The latest season of Refashion Runway - the All Stars edition - is finally here! And we're kicking it off with a velvet challenge! This fabric has been all over the runways lately, and it's predicted to be all over a city near you soon as well. Once you've read my submission below, be sure to click over to The Renegade Seamstress to check out the other entries and vote for your favorite!
I found this 90s crushed velvet dress at Thrift City recently and knew it'd be the perfect starting point for a makeover. It had giant shoulder pads and was a bit too snug and too long, but I loved the color and the strappy details on the upper back.
I felt like this was just too much velvet for one garment, so I decided to cut it in half and make two different things. First, a new dress! To supplement the velvet skirt portion, I pulled out an old refashioned top I think I wore maybe twice. It was a touch too short, and cropped tops just aren't my thing.
I made a couple snips to remove the velvet shoulder pads. I also trimmed off the sleeves about 1/2 inch from the seam. And I cut the torso from the skirt at about the waist level.
Then I salvaged the sheer polka dot yoke by picking out my old seams. I also carefully picked out the stitches holding those faux pocket flaps on and then re-serged the tiny little side seams under the arms.
Next I serged the polka dot yoke to the velvet skirt. I could have stopped there and had a perfectly cute new dress, but I wanted to bring a little of the velvet up to the collar to tie it all together. So I picked out the original polka dot collar from its collar stand and used it as a pattern to cut two pieces of velvet from the dress' sleeves.
I wanted more of a Peter Pan collar, so I rounded one corner then folded it in half to make it symmetric before sewing the two pieces together with right sides facing. Then I trimmed the seam allowances to about 1/8 inch to reduce the bulk.
Once I flipped the collar right-side-out, I top-stitched around the edges for a nice finished look. Then I stuck my new collar in between the polka dot layers of the collar stand and sewed it in.
Now I've got an adorable dress for fall date nights or a winter holiday party!
BUT WAIT! There's more! What did I do with the top half of the velvet dress, you ask? Well, I know I said cropped tops aren't my thing, but there are exceptions to every rule, aren't there? Pairing a fitted cropped top with a high-waisted skirt, so as to avoid the bare midriff, seems A-okay to me! I cut two long rectangles from the remaining bits of sleeve and serged them into a tube to become a bottom band for my new shirt.
The tube was then folded in half, pinned, and serged to the bottom of the velvet torso. Then I finished the armholes by folding under that 1/2 inch of fabric I left and stitching a new hem.
I needed a cute high-waisted skirt to wear with my new cropped top, so I pulled out this autumnal beauty from the spring clothes swap and chopped off the bottom 6 inches.
I serged all the way around the edge, which was quite a lot of mileage with all those gores. Then I started to fold it up and hem it, but I wasn't like the way it flattened and stretched the crinkly fabric. So I pulled out that little bit of hem and just left the serged edge exposed.
And there you have it! Another great outfit that will be perfect for autumn!
I love how velvet can have a formal, feminine feel but also more casual boho vibes too. I'm looking forward to wearing both my new pieces this fall and winter, you know, when it's not over 100F outside.
Now that you've seen what I have to offer, go check out the other competitors' work at The Renegade Seamstress and cast your vote!