Birthday Dress

So, to catch you up...the lining for the original month's dress, the Seventh Dress, isn't in.  I knew it wouldn't be by months end, but ever-optimistic, I waited until the last minute to admit temporary defeat.  I hope to finish the Seventh Dress by the end of the week, but in the meantime offer up a mix and match dress from second hand fashions.  


An almost cute dress + a so-so shirt ≠ a short post.  
An almost cute dress + a so-so shirt = a super cute dress! 

That's right.  "Super cute."  I'm calling it.  When last we left, I had teased you with two almost workable pieces of clothing from good old St. Vinnie's.  Great colors, almost great fashion, and a badly collage-d preview of what could be.

But that misshapen dream is a beautiful reality now.  Armed with a pair of scissors, the closest matching threads I could find in my stash, and raw fearlessness I dove straight in.  Full tutorial starts now.  After a picture of the thread.

Brown (needle thread) and Blue (bobbin)

Step Zero) Obviously the first step is to find two pieces of clothing that you like and you think will work together.  I stuck to favorite colors of similar tones (plum and navy), but similarly sized patterns (tiny floral and thin stripes have a ton of potential) or a repeated motif would work too.

Step One) Figure out your general skirt to dress ratio.  The most helpful item for this step is a husband who is good at pretending to pay attention.  Babe, what do you think about this?  Okay, okay.  Now close your eyes.  Okay open them.  Now what do you think?  No...it's totally different, the skirt is about two inches higher than it was.  Yes it is.  I swear.  See it now?  Okay, good.  Now close your eyes again.... 

I decided I hated the empire--ahem, AHMpeeay--waistline of the original dress and very fortunately, the pockets of the original dress didn't look ridiculous when the empire band sat at my waist.

Step Two) Get the fit right.  Like any clothing item, you need to pieces to come together correctly at the seams.  I didn't want a skosh! of gathering so this had to be just so and the shirt was a little less than perfect.  A little big.  So I cinched up the back.  I took before and after pictures of the shirt on but those were boring.  Here's a shortcut to the results:

This isn't the only alteration to the back.  Oh no, Step Three)  Add a fun detail!  Sure, you could slap two pieces of clothing together and call it a day, but what is the fun in that?  I was so inspired by the buttony detail of the back and the potential of the back seam that I added a little keyhole.  Boy, was that fun to sew.

And totally worth it:

(Don't mind the sharpie on the arms.  That's how we roll when we play roller derby.) 

You can tell from the original picture that it was meant to be a pearshaped hole, but that was even worse to sew than a circle.  Another bad thing about this step was a husband who was tired of pretending to be impressed with my cleverness.   

Me: Babe, babe...look at *turns around* THIS! 
Matt: It's a hole.

Step Four) Cut, Pin, Sew and Pray.  'Nuff said.

Step Five)  Be smug.  This dress is cute!  The pictures came out dark, as is the norm in our house on these short winter days.  I will show them now in black and white, and totally impress you with Technacolor when the sun shines again.

I will totally do this again.  It's emboldened me to convert all sorts of goodies.  I must admit some inspiration by the very adorable Adventures in Dressmaking blog.  She's constantly editing off-the-rack clothes with super cute details.  Check out her tutorials.

So, be prepared for those pictures and in the meantime, if you could be so kind, let me know: what else would you mix and match?  Shirts with a dress makes obvious sense, but can pants or jackets make it into the equation?  Just not sure....

1 comment:

  1. Too cute! And, Happy Birthday tomorrow!
    Love, Mom


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