For the second week of Refashion Runway, our challenge was the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013: Emerald Green! I love this color, trendy or not, so I was totally amped about this project. After you're done here, don't forgot to head over to the Renegade Seamstress' blog to check out the other contestant's green outfits and pick your favorite!
Fair warning, this was probably my most involved refashion to date, so I apologize in advance for the extremely picture-heavy post and the at-time vague descriptions. So much of what I did was trial and error, so it's a bit hard to explain. And if you don't care about the details, feel free to scroll to the bottom for the happy ending! (uh, maybe I should rethink that phrasing...)
At $12.49, this skirt cost more than I would normally pay at a thrift store. But I loved the colors, the paisley brocade pattern, the fact that it was brand new with the tags still on it! I have a wedding to go to next weekend, and this skirt was the perfect jumping-off point for a cute semi-formal ensemble.
I spent hours, at least three of them, carefully picking out the threads keeping these beads on. The bead work was lovely, but my plan has this part of the fabric around my thighs, and I'm afraid that wouldn't be too comfy to sit on.
Next, I meticulous disassembled the skirt, removing the waistband, lining, and zipper, but saving them all for later use.
I removed all four darts and ironed out the creases.
Finally, after my seam ripper and I had had hours of quality time to really bond, I was ready to get to cutting and sewing! I chopped the skirt in half roughly. I'll be flipping the top portion to become my new bodice piece.
I set aside the skirt part and began to work on my bodice. I opened up the back seam.
I pinned my bust darts according to my measurements.
I took in the sides as well, and then cut off the top four inches along what will be the back, sloping upward again for the bust portion.
I snipped a few inches off the two bottom corners too. I have in a mind a cute little cutout at the small of my back.
I made a replica using the lining from the original skirt.
I cut the ends off my old waistband to create a halter-style strap.
I pressed the serged edge inward and sewed it closed.
Then I pinned it to the top edge of my bodice, on the public side of the fabric.
I lay my lining down on top, face down, and pinned the pieces together. I then sewed all the around the sides and top, but left the bottom edge open.
I did some back-and-forth stitching to secure the ends of the neck strap.
At each corner, I snipped out a little wedge shape. This will help reduce the bulk when I flip it right-side-out.
Then at each inward curve, I make little cuts to let the seam allowance expand when it's turned right-side-out.
Once my bodice was right-side-out and the edges were pressed, I hand-stitched on some hook-n-eyes. Since the original skirt-sized zipper wasn't long enough to go all the way up my back, I had to get creative for my new closure.
After a quick top-stitching around the edges, my bodice was complete, and it was time to turn my attention to the skirt. I picked out the seams about six inches down each side.
I added some loose pleats to gather the waist but still provide fullness for my hips.
I had some tiny scraps from the bodice trimmings, so I made a couple pockets. This was by far the most seat-of-the-pants part. Frankly, I had no idea if it was going to work until I sewed them in.
Next, I closed up that back slit. Don't want any awkwardly revealing moments in front of all the wedding guests.
Then I picked open the top of the back seam in preparation to re-install my zipper.
And then I re-installed my zipper. (Didn't see that one coming, did ya!?!)
I took the little nubbins of my old waistband and reattached them. Notice they're only a few inches long, but that's okay. The rest of the raw edges will be covered momentarily.
Reattaching the waistband also reattached the laundering tag, and if you've been following me for long, you'll know that's one of my "things".
And now, the final step: I pressed the bottom edges of my bodice and lining inward, inserted the top edge of my skirt, and top-stitched the whole thing together.
Still with me? Excellent! Because we're finally finished!!
I am so stinkin' proud of this one.
Check out those bust darts!
I love a dress with pockets!
There's that little peek-a-boo action I was telling you about. Too bad I got shoulder blade tats and not a tramp stamp, eh?
Nothing says sexy dress like posing on the hood of an automobile.
Look for me in your 2014 Dodge Calendar! (okay, not really...)