Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Picnic Dress Refashion

Dress - refashioned, Belt - vintage, Satchel - op-shop, Shoes - Brussels, Sunglasses - op-shop
Some of you might remember this dress from my 'Handmade Holiday' post earlier this month. Well, glance down to to view its original incarnation. 
I know, it looks like I got swallowed by a picnic blanket, right? The dress was discovered - as with so many of my other clothes - in a local op-shop. It was clearly waayyyy to big, but I can't seem to resist red-and-white gingham. So I bought it, with the idea of harvesting the fabric to make...something. 

After trying it on back home, I realised that with a few nips and tucks, it would make a fairly nice little sundress-type thing. Grabbing my trusty seam ripper, I proceeded to unpick the skirt from the bodice portion. To make the bodice more fitted, I added waist darts to front and back. The unflattering sleeve length was dealt with, by simply hacking off a few inches. I then hacked more length off the bottom of the skirt, to bring it up to above-knee length. To finish up, a gathering thread was sewn through the top of the job, before I gathered it slightly and re-attached it to the bodice. Voila! 
Well, not quite...the puffy sleeves still made me look like I was an American football player in drag. Not exactly a good look on me. I dealt with that troublesome area by cutting two tiny pieces of elastic (each about 5cm long). The elastic was then stretched and sewn along the underside of the shoulder seams, to give a shirred effect and reduce the shoulderpadded look. 

Despite the darts, the waist area was still a little baggy, and I found it looked better with a belt around it. The dress is made of a very thin polycotton material, which turned out to be very see-through - er,  diaphanous, I mean - especially in bright sunlight. Problem? Meet solution - a part of shorts. It's the same thing I did back in school, and it makes me feel so much more confident when wearing short skirts. 

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