I have yet another finished project from my unfinished object pile to share with you. I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing that, but you know it’s only because you’re jealous of my discipline. Anyway, this is the dress that I referred to a few days ago in the post about my tie neck dress.
I started this dress during my trip to California at the end of last summer. While there, I went to the thrift store with my sister and found this argyle dress. I brought it home, not knowing what I’d do with it. I really thought the argyle part of the dress was ugly, but I liked the bottom half. So, I ended up cutting the skirt off and using it to make a new dress.
I drafted a few patterns while I was in California. I made the bodice of my new dress using a shortened button-up shirt pattern that I made for knits.
I found a white knit material when I went fabric shopping at Michael Levine Loft, during the same visit to California. I cut some of the material out, but never started sewing the dress because my mom’s sewing machine doesn’t play nice with knits. I learned about this problem the hard way after a project was completely and utterly destroyed. Pieces of material get sucked into the black hole that is the feed dogs, and you’re never quite sure if you’ve found all the pieces. It doesn’t matter what needle you use, what settings you use, or how much you try to coax it into submission. Putting knits through that machine is like instigating a prison fight, shivs and all. Things get UGLY! There will be holes that can never be repaired. There will be a lot of anger in the air. Things will get ripped and pulled. There will
probably definitely be tears. The project will most likely be dead when all is said and done.
Needless to say, I didn’t start sewing the dress. When I got home, I put the project aside and forgot about it. I pulled it out a couple of months ago and finally finished it a few weeks ago.
Here are some of the details of the reconstruction of the skirt and construction of the bodice. I apologize for the strange omission of photos for some of the steps. I must not have been completely with it when I was working on this project. If you don’t care about any of the details, feel free to skip to the end of the post to see more pictures of the finished dress.
After I cut the skirt away from the original, thrifted dress, I shortened the skirt, removed the pockets and took it in on the sides. I removed the buttons from the extra skirt material to use for the bodice buttons.
For the trim around the collar, I cut a strip from the left-over skirt material. I basted the folded strip to the right side of one of the interfaced collar pieces on the outside edge.
Then, I sewed the collar pieces along the outside edge, right sides together.
Once I sewed and serged the bodice shoulder and side seams, I pinned the collar around the neckline of the bodice, with the self-facings folded out onto the right side of the bodice. Then, I sewed around the neckline from one front edge of the bodice to the other. I serged the seam allowances, pressed the allowances down, turned the self-facings to the inside and topstitched over the seam allowances, under the collar.
I added the sleeves and hemmed them with a twin needle.
Next, I sewed buttonholes and buttons at the same intervals as those on the skirt. Also, I sewed a snap at the waist to ensure it would stay closed. This snap at the waist served to tack down the self-facings of the bodice, as well.
The final step was to re-hem the bottom of the skirt around the side seams, which I had to take apart when I made the skirt smaller.
There you have it! That’s another project spared a life of rejection. It turns out this dress just wasn’t destined to live in the dark abyss with the other UFOs.
Tomorrow is the deadline for entries in the Spring Cleaning Giveaway. I’m giving away a few patterns and a couple of dresses. Check it out!