On this episode of Refashion Runway: Peplums! Hop on over to the Renegade Seamtress to see everyone else's entries and let us know which one you like best!
This dress, lovingly handmade by someone's mother years ago, came into my possession by way of our local Freecycle group. The gifter told me of her mother's love of sewing and her own hopes of finding someone who would appreciate the work that went into this dress (and several others she gave me) and who could give it new life again. This week's challenge seemed the perfect time to do just that!
Since there was clearly no part of the dress that fit me or was still in style, I knew I would have to start from scratch. And because this denim was a nice even tone throughout, it was ideal for a pieced-together refashion.
Loosely based on a photo I found on Pinterest - but modified for modesty - I drafted a pattern to my measurements.
Next I cut apart all the pieces and ironed them out to get a gauge of my materials.
Then I cut my pieces from the original dress and began the reassembly process.
I started simple - with the skirt. I pinned and sewed the side seams.
Then I finished the edges of what will become the back slit of my new dress. One side is shorter and gets a basic hem. The other side is a couple inches longer, and it gets hemmed and folded in half as well.
Next I seamed the back of my skirt, leaving several inches at the top open to install my zipper later.
I folded the slit just so, and top-stitched the top of it.
Now it's time to hem the bottom of the skirt.
Some darts at the top of the skirt will keep it snug to my hips.
With my skirt pretty much done, I turned my attention to the bodice. I draped each panel on my chest wrong-side-out and carefully pinned my bust darts while looking in the mirror. (I really need to buy/make a dress form!)
With those complete, I hemmed the neck edge of each piece.
I also added a couple darts to the back panels.
Then I sewed my side seams.
Next I hemmed the back neck edges, snipping the fabric about inside the curves to make sure the hem will lay flat.
Then I could join my shoulder seams.
I also joined the fronts and backs of my peplum and hemmed the bottom and front edges.
I sewed my waistband pieces end-to-end and pressed the seams.
The bodice was attached to the top of the waistband.
Now to put the whole thing together, I pinned the skirt to the bottom of the waistband with the peplum sandwiched in between.
I installed my zipper, which I purchased for $2.49 - the only cost of this dress! I also hand-stitched a hook-n-eye closure at the top of the zipper, but forgot to snap a pic.
And finally, my armholes were hemmed, again snipping inside the curves for a flat finish. And I pressed these and anything else that needed it.
I am so happy with how this turned out.
It's sleek enough for a night on the town.
But it's modest enough to be worn to work with a blazer or cardi.
Also, did you notice I wore my hair down? Crazy! It's finally getting "cool" enough to not be sweating under the thickest hair ever.
My, what a transformation!