I bought this dress a while back because I loved the print.
It’s sort of floral in an abstract kinda way, which a not-too-flowery gal like myself really likes. From far away, it looks like a floral print, but look at it up close!
However…I had no idea what to do with the thing. I thought of making it into a blousy top (sans collar)…but wasn’t so thrilled by the idea. Finally, I decided to make it into a halter dress with an empire waist.
First off, I removed that ridonkulous lace collar. Then I hacked off the top of the dress right under the arms, like so.
There was this weird black gauzey material in the top of the dress (I assume to make it as poofy and itchy as possible)
Um…Yeah…that had to go.
Next, I took in the top of the dress a couple inches on each side. I didn’t need to make it fit me perfectly, as I was going to put elastic in the top to make sure it stayed up. Also, I wanted the top to be a little blousy.
Once the sides were taken in, I folded over the top raw edge and sewed it down.
The top wasn’t done yet. I needed to make a place for the elastic to go.
I sewed down the top of the dress again, leaving room for the 1″ elastic to go in. To measure exactly how much elastic I would need, I just wrapped my strip of elastic around the top of my favorite elastic-topped strapless top, and cut it so it would be the same length. Perfecto!
So…now the dress part was almost done, but I needed a couple of straps to make my dress a true halter. Since I didn’t take any of the length off the dress, I didn’t have any strips. Not to worry! I cut a strip from each of the sleeves, and then cut those strips in half. Next, I sewed them end to end like this:
Next, I pinned the strips together with the inside part facing out.
Then, I sewed along the edge of the strips (the pinned side).
Then, I turned these tubes of fabric inside out (technically right side out) with the help of a chopstick.
Now that the pretty print was exposed and ready to be strappified, I tucked in a tad of the fabric on each end of the little fabric tubes and sewed those down (raw edges are gross…remember!). After pressing (just assume you need to press everything ya do) them to make them lie flat, I was ready to sew them on!
I pinned and then sewed the straps to the front of the dress.
Woo hoo! Almost done y’all! Now I needed to thread the elastic into the top of the dress. I attached a safety pin to one end, and worked it through the top, using the safety pin to guide it through.
We’re soooooo close to being done here! I sewed the ends of the elastic together a couple of times.
Then, I sewed the elastic to the back of the dress to make sure it didn’t do that annoying twisting thing elastic tops tend to try to do.
So….yeah….that was a lot of steps, but really easy steps. And I must say, I think the end result was well worth it!
I felt so 1940’s in this dress! I wanted to jitterbug (which I have no idea how to do) or swing dance (once again…no clue). I had to settle for the rhythmless Elaine-ish dance that I seem to have mastered over the years.
Oh! And besides being the “after” photographer for this dress, my dear friend Alex also gave me this for making such an excellent garment (okay…so technically it was for buying him a beer…but whatevs)
I will recirculate my certificate of excellence in due time…so do something excellent in my presence, won’t you?