My friend Crystal came to visit last weekend. It has been way too long since we saw each other last, and it was a blast.
She’s mentioned to me that she wants to start shopping at yard sales and thrift stores, but got overwhelmed when she tried it on her own. We were heading out to do some non-thrift shopping Saturday when I saw that there were two yard sales on my block.
The first one was a wash, but at the second one there were lots of plus sized clothes. Neither of us is plus sized, but I know you can get a good amount of fabric to work with in one shirt. I found one in a fabric I thought she would like and convinced her to buy it. For $0.50, I thought I could make a cute skirt with buttons in the front and get it done before she left.
When I brought the garment up to the sewing room after a marathon day of non-thrift shopping, I realized it had dress potential.
I wasn’t sure it would work, but here are the steps I took.
First, I removed the sleeves. You can see just how big this dress was on Crystal initially. It fits around her twice!
Next I took off the outer bodice panels. In the previous photos you can see where the bodice seam goes all the way up to the top.
After this step, we had what looked like a jumper. Thankfully I had a model to try it on at each stage of the process!
I took the skirt in on the sides, and realized the the bodice just needed a few inches on each side to make it wearable.
I took a piece of the extra fabric that I cut off the sides and stitched it in place on the bodice, then did the same on the other side. From there, I cut a rough armhole and did the rest of my fitting.
There was a good bit of tweaking on the fit. I basted my stitches so the dress could be easily adjusted in or out. Crystal often has trouble finding clothes that work for her, and a lot of time she needs things taken in at the tailor, so I really wanted to make her a dress that fit well.
Once I got the fit and armhole shape looking good, I showed Crystal how to make some bias tape. I also had her help on the ironing, pinning, and cutting because she wanted to get some insight into the whole sewing/refashioning process. I cut the bias tape, and she ironed it all quite nicely. I attached it to the armholes, and voila!
The dress turned out even better than I thought it might. I contribute it to the fact that we made an awesome team :)
She was so pleased with her new dress, and especially the fit. I know because she kept it on for an hour after we finished it and wore it when she left the next day!
I was happy to show Crystal the process of refashioning, though at first I was a little nervous to have someone watching me while I was working. I wish she lived closer so we could get together and sew. She’s sewn some simpler projects, like aprons and basic dresses, and they’ve turned out great, so hopefully now she’ll try her hand at refashioning!
I made her a lunch bag and snack pouch to take with her, so I’ll post about those next time.
I did manage to snag a photo of her wearing her new dress with her new lunch bag, so here’s a sneak peek!
And doesn’t she make it look fabulous ladies and gentlemen? I wish I had a willing model around more often!