Toronto weather. Barely cracking double Celcius digits. IT’S MAY. Raining, like, ALL THE TIME. My sunglasses have been sitting, neglected, in the same spot for so long that there’s a sunglass-shaped outline in the coffee-table dust. COME ON. I overheard a woman on the subway the other day saying to her friend, “Alright, winter’s over. This is just harassment!” We’re DYIN’ over here. I need a dose of SUN to lighten my MOOD. Admittedly, PMS may also be a factor in my current whiny mood situation, but just DON’T BE ASKING ME IF I HAVE PMS, cause we all know how well that question helps to quell the DON’T-MESS-WITH-ME-CAUSE-YOU’LL-REGRET-IT state of mind. (I also notice that I have a predilection for using ALL CAPS when I have PMS…ANYONE ELSE DO THAT TOO???)
Ok, if I haven’t scared you away yet, BRAVE YOU! I’ll lighten things up now with what I think is a dose of sunshine in a dress. JUST LOOK AT THAT GIANT BOW.
This is my entry in the Sewing Pattern Review Thrift It Up contest….if you’re already a user of Pattern Review you can go vote for my entry here. Please and thank you!
I made the dress by refashioning three pre-loved men’s shirts. It’s based on a dress made by Mira of the blog Fafafoom. If you don’t follow Mira’s blog, you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD! (Sorry, there goes the caps lock again.) What a great sense of style, and such skill in garment making. I had one of those moments when Mira’s post showed up in my inbox: sharp intake of breath, followed by an exclamation of “I MUST HAVE THAT DRESS!”, accompanied by a Hollywood-style swell of melodic strings that indicate our protagonist has found her purpose in life.
With melodic strings buoying my every step, off I went to Value Village to spend a stupid amount of time finding just the right combination of shirts. (My husband has some great shirts in his closet that would have been perfect for this, but I figured he’d notice when he, like, didn’t have any shirts left to wear. What SACRIFICES I make for the success of this marriage!)
I’m happy with the combination of colours, and I took quite a while deciding which pieces of which shirt would go where. I’m pleased that the colour-blocks don’t look too “patchworky”.
These were the steps in my process:
1. I decided on the pink shirt as the base for the bodice. I kept the front, collar, and back yoke intact. I cut away the back and replaced it with fabric from the white-and-blue striped shirt.
2. I unpicked the Tommy Hilfiger logo on the front of the pink shirt, and covered up the resulting tiny holes by sewing on the pocket I had removed from the white-and-blue striped shirt.
3. I took in the sides as well as the sleeves and the armscyes quite a bit for a better fit.
4. I cut the existing cuffs off the white-and-blue striped shirt. I then cut the sleeves off the pink shirt at about 3/4 length, gathered the sleeve ends, and sewed on the cuffs from the white-and-blue striped shirt.
5. I cut the bottom of this newly modified Frankenshirt off a few inches below my waistline.
6. I cut off the bottom of the third shirt (the baby blue shirt) to become the skirt. I turned it around so the button placket would be on the back of the skirt for some added interest in the back, and kept the curved hem intact. I gathered it and sewed it to the bodice. I cut away the front of this new skirt and re-hemmed it so the outcome was a hi-low hem on the skirt.
7. I added 2 vertical fish-eye darts on the back of the bodice for more waist shaping.
8. I unpicked all the seams on the sleeves of the white-and-blue striped shirt. From these parts I pieced together two long tapered ties and hemmed the edges. I left on the small buttons that had been part of the cuff placket on each of the ties.
9. I sewed the ties to each side of the dress.
10. I was very pleasant and accommodating to my husband so that he would agree to take pictures. (AGAIN with the SACRIFICES!)
Look! The bow can be tied in the front or in the back! Who needs the sun or even a hint of warmth when I can have A GIANT BOW ON MY BUTT??I’m awarding myself bonus points for avoiding having sewn any buttonholes at all! I used all of the existing button plackets. That’s what’s a great about a refashion — being able to use existing design features if you can.Here are the existing shirts that were sacrificed to the Goddess of Giant-Bowed Dresses. Note the deliberately frayed hem on the blue and white striped shirt. That’s basically a crime against humanity, and therefore that shirt deserved to be sacrificed.
This happens EVERY TIME I lay out fabric on the floor. It all must pass kitty inspection.
OK, TORONTO WEATHER! ENOUGH WITH THE HARASSMENT! I want to wear the hell out of this dress. (A look at my window thermometer indicates that the temperature has climbed to a BALMY ELEVEN DEGREES CELCIUS at midday. I’d better go turn on the air conditioning lest I faint from the heat. Sheesh.
Would you take a minute to go vote for my dress in the Thrift it Up contest over at Pattern Review? I’d really appreciate your support.
Thanks for stopping by! Or should I say, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!