31 Days of Shut Up and Sew: Dress into Skirt Refashion

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Day 24 of...

I'm pretty excited about this little transformation.

Pardon the no make-up/wet hair look in the before photo... I'd just gotten out of the shower and I figured the worse I looked, the better the "before" photo would be - ha! :)

I bought this dress before our trip to Hawaii back in May.  I ordered it online for a great deal (I think it was less than $30), but when it arrived, I wasn't totally crazy about what those massive ruffles did to my top half.  The neckline was a little high and it just generally wasn't all that flattering.  For the amount of moola I paid for it, it wasn't going to be worth it to send it back, so I just kept it.

Here it is in all its unflattering glory.

Well, a few weeks after I got it, I had a fancy-ish banquet to go to so I thought I'd try to make it work.  I was in a hurry after work that day, so I put the dress on, then started freshening up my make-up.  I was putting on some (expensive) brown liquid eyeliner, when I stepped backward to check it out, not realizing that I had the open tube of eyeliner in my left hand and somehow I dumped it all over the left shoulder of my dress.  AAAARRGGH.  I sent it to the cleaners but it didn't come out.  :(  Ruined dress AND empty bottle of high priced eyeliner.  Sad day indeed.

To make getting in and out of this dress easier, there was a zipper that ran from a few inches under my left armpit (ew. armpit is such a gross word), to my hip.  It had to be removed if I was going to chop the top half off, so I painstakingly ripped out all the stitches that held it in place and took it out.

Next, I ripped out all the stitches holding each ruffle in place up from the waistband about 4 inches.  More seam ripping... fun.  Then I cut the ruffles apart from the waistband as close as I could (there was no way to rip them out of that seam).

I don't know how I don't have any photos of this next part, but I cut the top half of the dress off, leaving about 3 inches above the waistband.  Then I ironed down 1/2" seam and sewed it all the way around.

I still had the slit where the zipper was, and if I was going to be able to get into and out of this skirt, it had to be put back in.  So I sewed it back in, lining up the top of the zipper with the waistband.  Zippers are hard.  I just haven't been able to master them yet.  My zipper seams turned out awful, so while it was functional, it was not pretty.  Before I wore this skirt out anywhere, I went back and glued the zipper in using Liquid Stitch.  Is that cheating?  Me and zippers just do not get along.  Any tips from you seasoned pros out there? 

The thing that made this dress a perfect candidate for a transformation was the sash.  The uneven seam I sewed around the waistband after I cut the top off is hidden under a perfect sash!  Also, the sash was intended to tie in the front, but I liked it much better as a skirt when tied in back so I just turned it around and voila - a statement bow.

So now, instead of having an unflattering dress hanging in my closet collecting dust, I have a skirt that I'm actually proud to wear!  I think it's super cute, can be dressed up or down, with tights and pumps or bare legs and wedges.

Do you have a dress in your closet that could benefit from a little transformation?

To read all 31 Days of Shut Up and Sew, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love the after look. My favorite part is the big bow in the back. You never see that in skirts!