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May 30, 2011 / HL

2 become 1 | An Adventure in Dress Making

Whatever happened to the Spice Girls, anyway? I know that Victoria Beckham hit it big when that black catsuit landed her David Beckham, and Mel B is a reality tv star in the US.

As I’m getting back into sewing and trying to use my dress form to elevate my projects, I decided that one of my next projects would be a re-fashioning project. This means that I would take an existing piece of clothing and remake it into something new. This happens to coincide with my spring closet cleaning so it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Many dresses these days are what Modcloth calls “twofers” where the top and the bottom of the dress are different. In particular, one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie, loves these dresses as well. Especially dresses with white tops and yellow skirts.

Anthropologie Dresses

1 – Sunny Soiree Dress; 2 – Field of Gold Dress; 3 – Jacqueline Dress; 4 – In A Moment Dress; 5 – Camilla Dress

That’s a lot of white and yellow dresses. When I came across these two pieces in my closet, I first put it in the pile for Goodwill. Then I remembered these dresses and I pulled them back out.

Here we go, Project #2: Refashioning a shirt and dress into a new dress!

These are the starting materials.

The beginnings

I used to wear this top with jeans, but I haven’t worn it in a while. The yellow dress was fine the first time I wore it. Then I washed it and it shrunk a bit too short for me. It’s just been sitting in my closest ever since.

First, I put both on the dress form to determine there the waist would be. Then, I cut the top off of the dress to leave enough left for the skirt length. I hand basted the top of the skirt, so that I could make the gathers.

Second, I put both back onto the dress form, inside-out, and pinned the skirt to the top where I would sew.

Pinning the skirt in place

After that, I sewed them together. It was difficult to match up the seams, since they did not exactly line up. For example, the buttons on the top use overlapping fabric, but for the buttons on the skirt are on fabric that is side by side. I did my best, but the row of buttons don’t line up exactly. And I’m okay with that.

The sewed together dress

Here’s the dress! There’s still some work to be done. I wasn’t happy with the waist, since it isn’t as defined, so I sewed in a thin strip of elastic into the waist to get this:

Waist defined

Ahh. Much better!

Lastly, I work on the collar of the top. I never really liked that it was a high collar, so I sewed the collar into more a V-neck shape.

Neck defined

And it’s done! I styled up the dress with a belt and necklace.

Styled up!

And then of course, I had to take my girl out for a spin. I packed her on our trip this weekend to Boston and took her shopping on Newbury.

Taking her out on the town

I am definitely happy with how it turned out and being able to breathe in new life into two pieces that I would have otherwise given away.

Or perhaps I just needed to iron them.

Who knows?

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Leave a Comment
  1. Nina / May 31 2011 3:02 AM

    Wow, you did a great job! I’m usually not that into refashions, especially since there are so many tutorials out there that take 2 unexciting pieces of clothing to make a third unexciting one. But this one is really good, and fits right in with those 5 inspiration dresses :)

  2. shawma / Jun 19 2011 9:59 PM

    I love you design although I have been looking to buy your #3 dress FOREVER! I need them for bridesmaids dresses! Antho is out. If you know another else who is strippign their closet let me know


  1. Sewing Tutorial | Making a Skirt from a Dress « Life and Food | Seattle
  2. Sewing Tutorial | Making a Skirt from a Dress «

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