I am going to start by making it clear that this is not a style I usually go for. But when I found out about the #SewFrosting Challenge organised by Heather Lou (of @closetcasepatterns) and Kelli (of @truebias), I knew I had to make this.
This sad, oversized vintage 1970’s dress had been sitting in my wardrobe for the longest time since I got it. (Why and how I got it, I can never recall or imagine) I love the print of the fabric and the soft, slinky feel of the polyester, and I knew I could alter it easily to fit myself, but I also didn’t think I would enjoy it in its very form – a midi length, long-sleeved dress with a pussybow.
Obviously, sending this to the donation bin is like a death sentence for the dress (and the fabric). Who would save a dress like this except for someone crazy like me? So, I did what I had to do – I butchered it and then stitched it together again.
I wanted to stay true to the era (i.e. 1970s), so I decided on the following 2 key design elements:
- bias drape
The result? A skirt that is 1 part goth, 1 part bohemian, and 100% ready for disco-dancing. Here’s how the magic happened:
- Unpicked stitches for sleeves and pussy bow collar
- Unpicked stitches for skirt
- Cut skirt the following ways (while checking that the final measurements will fit around my hips and knees):
- sloping from back to front along the waist (so that the front will end up shorter than the back, and for that faux bias drape)
- sloping from top to bottom (so that the width around the knees will end up narrow than the hips)
- Stitched along dotted line
- Folded down and stitched along the dotted line to create an elastic casing. Insert elastic.
- Cut sleeves to get rectangular pieces
- Aligned rectangular pieces as such and stitched them together to get a long strip of fabric. (This photo shows 4 rectangular pieces – 2 from each sleeve. I ended up getting 2 more rectangular pieces of the same measurements from the fabric from the bodice of the dress.)
- Gathered the long strip of fabric and stitched it along the hem of the skirt
- Stitched the unpicked seam of the pussybow collar to get a belt
This project was so fun to make and I loved doing something different on a whim. Anyone else here taking part in #SewFrosting as well?
I had been in a weird funk with my sewing since making my wedding dress and I think I finally got my sewjo back with an unusual sewing project like this one! No patterns, no regrets – just all about having fun! xx
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