A Sunburnt Strapless Dress

Q&A Monday: You CAN Sew on a Button!
Caeley's Reader ReFash!

I love dark blue!  I think it’s a good color for me and it really works with the pale skin/dark hair combo I’ve got going on.  :)

Love it!
Love it!

What I don’t love is the terribly dated look of this frock!  With that high neck and those puffy sleeves I’d die of heat exhaustion.  That cool v-pattern and those awesome buttons won me over, though!  :)

This dress fit me just fine.  But lots of things had to go!

I started with that neck tie thingy.


That one little snip led me to a chopping frenzy!


As you can see, I chopped off a little extra from the sides.  This meant I needed to stitch them right back up!

Pin.  Stich.  Repeat.
Pin. Stitch. Repeat.

Now that I’ve gotten those sides together, it’s time to figure out the top!

I pinned the top part over once and pinned it down, making sure to keep the alignment of the cool V-shaped folds.

Gimme a V!
Gimme a V!

When stitching something like this down on your machine, you’ll want to make sure the direction you’re sewing in isn’t going against the direction of the detail you’re sewing down.   For me, this meant starting my stitchery at the front middle, stopping at the back, then starting again, with the top facing the other way.



I stitched the top down with a zigzag stitch so it would be able to stretch.  If the fabric wasn’t as stretchy, I’d want to add elastic.  Luckily, I didn’t need to!

My new dress was perfect for my sadly sunburned skin!  I tossed on a $1 thrifted belt to break up the solid color a bit and make my new dress more springy!  :)

Straps would not do!  Yowch!
Straps would not do! Yowch!

I went tubing down the river with pals over the weekend.  And forgot to apply sunscreen.   :(  It was pretty miserable…

Not.  Fun.  Times.  :/
Not. Fun. Times. :/

…and you can’t even see the worst of it (be glad!)!

After languishing at home all day slathering myself in aloe goo in between cold showers, I desperately needed to get out of the house!

Luckily, The Kraken was having one of their awesome $2 beer sales!  I met up with a friend to check it out!  :)

Soooo "hoppy" to not be stuck at home anymore!
Soooo “hoppy” to not be stuck at home anymore!


Oh!  And thanks to everyone who voted in my One Dress, Three Ways series!


Lucky Dress #2 was the winner,

Sassy, no?
Sassy, no?


followed by Top #3


(although plenty of you gave Dress #1 some no-sew love too!)



Thanks for voting!  I’ll DEFINITELY be doing something like this again!


4.3 (86.17%) 94 votes

38 thoughts on “A Sunburnt Strapless Dress

  1. My Dear, you are the cutest thing! I look forward to each email! I am a long time up cycler in almost everything. I am retired and make art…of course using up cycled supplies. Keep up the good work and great designs!

  2. I love this dress and love the colour on you as well. I’ve never really had a sun burn more like a sun tan. It’s on my legs. the disadvantage of having to wear socks and sneakers to school: dark legs and white feet:(

  3. Wow what a transformation!! It’s a gorgeous little dress and perfect for sunburned skin!
    Try putting warm tea bags on your sunburn, it will take the redness out and stop it itching and it will heal within a day or so and leave you with a lovely tan :)


    Check out my refashion page!!
    Or click in MY NAME ABOVE for my blog!!

    Ps I voted number two as well, that high low dress style is just perfect on your body and gives you some curves!


  4. I just love coming here and seeing what you are up to. I have a 10 year old that is going to be a re-fashionista,too. She has been sewing since she was 7. I need to show her your blog and what you do here- well, except for the beer drinking!;>)

  5. Love all your posts, but I went into formatting shock without the side-by-side, before and after shots.
    Keep up the good work.

  6. I love this dress. The color is very pretty and you sure made it unrecognizable. It looks sooooo much better.

  7. Your comments under the pictures are hilarious!

    I love the colour of your dress, and the finished product looks nice and cool.

  8. I’ve been following you for awhile and I just have to tell you that you inspire me to shop my closet more and the sale racks less. Xoxoxoxo

  9. I can totally feel your pain with the sunburn. I have that northern European fair skin (English-German-Danish) while my brother inherited the southern French – Morrocan skin. My brother gets a beautiful tan in 10 minutes, while my skin turns lobster-red.

    I really like the strapless dress, and I love the styling. Well done!


  10. I love the dress that won! That looks so good on you (everything does) but that looks extra good! It shows off your curves perfectly!

    1. I also love how your stuff is just laid out on the floor. I hate when people have a million dollars in equipment and try to convince people that they can do the same things at home!

  11. Awesome as always! I’ve been following you for a little while now and I’ve been meaning to ask you a question. You’re always talking about finding these “before” garments for $1 at resale shops, but I don’t know how you do it! I live in Houston, and as far as I can tell, the shops here don’t believe in this. Goodwill charges a flat $9.99 for ALL dresses, no matter how old, ugly, or damaged. I’ve been to several smaller stores as well and I ask about their dollar days or dollar bins or half off days and they look at me like I’m nuts! Any suggestions?

    1. From what I can tell, this really does vary from region to region. Have you found a Goodwill Clearance Center near you? Also, have you checked out any church thrift stores? Usually they’re cheaper…at least here.

      1. Aha! One of the Goodwill employees told me to find out if we had a Goodwill Outlet here and I googled that and came up with nothing. But there IS a Goodwill Clearance Center. You are fantastic!

  12. long time reader, first time commenter. I absolutely love your inspiration! Sunburn tip: Put vinegar on a paper towel and place directly on the burn, draws the heat right out!

  13. Just a small home rem tip for your next burn. Mix one part white vinegar with about three parts water ( I eyeball it) dampen some rags, lay them on the burnt parts and go to sleep. Make sure you shower in the morning, only pregnant ladies like the idea of human sized pickles. The vinegar water will pull all of the heat out of the burn while you sleep!
    I am a redheaded pale girl and this has been my go to my whole life! I have never suffered from sun burn pain the next day!

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