I hate winter. I know it’s a magical time of year but I hate being cold, and needing sensible shoes, and getting dressed in the dark. I spend my mornings fumbling in my wardrobe, putting my make up on in low light and regularly throwing my hair up in a bun.
So winter florals are giving me life at the minute. Such pretty blooms on dark bases are again cropping up in the shops, magazines and fabric stores. They’re lovely to wear too.
During the summer I picked up this oversized 1960s cotton house dress. Looking at the internal finish there’s a good chance it was handmade. It was a throw over your head, size 16 shapeless tent with simple facings. I couldn’t resist the vivid coloured flowers and bought it without a clear refashioning plan.
I worked out I could squeeze a Sewaholic Cambie view B from the dress if I used the sleeve lining piece instead of the gathered sleeve. I added a green invisible zip and lined the bodice in some leftover anti static polyester from the stash.
I get so so so many comments about this fabric when I wear the dress. I think it’s the combination of orange and violet. If refashioning is this fun I’ll definitely do it again.
May is upon us. And for everyone in Europe we had a bank holiday to kick things off too!
I managed four out of five days in me-mades this week. I had agreed with myself a goal of six out of seven days in each week but hey, this was a short week!
Day 1: green bias stripe top from self drafted pattern. Not blogged because its the same fabric and pattern as my bias stripe dress!
Day 2: sweetheart print truffle bodice with self drafted gathered a-line skirt. More about that later.
Day 3: one of the first ever things I made, my georgette star print top using New Look 6962.
Day 4: strappy top made from the skirt of a topshop sundress using Butterick 5653.
I had an awesome weekend. I saw my little brother on Saturday and went to Abakhans where I bought chevron print fabric for an unbelievably good price. Saw friends and ate good food on Sunday. And larked about around the canal and docks before having a bbq yesterday! Plus I watched three good films and snuck in a smidge of sewing!!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!
I call this the Promaballoona project.
If you don’t know about Oona and her “recent” Promaballoona you’re missing out. I wanted to go but had my own deadlines to work to and couldn’t whip up a dress in time (or sort the minor matter of flights out).
Watching with jealousy as everyone else got ready, attended and had a kick-ass time made me think of my own “prom” gown. I use air quotes because I’m talking about my graduation ball from University instead.
I was such a silly girl. I bought a vintage 70s dress that made me feel like a Bond-girl in the casino…
…problem was my kick ass dress didn’t help me have a kick ass night. There was no James Bond to liven things up!
I barely had any friends in my year, and the ones I did have weren’t attending. I got some nasty comments on my dress. And I had a pretty lame night overall.
I cringe when I look back on it.
Errr and for the record NO, I’m not putting any pictures on here as I’m cringing all over again at the thought! *Shudder*
It’s all okay though because I gate-crashed my friends’ ball the next year while I was doing my MA and we had an amaaazing time.
Ahem, anywhoo I still loved the dress and had wild ideas every now and then to chop it up and refashion it.
I’m not really a maxi dress girl being so tiny. And the huge flouncy sleeves just swamped me really.
But check out that gorgeous flower detail. That had to stay.
The dress is pure acrylic, which is partly why I think it photographed so incredibly badly with flash and without. But it looks good in person trust me.
First I unpicked the sleeves and sewed the arm holes as if the dress was always strapless. A little fiddly since I didn’t unpick the whole back bodice so had to turn the seam allowance inside and topstitch into place.
Then I removed the skirt and lining completely. The skirt is a lot tighter than my uni days since my derriere is now more pronounced!
So I made a new skirt pattern that was more gathered and swishy then the maxi column skirt and cut the lining and fabric out.
I then sewed it all up and made sure I added pockets to the skirt. Because who doesn’t love pockets!
The zip was a bit tricky. The dress had a lapped centre back zipper.
Due to my unpicking and altering work I had to upick the whole thing and turn it in to a centre back zipper. It actually came out rather neatly!
I finished the whole thing in about 7 hours (split over a series of nights) and wore it out on Saturday to a lovely dinner in Harrogate.
Dinner was for my Mum’s and Brother’s joint birthday celebrations. We went to the amazing William and Victoria Restaurant in Harrogate.
I still think I made it a touch too long. I wanted it at knee level but it’s just over my knees so still makes me feel a bit titchy! I’m going to take up the hem a couple of inches to raise the va va voom.
I’m really pleased that I now have a dress I can still wear and can hopefully create some happier memories to associate with the dress.