I’ve been reading several refashion blogs (ReFashionista and The Renegade Seamstress, to be specific) and I really want to be able to take something I already have and make it better – or at least different. They all make it look so easy, so I wanted to give it a try.
Enter, the Crazy Dress of Elastic in All the Wrong Places. I know, it’s a mouthful, but truly describes the dress. Here’s the Before Front:
Maybe it doesn’t look all that bad in that photo, but allow me to diagram the issues:
So, you see, there’s elastic in all the wrong places – the straps and back “neck line” are elastic(ized) but the waist is not and doesn’t have a zipper, so getting it over the shoulders or hips can be a challenge. The entire dress is a pretty sheer, thin material, and the bodice is UNLINED, but don’t worry, the faux wrap skirt is completely lined…whaaa?
Anyway, I liked the idea of this dress, which is probably why I bought it but only ever wore it once. So, putting my thinking cap on, I began my refashion.
And this is where I stopped taking pictures because I got frustrated. Oops. This took me three afternoons, and many breaks to think things over, but I’ll explain what I did with finished photos.
After picking out the gathered waist seam (which I discovered every seam was a French seam), I cut off the material from the original waist for the new length. I basted around the lining and faux wrap, and then pulled the ends to create a gather and pinned together. Then, I took the green wraps from the original, ironed aggressively, and cut them even to create the waist band. With the right sides of the lining/wrap and waist band together, I seamed the waist (the band hides the inner workings of the gathering of the skirt at the top).
Enter new problem: because my waistline was created out of straight pieces of fabric (in my defense, I really didn’t have a choice) I had a huge gapping problem a la Red Shorts. However, my solution for Red Shorts wasn’t going to cut it this time, so I slept on it.
The next day I rummaged through my stash and found elastic that amazingly just fit in the green waistband I created the previous day. YAY! So in goes the elastic.
Next: the invisible zipper. Let me begin this part of the story by explaining that not only do I not have an invisible zipper foot for my machine, but I don’t even have a regular zipper foot. Ugh. In fact, this was the first invisible zipper I’ve ever attempted. It took some creative problem solving and manipulation of the regular presser foot (and ripping the zipper out four times) but I finally got something that looks close to an invisible zipper (above).
How was I going to fasten the stop of the skirt? I was originally thinking that I’d run the zipper nearly all the way to the top of the waist and add a hood and eye to close. Fine on paper, but the fabric just did not want to do this. I guess it was because of the elastic I added to the waist. I came up with the solution below (please don’t mind all the loose ends – I’ll cut them later):
I ran the zipper just past the green band and then tucked the ends in, seamed the ends of the green band, and then added a nice big, sturdy hook and eye.
Wow, not that easy of a refashion, but I’m pretty happy with the result and am happier that it’s over. And now, a curtsey for what I consider a job well done!