Monday, June 25, 2012

Drab to Fab Dress reconstruction:
School teacher frock to summer dress
Starring Rachael

I'm so excited to have Rachael in another dress reconstruction on my blog. Watch for another fun one later this week. The dress we reconstructed has been in my closet/work line for years, and it's something I've been putting off but never able to get rid of. The embroidery on the dress is amazing and the best part of the dress. When I was working on some sewing for Rachael, she saw the dress on the clothing rack in my sewing room and was immediately drawn to it. I figured, sure Rach, you can have this dress since it will finally push me to sew it!

Before, boring, long, old and dated. After, hip, cute, short, breezy, fun and flirty. 

For this reconstruction you will need:
  • dress with a gathered waist
  • scissors
  • elastic
  • rolled hem foot
  • thread
  • chalk hem marker
  • measuring tape
  • straight pins

Start by putting on the dress. 1. Get a chalk hem marker and mark the desired skirt length. Remember if you are marking the actual length or where you want to cut. While you have the dress on, unbutton the top few buttons and pin them open to give the dress a V neck. 2. Cut off sleeves. 3. Cut off skirt, allow for seam allowance, so cut beneath the chalk marks! 4. Back stitch all the perpendicular seams on the skirt and sleeves. Trim the edges at an angle so they don't clog up the rolled hem foot. Switch the foot to the rolled hem foot. Sew the skirt and the sleeves. 5. Take down the new neckline. This is a fun and super easy way to change the neckline without much sewing! 6. Because the arm holes and cut of the dress were a tad big, there was a bit of gaping with just removing the sleeves. Cut three piece of 1/2" wide elastic and sewed it along the back, in descending length from top to bottom. This will pull the back together and make for a better fit.

Stunning and a world away from it's original cut! Rachael looked so gorgeous in this dress I'm so glad I sent it home with her to Florida. And I'm thankful for my hoarding. This would have gone to Goodwill five times over if I hadn't thought, "someday I'll sew that."

Closeup of the elastic on the back. 

It isn't an outfit shoot without big dummy. Zeus was confused why I didn't have a hold of the leash. Silly pup. He loved Rachael so much though. Zeus and Rachael's rambunctious cat, George would be the best of friends.

Hope you all enjoy your Monday! I'm currently rearranging my sewing room, again. Hoping to get done by  lunch so I can run Zeus to the dog park then sew a few handbags. Then tomorrow I'll be headed to the gallery to take down my exhibit. Tomorrow will be sad. This past month has really flown by! I can't believe it's almost July!

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  1. I'm peeking over from Pussycat Vintage and just wanted to say hello and tell you how fabulous this is. Great job with the reconstruct. Bests! :) Sandi

  2. Also here from pussycat and THIS IS BRILLIANT! I want it!
    Drey -

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! It's super easy to do yourself. You should try it! : )