In my defense, today totally feels like Sunday due to the three-day weekend we're enjoying. You see, in the United States today, we've been celebrating Memorial Day - a time to reflect on the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces and given their lives to preserve our way of life. Whether you believe in the cause or not, whether you support the given war or not, there is no denying that what these people have done is courageous.
In honor of the occasion, I decided to create a military-inspired shirt dress using this free maternity tunic as my starting point.
In addition to it being too large, it was also just shy of being long enough to be worn as a regular dress. But it did have pockets!
I started with sleeve removal.
Then I cut just above and below the drawstring.
I cut the cuff and cinch strap off each sleeve.
From each sleeve I cut out my waistband pieces. This will help lengthen the dress to a more modest hem. The three pieces with the serged edge trimmed off are the ones I'm going to use.
So I had four short pieces and two long pieces. Each piece is slightly longer on one side than the other to make my waistband flare out just a smidge.
I attached the smaller pieces to the ends of the long pieces.
Next I took in the sides of the bust portion.
I added a little pleat on each side of the front for bust room.
I snipped off ten 4-inch pieces from the original drawstring. These will become my belt loops.
I sandwiched the top portion of my dress between the two waistband pieces, stuck in my belt loops, and stitched it all together.
After pressing the waistband flaps downward, here's what I had.
Then I added the skirt portion on the other edge of the waistband. In addition to the existing center-back pleat, I added a couple more to pull in the excess fabric. I only attached the skirtto the outer layer of the waistband though.
Then I folded over and pinned the inner waistband layer to enclose the raw edges.
I stitched "in the ditch" so it's barely noticeable from the outside.
To finish off the waistband edges along the button band, I cut two rectangles from one of the discarded cuffs. The existing layer of interfacing will reinforce the ends of the waistband.
I pressed all four sides inward, then pressed the whole thing in half.
I pinned and sewed and we're all set with that for now.
I cut off the excess shoulder and armhole fabric.
A couple bust darts will keep the armholes from gaping.
I used my trusty seam ripper to open up the remaining drawstring bits.
Then I used that opened drawstring as an armhole binding.
I reused the sleeve cinch straps by stitching one end to the inside of the collar at the shoulder seam. This will be folded over and buttoned on top of my shoulders as a nod to military uniforms.
Finally, I hand-stitched two buttons on each shoulder, for the straps, and three hooks on the waistband. I ran out of eyes for my hook-n-eyes, so I just used my thread to create a few little loops.
To be honest, I'm not entirely thrilled with how it came out. The original drawstring was just too high, so I was forced to put the waistband higher than I would've liked.
As a result, The dress looks like it's too tight across my chest, because there's not enough fabric to do down under my boobs quite all the way.
I may still wear it a time or two, but it will probably end up in the donation pile.