Friday, April 20, 2012

Refashion - Midi length halter wrap around to throw on day dress.

I wish I'd taken a before pic of this dress. The dress was slightly longer than mid calf but not quite long enough to be a maxi - unflattering length on me. It was a halter neck that was built for an A cup, I'm not an A cup. Due to the fact that it was slightly too large, it gave some coverage but not nearly enough when it was pulled up, up, up and tied but you know what? I don't like halter necks, not only do they feel unsafe with regards to public decency laws (you know, you're constantly thinking "I hope this thing doesn't come undone.", no matter how securely it's tied) but also, they give me a neck ache (yeah, that's probably because I've tied them too tight to try to lessen the possibility of flashing everyone. The back bodice piece was kind of baggy but didn't look as though it was meant to be - it had elastic at the top to stop the back falling down and as the dress was too large, it would have without that. The biggest problem? The wrap was approx. 10cm!! What is with these skimpy wraps? Of course, that means it had to be pinned together so that I didn't flash everyone when I breathed but then of course the dress looks weird when it's in motion because it doesn't flow .... at all (no surprise when it's pinned at various points).

So, the obvious question is why, with all of these problems did I buy it? I have no idea - I  bought it years ago, wore it once (and actually got a lot of compliments) but as I've said before, I have no patience for dresses that need fussing and constant checking and boy did it ever. It must have been the print that got me.

The refashion:
  • Cut off the front and back bodice.
  • Estimate the centre front of the skirt and join the two (barely) wrap pieces with a centre front seam.
  • Remove the extra length.
  • Take in the side seams (thereby closing the hole for the wrap tie).
  • Use the extra length removed to make a new bodice - each shoulder seam is a former skirt side seam - the old hem now goes from bottom centre front to bottom centre back - sew up the centre front & back of the new bodice.
  • As the dress wasn't as long as the palm maxi had been, I was left with gaps at the sides of the bodice - I cut two panels from the remaining piece of extra length to join the front & back bodices and skirt under the arm holes (using the old hem at the top of the panels).
  • I hemmed the rest of the armholes (the bottom part was done, as I'd used the old hem) with the help of wonder tape (because this fabric is a nightmare for my sewing machine).
  • So then I was left with the problem of hemming it. I hemmed (no pun intended) and hawed about how to overcome the machine vs nightmare fabric debacle combined with the fact that it was an A-line, so some easing would need to be done. In the end, my impatience got the better of me and I decided to give hemming web a shot. My reasoning was that even though it was an A-line (ie. curved hem), it wasn't very exaggerated, so there would be minimal easing (being such a thin fabric, I figured I'd just stick it down with the web) and that the web is so thin that I didn't necessarily need to have it at the exact bottom of the hem, so I could still have some curve. Well, lo and behold, it actually worked AND it looks good!!
Using the cut off length to make a new bodice.

So now I've got an easy to wear, impossible to wrinkle throw on dress. It actually looks better in real life than in the pic but you get the idea.

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