You guys…I’m worried.
No…I’m not merely referring to the general malaise into which 2020 has plunged us all.
I’m worried about this dress.
You’re looking at an Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dress I found on the $1 clearance rack at the thrift store. I bought it because I thought it looked nice enough. I also thought mayyyyybe no one could tell it was a bridesmaid dress.
I wore it a couple of times. Once to a red dress charity event and once to dinner at a nice restaurant.
You guys. I THINK I’VE BEEN WEARING A MATERNITY DRESS.
Now that I have seen the side view of this dress I cannot unsee it, and I definitely can’t wear it again.
The top, however, fits realllly well! It seemed a shame to get rid of the whole dress altogether!
As I mentioned in my recent Christmas hoodie dress refashion, I have quite a few pieces of holiday apparel I’ve been stocking up on while thrifting.
Suddenly, I was inspired!
Let’s make a DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Dress, shall we?
I didn’t want to use up my entire Christmas sweater stash on this one dress, so I carefully selected the following:
This cute reindeer sweater (size Small)…
These cozy holiday joggers (size Large).
Now that my pieces were chosen, I was worried…did I have enough fabric to actually make a cute DIY Christmas sweater dress?
Only time would tell!
Let’s start with the bodice of the dress.
First, I got to work on separating the bodice and belt thing from the top of the dress.
I picked and picked.
I also unpicked the back zipper from the bottom half of the dress.
When I was done, the top of the dress looked like this:
After I separated the pieces of the belt thing (technical term), I labeled them with a fabric pencil, so I could remember how to put it together again.
I cut off the top part of the holiday joggers and pinned the pieces of the belt thing to it.
Then, I cut them out.
Then, I unpinned everything, flipped the jogger fabric right side up, and pinned that over the satin layer.
I decided to leave the original satin attached underneath it, as the jogger fabric was quite thin. I thought the satin, along with the interfacing would better hold the structure of the fitted bodice upon completion.
I made sure to label the pieces as I worked.
I sewed the jogger fabric to each piece, following along the original stitching used to attach interfacing to the satin.
When that was done, I reattached the pieces of the belt thing together.
Then, I pinned the belt thing back onto the bodice of my dress, right sides facing each other.
Here it is flipped over, so you can see what I’m going for.
I happily reunited the belt thing with the bodice of the dress with the help of my sewing machine.
Now, let’s move on to the bottom of my DIY Christmas Sweater Dress!
I pulled a dress out of my closet that I love the fit of, and laid the detached bodice of my red satin dress over it to make sure they could work together.
Spoiler Alert: The bottom of that leafy green dress is about to become a pattern for my new Christmas dress!
I pulled out a roll of pattern paper and traced the skirt pieces of my leafy green dress onto it.
If you don’t have pattern paper, parchment or wax paper from your kitchen (taped together for larger pieces) will work for this too!
Since the skirt of my dress was just two pieces repeated, I only needed two pattern pieces (because I can just flip them over to work for the opposite side).
You can see how I added a seam allowance to each pattern piece (the line around the original traced line).
I also labeled each piece in much the same way I labeled the belt thing to denote which side of the pattern piece worked for which part of the dress.
Since I would need to add the zipper to the back of my new dress and the leafy green dress has no zipper, I folded the large front piece in two. This would later become two back pieces.
The zipper will go between them.
I cut my reindeer sweater apart and measured out where it would lay on the front center pattern piece.
You can see I don’t have quite enough fabric for the top of the pattern piece.
This is the tricky part of this type of refashion. It’s a LOT of puzzle work.
I ended up cutting off the top part of the pattern piece where the sweater ended and used a piece of sleeve to fill the gap.
I attached the two pieces together when I was done, thus creating the single front panel.
The front and back side panels were much easier. I just used the legs of the joggers!
The back center panels got a little tricky.
I ended up using some of the fabric from the sweater sleeves combined with the fabric from the pockets of the joggers.
Once I had all my pattern pieces cut out, I started attaching them all together.
First, I sewed the front.
Then I sewed the back, EXCEPT that center seam where my zipper would end up.
THEN, I sewed the front and back together.
Time to attach the skirt of my dress to the bodice.
I pinned the skirt to the bodice, right sides facing each other.
I stitched it all together on my sewing machine.
Now that the top and bottom of my dress are attached, it’s time to tackle that zipper!
First, I pinned the zipper into place.
Then I hand-basted & then hand-stitched it into place.
I could have used my machine for this, but with all of those different fabrics combined, I just thought it would be easier to do it by hand.
I sewed up the bottom of the back of my dress up to the zipper
Now for a happy holiday hem!
I pinned a verrrrrry small hem on the bottom the dress as it was looking quite short.
I stitched the jogger part down with a simple straight stitch and used a wide long zigzag for the sweater part.
The zigzag will keep my sweater fabric from fraying and keep the front from warping due to the tension of the thread/being pulled through the feed dogs.
I gave everything a good press annnnnd….
Look at my new DIY Christmas Sweater Dress now!
I couldn’t decide whether to wear my new dress with a wig or a beret, so I went with both! 😉
The back didn’t end up lining up perfectly, but I’m still okay with it.
Some of you might remember when I used a similar technique to make an Ugly Christmas Sweater Gown a few years ago!
Mr. Refashionista and I hopped over to Main Street to snag a few pics by the SC State House Christmas tree!
I hope you’re all finding fun and creative ways to celebrate the holiday season this year!