Pleated Blue Dolman Sleeve Blouse

Today’s reconstruction began as this fabulous dress.

There was just so much going on with this dress. I knew it was going to take a lot of tweaking to make this remotely wearable. I look like I’m wearing some strange form of choir robe.

I decided to make a blouse. My first step was to try it on and pin it different ways to get the ideas flowing.

Then, I started the process with the traditional removal of both of the shoulder pads.

I moved on to detaching the collar, which was an absolute necessity.

I also had to repair one of the pleats that was coming apart.

Everything about this dress screamed 80s. I can take one aspect of an outfit that hearkens back the 80s, but not an entire outfit. The collar combined with the huge pleats, shoulder pads, sleeves and royal blue-ish color, made this dress reminiscent of something Murphy Brown would’ve worn.

I also removed two rows of the pleats and the button plackets, and finished the neckline.

The cuffs on the sleeves were creating an unflattering look, so I cut those off and shortened the sleeves.

At first I was going to simply remove the old elastic and put no elastic into the casing, but the elastic was so old it was pretty much stuck in the casing.

So, I cut the bodice and skirt of the dress apart, and shortened the bodice. This worked out much better, because it created a nice empire waist.

Since this was going to be a top, I shortened the skirt as well.

I then reattached the bodice and skirt, and added elastic under the bust for the empire waist.

With the elastic added, all that remained was to finish the sleeves and hem the bottom of the top.

I decided to add something at the neckline because it didn’t look quite right. I attached a little ruffle along the edge of the neckline.

My new top was complete.

It’s necessary to wear a cami underneath because the material is somewhat sheer.

It can be worn with or without a belt.

I know they’re hard to see in this picture, but there are pleats up the sides in the back.

Here’s a closer picture.

I really love this top, and the bonus is that it’s super comfy.

  1. Nancy

    November 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I love your fearlessness with the scissors. Did you take any construction classes or did you purely learn from trial and error. I so want to be able to take my ideas of how I want something to look and make it.

    1. verityclothing

      November 15, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Thanks! Sometimes you have to just suck it up and cut.

      I’ve mostly learned by taking things apart, and such. So yes, trial and error to a degree. However, I have read books about construction and pattern making, and through drafting slopers and different patterns, I have gained a pretty good understanding of clothing construction.

      Just go for it! You’ll learn no matter what the results. 🙂

  2. Michelle Laffoon

    November 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    This is beautiful! I love it.

  3. lasandrou

    November 13, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I love how you reconstruct this dress into that very cute top !!!

  4. Laurie Laffoon

    November 14, 2010 at 7:17 am

    LOVE IT! So cute!

  5. Lisa S

    November 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I like this blouse! Very cute…is the skirt part usable for making another skirt?

    1. verityclothing

      November 15, 2010 at 8:34 am

      There’s probably not enough left for a skirt, but I will definitely use it for something. 🙂

  6. Stephanie

    November 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Super cute! I love what you did with the neckline.

  7. Sarah Lewis

    November 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I love your redesigned choir robe!! I like it without a belt…a bit dressier that way. You are one smart cookie!! LOL

    1. verityclothing

      November 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Thanks! Haha. I like it both ways. It’s good to have options. 😉

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