Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Re-imagined Dress

Long time no blog post!! It's not that I haven't been sewing. Actually I have been working on a lot of projects...all at once! Which is why I haven't had anything to post about recently. One of the projects  was decorations for a wedding shower for a friend which I will (hopefully) be posting about soon. Another was the formal dress below that I remade.

A friend I met in school years ago contacted me over Facebook recently. She had noticed my blog posts and knew that I sewed, and she had a couple of dresses she wanted to send me. She wasn't going to use them, and figured I might be able to. It's amazing the things that can happen over the internet!

One of the dresses was a burgundy-colored formal. It was really pretty, but the velvet top just looked a little too vintage. So...I set out to remake it! Here are the before pictures:

Step 1 of the remodel: Take out the shoulder pads. And the dress straps. 

Step 2: Take off the bow and take it apart. There was a lot of fabric there that I knew I could use later.

Step 3: Those sleeves had to go. Not that I'm against sleeves on formal dresses, but I just didn't think it worked with the velvet.

Step 4: Brainstorm. I don't have a picture, but imagine me sitting on the floor alternating between staring at the dress and squeezing my eyes shut with the wheels turning in my brain behind them. This was actually a hard dress to re-imagine! I finally ended up deciding on doing something like what I did with this dress:

Step 5, then, was to make a bunch of flowers. I used the fabric I had from the sleeves and the bow. The bow had had black netting inside it, so I used that as well.

 I combined my flower-making techniques from this post with my sister's fabric-melting idea.

Together, they made these:

I needed lots of flowers...

Step 6: Prepare the top. If I wanted it to look like the black-and-aqua dress, I would need contrasting fabric on one shoulder. I cut a piece out of the front on one side...

...and cut out a matching piece from the leftover bow fabric to replace it.

Here's a sneak peak of what it's going to look like:

Step 7: Sew the top together. I had to use lots of pins when working with the velvet, because it tended to stretch and bubble up. I also found that having the velvet on the bottom when I was sewing helped it to lay more smoothly.

Step 8: The armholes. I folded both the lining and top fabric under a little and sewed them together close to the edge. Once again, lots of pins were needed!

Here the top is all sewn together:

Step 9: Sew on the flowers. I sewed a small, crystal bead in the middle of each flower for a little contrast.

And the dress is done!

And for some perspective:

I apologize for the bad pictures. For some reason, this dress was very unphotogenic! I didn't know that was possible, but apparently it is.

I hope you all have a blessed Sunday! I'll be back soon with more to tell you about!

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