This dress was a hand-me-down quite different from anything I had worn previously. This cute, flirty dress had a lot of potential but needed some alterations to fit my body.
First, there was the problem of lining: it had none. Lining isn’t absolutely necessary but this dress was see-through and not in a cute, sexy way. Lacking lining, the dress also didn’t hold its shape very well. Lastly, the dress was a little big around the hips and the whole bust just didn’t sit it the right place.
With an audio book on hand, I spent a few hours taking the dress apart with a seam ripper. When finished, I snipped about an inch from the top of the shoulders (about half an inch from each piece). I also took about a quarter inch starting at the hips and going all the way to the hem. Those pieces worked as pattern pieces for the lining. Still needing a lesson on lining, I bought a thick, synthetic material. In hindsight, I would look for a different material for lining (probably a silk but that’s only because I don’t know what other options are good).
Then, I decided to do something adventurous and try a built-in bra. Why? Aside from the fact that it would be a fun challenge, I would never have to worry about a mismatching bra peeking through the white fabric. I bought bra cups from the store and hand-sewed them to the lining. I’m sure there is a better way of doing this but it doesn’t show through on the front. I’ve probably told way too many people that the dress has a built-in bra because I was so happy it actually worked.
The original pictures (of the inside of the dress) were really helpful when it came time to put the dress back together. I used the original lining as pattern pieces for interfacing. Most dresses I’ve sewn have had interfacing so I figured why not? I was glad that I did because the interfacing helped the pieces hold their shape.
I had some trouble getting the front back together. I couldn’t figure out what had to be sewn first to get it to lay properly. The final product wasn’t perfect but worked well enough.
This dress has been a great addition to my wardrobe. If I’m wearing it to work, I throw on an undershirt to take the neckline up. If not, I wear a locket that pairs well with the deep v-neck. It’s ended up being an all weather dress: boots and a sweater make it work for cooler months. And, it’s a natural fit for summer and sandals.
What have been your favorite refashioning projects?