There’s a lot to unpack in that title, eh?
Brace yourself. This is going to be a long post, but that’s only because there’s a lot going on in today’s refashion. Bear with me. We’ll make it through this together and it’ll all make some sort of sense in the end.
When I scored this dress for $1, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with it right away.
I’ve been seeing a lot of ’90s-inspired babydoll dresses in stores and online as of late. A professor friend of mine told me he’s seen several of his students pairing these iconic frocks with Doc Martins, and I must say I approve! Although another professor friend saw a student wearing a T-shirt that read, “Let’s make babies.”, so perhaps I shouldn’t put too much stock in this.
This was one of my favorite trends in the ’90s, and I’ve refashioned a babydoll-style dress before.
Since I don’t believe in that ageist “If you wore it the first time it was in style, you shouldn’t wear it again” thing, I decided to DIY my own ’90s-inspired babydoll dress!
First, I marked the front of my dress with a safety pin where I’d be cutting the dress in two.
I chose a location that was a good bit below where I wanted the top to end since I knew tailoring the top would make it shorter than you see here.
Then, I made my first chop!
I put the top of my dress on my dress form and pinned the sides.
I didn’t go super-fitted with this, as I want it to be a little roomy.
I stitched down each side.
…and cut off the extra fabric from the sides.
I tried the top of my dress on, and now had a much better idea of where I wanted it to end and the bottom of the dress to begin.
I cut off a little more.
Now for the bottom!
I cut off some of the fabric from the top of the bottom.
I just guesstimated about how long this would need to be by holding it up on myself.
I measured where I wanted to make a chop down the side.
My hips are 36″, so 42″ (21″x2) seemed about right for a roomy, but not too roomy skirt.
I made a long chop down the side.
I sewed up the side of the bottom of the dress.
But wait! The top of the dress is much smaller than the bottom!
Yep. And that’s part of the plan, my friend!
I left the bottom bigger to allow for my hips and so I could gather it to make it more voluminous at the waist!
Creating gathers is super easy.
To gather the top of the bottom part of the dress, I set my machine to a basting stitch (5) and cranked up the tension to 5 as well.
I made sure to leave a looooong tail of thread before I started, as this is how I’d be able to adjust the gathers after if it was necessary.
Then, I just sewed a straight line and my machine created gathers as I went!
Now to put it all back together!
You might also like this tiered dress refashion I did (without a pattern!).
I pinned the top and bottom of my dress back together with right sides facing each other.
Then, I sewed them together, making sure to sew below the stitch I used to gather the bottom (so it wouldn’t show).
Here’s what it looked like from the back. You can see how I preserved the top part of the zipper (Yes…you can sew over a plastic zipper!).
I ironed everything down and was done…or was I?
I tried my dress on, but thought it was incredibly boring. I hated that neckline.
Then I remembered my plan to repurpose the white collar I removed from my last refashion.
But it wasn’t where I thought I had left it. Grrrrrrr!!!!
You guys, I searched EVERYWHERE and couldn’t find the darned thing!!!! I even looked in the trash (ew). I spent about an hour on this quest before giving up.
It’ll probably turn up somewhere odd when I least expect it, but that was of no help to me in my moment of collar need!
I couldn’t find any fabric in my stash that would make a suitable collar for my dress. Then I remembered my considerable pile of fabric face masks!
An idea was born! I would turn one of my face masks into a cute collar for my dress!
I chose this one that my good friend Karen gave me.
It’s not hard to see why I leaned towards this one for my project…
I unpicked the pleating from the sides with my seam ripper.
Then, I cut off the elastic from the sides, pulling it taut so it wouldn’t be visible after I snipped.
I made a tiny snip on the underside where the metal nose piece was encased.
I could have unpicked all around this, pulled it out and then restitched it, but since no one was going to see this part, I didn’t think it mattered.
Next, I yanked out the metal piece.
I ironed out all of those pleats.
Then, I cut my mask in two lengthwise.
Now to make the whole collar thing happen!
I folded and pressed each side into the collar shape I thought would work best for this dress.
Then, I pinned them to the neck of my dress.
I carefully sewed each side down.
I had to tack the back parts of my collar down to keep them from flipping up, which I did.
At long last, my dress refashion was complete!
You guys…I think my new collar makes this dress.
That being said, I look forward to playing with other collar shapes and sizes as well with my other masks.
I’m also happy to have a figured out a way to repurpose my fabric face masks when the CDC says we don’t need to wear them anymore (don’t worry…I still have pllllenty).
I styled my dress with a pair of thrifted vintage Bass pumps and red sunnies.
The dress itself turned out pretty cute as well. I’m happy with its new waistline and am glad I was able to preserve that bottom flower detail.
My new dress enjoyed a nice dinner at Motor Supply Bistro with Mr. Refashionista and the in-laws!
Thanks for bearing with me on this one! I know…it was a lot of steps. But I hope you picked up a couple of ideas you’ll try soon!
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