I'm also thankful for Bota Box.

I’m also thankful for Bota Box.

 

Meh.  Cheers?

 

ba9814

 

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