I’ve had this black dress on my refashion rack for a couple of months. I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it.
SPOILER ALERT: My original plan doesn’t work out!
I finally decided to turn this dress into an entirely different dress! I snipped off the seam to one of the shoulders.
Then, I grabbed a spool of grosgrain ribbon…
…and pinned it to both sides of the recently cut shoulder.
I stitched each one down.
Do you see where I’m going with this? My plan was to make the two shoulder pieces the new front of the dress, and use the other arm hole as a cool keyhole back!
I still had some fitting to do! I took the whole thing in from the front (so as not to lose the back).
I trimmed off the extra fabric, threw my new dress on, and was immediately disappointed. :/
It just looked weird, folks. First off, it wasn’t the casual dress I was going for. It looked way too formal for anything I have coming up in the near future. AND I didn’t take into account that the front and back of the dress weren’t identical. This made the dress hang askew on me.
I thought all was lost, until I remembered this post by Sally over at Charity Shop Chic!
I NEVER think of going bare-midriffed. I’m over 30. It just seems weird and inappropriate, right? But Sally looks so very cute in her top! Surely I can look cute in what was about to be mine as well!
I made a big chop!
To play a bit more with the asymmetry of my new top, I decided to stitch down only one of the shoulders into a V, and left the other one as-is!
I think it’s quite fetching!
And just look at the back with its built-in air conditioning!
My new top was perfect for a birthday brunch with friends!
See? Just because a refashion isn’t turning out quite how you wanted it to, that doesn’t mean you have to give up! Just keep playing and see what happens!
36 thoughts on “Sleeveless Dress to Keyhole Back Top Refashion”
You’re bold to wear and show something that didn’t work out as you wished. I personally couldn’t have done that
A big fan of most of your refashions, but not so much this one. On the good side, you can definitely pull off a midriff (which I could!). On the other side, just not a fan of the strange shoulder thing. Don’t know if its the mismatching, the ribbon, or what. But keep up the great work – and yes – would love to see you do something with men’s ties. They are quite the rage right now and I could see it on some of the things you do.
Have you thought about incorporating mens ties? I think these would un-knot easier than ribbon. PS I love your blog and that you update every week makes it more fun
Would have liked to see the disappointing dress–so we could see what actually happened. Then when we make mistakes we don’t feel so bad
I love that you included a refashion that didn’t go as planned! So often when creating, things have to be adjusted and re-thought. I think it turned out great!
I just bought a big black velvet dress just like yours for $3. I haven’t decided just what to do with it, but keep the ideas coming.
I love how you can admit when something doesn’t go as planned, & then find a way to make it work for you! I read your blog religiously, & you have been a HUGE inspiration for me! I’ve always loved to refashion clothes, & have done so for years, but finding your blog a few years ago has boosted my love for refashioning. I am currently working on a dress that I’ve been wanting to refashion for a while. I’ve taken pictures along the way of my progress…..maybe I’ll get enough guts to submit it for a Reader Refashion! 🙂 Keep up the awesome work, & thanks for always being so fun!
You are rocking it! I mess up my remakes alot too! I love seeing how you turn negatives into positives!
This is awesome. You have a great body and can easily rock this kind of shirt!
I makes me laugh that some people are riding the fence on this one. I love it, it’s probably on my top 3 refashions!
Thanks for the shout out, Jillian! I love your top in all its asymmetric glory. You can be sure that no-one else at the party will be wearing something similar 😉 I think us over-30s can show midriff if we do it with enough attitude!
Even tho the top looks flattering on you I wasn’t impressed with the shoulder re – creation. Maybe black lace ribbon instead of grosgrain that you used?
I admire your persistence, and I second the suggestion for a brooch or some kind of embellishment on one side to snaz it up and enhance the asymmetry.
So totally UN-YOU, and so totally adorable on you! Your midriff is very peep-worthy!
I vote no on this one. Not at all cute or stylish. Not a fan of bare bellies either.
Love your fashions! They always add color and positivity to my day. Keep up the great work!
This top looks really good on you. Also diggin’ your sandals 🙂 And LOVE the colors of your new Nana bag. Teensy bit jealous, but will use it as inspiration to maybe make a bag for myself (?). We’ll see. Always look forward to your posts – thanks!!
You totally rock this midriff top. If you’ve got it, flaunt it baby. I agree that it has an artistic flair, and that fits your lifestyle. It’s great for you.
I like it, though, I do wish we could have seen a pic of what the dress looked like before this one. At first I wasn’t crazy about it, but I love it. One part (I think it is the way the pic was taken), the back seems a bit too “flowy” I cannot tell.
I want to post a few of my thrift store purchases. Hopefully soon!
Hi.. I discovered you recently via Pinterest. You are awesome. I’ve always loved thrift store shopping. I’m looking at the dresses in a new way now…I just need to plunge in and make a refashion.
Maribel from California
Sorry, I don’t think it looks good at all!
Don’t apologize! I’m not even completely sure how I feel about this one…
Chubbies can’t wear that stuff. 🙁 but it works for you 🙂
I think the asymmetry is well-done on this piece. It has an artistic flow or composition to it that is pleasing to the eye. Plus, I appreciate how you got just the right amount of midriff-baring to show just a hint of skin but no belly button, and you could also pair it with a higher rise bottom for a day when you’re not in the mood for so much skin showing. This seems just right for the dog days of summer.
love the top! looks adorable on you.
however, the two different make it look unfinished. but that is only my opinion! (i am also hit or miss with a symmetrical stuffskis) 🙂
Dude I’m totally digging the shirt! One of my favorites of your refashions to date!
Absolutely!! And you learned much about the ‘hang’ of the fabric on that one…keep it going….
Who is your new friend then? 🙂 will we be finding out soon? X
What a great way to turn a negative in to a fashion forward positive! Thanks for sharing your posts 😀 They make my work day much bett… they just make my day he he
Girl, I don’t care if you are over 30, you rocked that midriff top- in a classy way.
You can definitely pull off the bare midriff look, its not one’s age so much as its the bod that makes it okay or not. I think the unsewed down shoulder might look great with one of your Granny’s brooch pins or a really large interesting button.
I would have loved for your original plan to have worked. It was incredibly original one. Don’t give up on those crazy ideas, they are your best refashions.
I also would have LOVED to see how the dress hung (incorrectly) before you chopped it off. 🙂
Yes, we like to hear that you mess up too. My seam ripper as got as much use as my sewing macinge.
Looks awesome! And you can TOTALLY pull off the bare midriff! 🙂
Would’ve loved to see the dress shot before the big chop! Like it! Mind you that bag is great. But she hasn’t any similar style ones in her shop : (
I really should have taken a pic. You’re right. :/ But the good news re: the Nana bag is that you can ask her to make you one! 🙂