Subscribe to updates via email!

Gingham House Dress to Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion

DIY Tube Top from Old Lady Top
Vintage Nightgown Refashion

As we machete our way through this summer of our discontent, I think it’s important to dress comfortably.

Refashionista Gingham House Dress to Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion Before
Whoa. Not THAT comfortably.

After a recent conversation with my friend Erin (who is my voice of reason in all things I care to be reasonable about), I feel like I’m getting the hang of this quarantine thing. If nothing else, the current situation has taught me to stop wasting my energy on things I can’t control.

For YEARS I’ve talked about how nice it would be able to focus on my blog/be self-employed/do my own thing for a while.

I have that now.

Yes, I have all of these things under some of the worst circumstances imaginable, but I basically have what I’ve wanted for a long time.

While I regret making the birthday wish that sports would just stop for a while back in March (THIS ISN’T WHAT I MEANT!!!!), I might as well keep calm and refashion on. Because there’s very little else I can control at the moment.

Speaking of Refashioning on & sports, let’s tackle this house dress!

It’s a baggy non-flattering house dress. Very simple.

But it does have ONE charming aspect that drew me to it right away.

closeup of tulip pocket
Pretty pocket!

Isn’t that just the sweetest pocket ever???? I couldn’t wait to upgrade its living situation.

First, I removed a few things.

That neck bow was the first to go!

removing neck bow with seam ripper
I hate you, so you must go.

That lace collar was the next item on my list.

snipping off lace collar

I could have unpicked the collar with my seam ripper to remove this part (it would look a little nicer), but I thought snipping it off would work okay enough, since picking it out would have added a lot of time to this refashion.

After I carefully snipped off the collar, I applied fray check to the edge.

As I snipped, I noticed this and giggled a little:

Tag that says Pleasant Memories
Who names these brands? Seriously.

Next, I removed those sleeves with my seam ripper. Now they’re just a pleasant memory.

seam ripping off sleeves
Pick. Pick. Pick.

Last but not least, I picked off the front pocket.

picking off front pocket with seam ripper

Next, I got to work on those armholes.

I always recommend doing this part before taking a piece in!

First, I pinned them under.

pinned armhole
My arm will go here.

Then, I stitched them down.

sewing down armhole
It’s whirrrrr time!

I made a dramatic chop!

In order to make this fit & flare sundress refashion happen, I’d need to separate it into two pieces (the fit & the flare).

chopping off top of dress
The drama!

This was going to be the new bodice of my new sundress!

I fitted the bodice on my dress form.

fitting bodice on dress form
Gee, Jillian…you’re not giving yourself much breathing room.

Okay, If you’re executing this maneuver at home, I recommend NOT making your bodice as fitted as I did here, especially if it has a front button placket. The end result fits okay, but if I eat one more COVID snack, it won’t.

I also recommend sewing the darts down first, and THEN going back to re-fit the sides. I did this all in one step and am darn lucky it worked out.

I stitched my darts down, making sure to leave a long tail at the end to tie them off. Don’t backstitch this, or it’ll look weird. I look weird enough already, so I don’t need to add wonky darts to the mix.

sewing dart
See (look closely!)?

Use a pin to help get your knots tied close to the fabric. Just wrap the knot around the pin, then use the pin to push it closer to the fabric.

knotting off dart
Then, take a blurry one-handed photo of yourself doing so.

I trimmed off the excess fabric from the sides and was ready for my next step!

I laid the skirt part of my dress under the bodice and made a couple of cuts.

Cut 1.
cutting skirt of dress
cutting other side of skirt
Cut 2.

You guys. I can’t believe how close this refashion came to not working. I’m taking some big risks here. I just eyeballed the skirt and cut it, leaving room for a seam allowance at the top where it needed to join the bodice.

I recommend laying out a similar dress you own over each part of your refashion to double-check size before you cut anything.

I stitched each side of the skirt down.

pinned skirt of dress
Pin, then stitch!

Now, let’s bring it all together!

I pinned the bodice of my dress to the skirt, measuring to make sure everything was even!

pinning bodice to skirt
It’s all coming together!

I made sure to check the snaps for alignment by flipping the top up and fastening them while everything was pinned.

Then, I stitched it together!

sewing bodice to skirt of dress
Sew exciting!

Now for that hem!

I cut a little bit off the bottom.

cutting off hem
Just a smidgen.

Then, I folded it under and pinned it!

pinning hem
Fold & Pin!

A few of you have asked if I press my hems before pinning & sewing them. I don’t (usually) and it’s never been an issue. They never bunch up or anything like that. Now, If I were to use a blind hem stitch or something like that, I would want to iron it first.

I prefer to just iron everything at the very end when I’m done to save time.

I stitched my non-ironed hem down.

stitching down hem
It’s fine! See?

But what about that pocket????

I told you it was coming back!

I pinned that fabulous pocket onto my dress.

pinning pocket to dress
Welcome back!

After switching out the thread in my machine from white to red, I stitched it down!

stitching pocket onto dress
Best. Pocket. Ever.

And that’s it!

Here’s how my Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion turned out!

Refashionista Gingham House Dress to Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion After
so cute!

Since I’ve had short hair for the vast majority of my adult life, the only “up” styles I know how to do are the ones I did in High School.

refashionista close up
It’s all I know.

I like how my dress turned out, but like said before, wish I had made it a liiiiittttle roomier. Next time, I’ll be a bit more careful.

Refashionista Gingham House Dress to Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion After 2
I just looooove that pocket!


Refashionista Gingham House Dress to Fit & Flare Sundress Refashion Before and After
DIY Tube Top from Old Lady Top
Vintage Nightgown Refashion