red dress remake

When I saw this red dress, I couldn’t believe how fine the wool was, and I deliberated for a long time as there were so many bits.  I normally avoid pieces with too many seams as it’s a compromise from the get go.  So I took out my little muji measuring tape and still though the strips of red – measuring about 25cm wide each was too small, and although the sleeves contained more fabric, I still went ahead an bought it………. it was the lovely wool.  I placed a good few patterns over it – but not enough fabric, so I decided to make a simple shift and work pretty much with what was there.  I had originally thought to work in some strips of orange fabric or pink worsted wool scraps I had, but as there was a bit of topstitch detail already, I figured I would leave it at that.

red dress remake - upcycle refashion remake dress

The before picture is a bit dee-sasterous looking, very difficult to see the red clearly, so I have a drawing below with the before after as this shade of red and my basic camera seem to just blur it all.

red dress remake - upcycle refashion remake dress

 I took the front apart so I could turn the middle panel the other way to get the wider cut (bringing the 80’s shoulder fabric content down to the hem), and still keep the pockets.  I should have realised that the wool was stretched when I was cutting the dress out  and I should have steam shrunk it then (see first photo below) but I left the side panels as they were.  By the time I was sewing the side panels on I was questioning my reason.  The pockets would not line up – I sewed and resewed far too many times before I got the measuring tape out.  I really could not understand how I lined them up and they would then ‘look’ so wrong.  It turns out the pockets were never even on the original dress – and my best bet was to have the top of the lhs one a bit higher making the bottom of the pocket a bit lower so its balanced – hard to believe I never saw it to begin with, I had to take a photo to show.

By this stage I was beginning to swear a lot, and when the whole piece was together, I was in continuous swear mode….. the stretch in the wool was everywhere and draping where it shouldn’t and the whole re-made well-made seemed a bit silly. I had hoped for this to be my Christmas day dress – ho ho ho – like that was going to happen – however, I really liked the overall shape and proportions.  I figured I would leave it till January to see if it could be rescued and this in itself would be better for my sanity. So last week I undid both seams to check grain, and the lhs was slightly off so I straightened that, and then, I decided to try and steam shrink with a hot iron and let the fabric rest and cool, and it seemed to do the trick (well improved it a lot)! its still a lil’ bit uneven – however, its also finished, will be worn and pattern most definitely used again!

Pattern Magic Hoody T Shirt – ‘dress to a tee’

pattern magic hoody t shirt - dress to a tee

The pattern magic books are pretty inspiring.  I know when I first came across them I was got such a  kick out of some of the quirky ideas and when I would show to some friends* the reaction was often simply – “but seriously, would you really wear that”  (probably about crushed can top!)  just goes to show, unbridled enthusiam is not always infectious.

pattern magic hoody t shirt - dress to a tee

This one was made from one long one euro jersey dress and the pattern was quick to draft, but I should have made the neckline slightly smaller but only by 1 cm all around.  The tee shirt is very wearable and very comfortable.  It was quick to make up (not having to finish seam edges helps).  I like the way the tee is plain to front, and draped to rear.  The tee shirt took up most of the fabric of the dress, and I cut bias strips from left overs to finish sleeve edges and neck.  

I have also made a second one from a jersey skirt.  I had to made this one a bit narrower at the base of tshirt as there was less fabric to play with, but it still worked fine.

*just to add, some of my lovely friends are not sewers so the reaction was probably to be expected!