Thursday, June 19, 2014

Polkadot Jumper...thing? to Dress

When I first saw this piece on the rack at Goodwill I thought it was a dress.

It was not.

Is it clear from my facial expression how excited I was to turn this thing into a dress? I started by ripping open the inner leg seams, throwing the dress on a very understanding boyfriend/dress form substitute, pinning them together and sewing two new seams to leave myself with a skirt.  I was a fool and forgot to take pictures of this process, but Jill the Refashionista shows what I did here.
See how flat the unaltered piece is from my waist to below my hips in the second picture?  Those where looooong pleats that had been sewn down.  I ripped them open and was left with a much more flowy skirt.
I was originally going to remove the sleeves, but instead of the standard bodice with sleeves attached at the shoulders that I'm used to, the sleeves were actually extensions of the side panels of the bodice.  So I changed my plans and took in the sides and sleeves to get rid of those batwings on the side instead.
I also sewed the wrap front down from just below my bust to the waist line so I wouldn't experience any accidentally shirt openings.  Not content with the V I pinned and sewed two new points on the sides of the neckline to make a lovely sweetheart shape.
Next I removed length from the skirt

And the sleeves.

I folded the skirt hem over twice since Rayon in fray-heavy, and stitched it down. 

The sleeves did not get hemmed.  I had other plans for them!  First I grabbed this bright red Rayon shirt I just happened to have
Then I chopped the hems off its sleeves and pinned them over the hems of my dress's sleeves.  I was a dope and didn't fold in the shirt hems, so I treated them with No Fray so they didn't fall to pieces.
Next I cut the bottom hem off of the shirt and attempted to make a sash with it.  It ended up way too skinny and was set aside for some future project.  Next try!  I cut off more fabric from the bottom of the shirt.  Pinned and hemmed both of the long edges. Then I put my dress back on, firgured out where I wanted my faux-belt to sit, and pinned it on.
I still didn't like that.  I really wanted a belt on this dress, though, and I wanted it to be red.  I decided to go looking for a nice red belt at a thrift store.  Sadly, I didn't find one.  But I did find a nice white belt and had some spray on fabric paint...
I taped up the leather bits of the belt to protect them and got to spraying.  Then I hung the belt up to dry.

And I was done!  It was a chilly day so I put some black leggings on under it and as I sadly lack red shoes went for my shiny silver flats to complete the outfit.
It came with pockets, which means I now have a new work dress too.
A close up of the new sweetheart neckline.


  1. I love seeing your refashions. This one especially is super-cute, taking an over fussy outfit into something contemporary and lovely to wear.
    One suggestion - Ask your super-tall photographer to sit on a stool, kneel, lay on the ground... (you get the idea ;) ). It is really tricky to get the perspective from so high up looking down and would be easier if the pics were taken from a lower angle. (Of course I am not saying you are short either ;).

    1. As I am five feet tall and my photographer is over six feet, I am definitely short. ;) excellent photography advice. Thanks!