From unworn dress to top

February is Refebulous month and I’ve been having fun with my refashioning drawer. Years ago I bought a long sheath dress from a local designer which had a hole in the side. I enjoyed the hole for a while, wearing a jumper underneath, but then I decided I wanted to wear it in the summer so I unpicked the binding from around the hole and filled it in. And then I never wore the dress again!

The plugged hole has the vertical stripes. Yes, it was huge but it had a lot of fabric round it, which was handy. I’m not sure what the fibre is, but it’s natural and is quite lovely. Almost like a pure cotton ponte.

I harvested the neck and arm bands and took the dress apart and then got out my Pattern Union Cora blouse pattern. I got a bit stuck at this point – did I want sleeves? What length to make it? Where to put that filled hole? Luckily, I had a visit from Sarah, the designer behind the Cora blouse and we workshopped the dress. It all made complete sense – until she left and I was scratching my head trying to remember everything. I got there in the end though and this is all the fabric I had left, which surprised me.

The Cora blouse is wider than this dress (which wasn’t wide at all) so piecing had to be done.

I began by creating a yoke front and back to accommodate the neck and shoulders, and then I had to add a triangle under each armscye.

None of these are very obvious because I did work quite hard on the pattern matching.

One of the things that I was puzzling over was the length. I wanted it to be hip length but am aware that I often need a cropped top and Sarah suggested that I add a drawstring so I can have a blouson effect. I made the drawstring from both arm bands joined together. I reused the original neckband around the neck. I’m really pleased with this feature. I can’t seem to pull off the French tuck.

I also added elastic in the sleeves so I can pull them up a bit.

The back is fairly plain.

Lots of views of the front – I took these photos, and I’m going to use them! Especially as those pot plants are a tripping hazard.

I considered a pocket but didn’t want to interrupt the stripes and I couldn’t quite match them from my scraps.

I did put a label on the front, made on my Cricut Maker 3. not quite straight but I’m ok with that.

Finally a shown seated shot. We had to go to the city and it was too good a photographic opportunity to miss.

Finally a little video of Miss G and me “dancing” on the trampoline. I was too scared to lift my feet in case I landed on one of those balls.


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