Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Refashion

I've still got the making bug after my last Anna Dress came together quite quickly, but I can't decide what to make next. I have a little stash of fabric but it still all seems too nice to cut into just one of those fabrics is definitely down to be yet another Anna but I feel like I need to do something different in between! 

For Valentine's day (and also because I'd promised ages ago) I fixed an elbow tear in one of my boyfriend's shirts. As it definitely needed a patch and was a Western style with bit of red in it I painstakingly cut out two of the horses from the fabric I used for my 'Horse-Anna' dress and patched the tear with one of those, and another on the other side for balance. It looks pretty cute- luckily he liked it! But sadly I have no photos for you. 

In the end I decided that instead of doing something new I would try and fix the imbalances in my first Anna Dress. After much pressing and comparing I re-identified several faults but didn't have the heart to get pinning and trimming. To start with I decided the stabilise the neck facing by just topstitching the neckline, but my machine was playing silly buggers and wouldn't produce a balanced line of stitching- it all came out instantly! I don't know if it's the fabric or the thread, but my machine just seems to hate that dress. The amount of chewing up it did while I was making has been the subject of many previous posts! So I think I'll just leave it, chalk it up to experience.

So to use up my unsated creativity I decided to attack some more things that have been languishing in my 'to-do' pile and decided to refashion one of Angus's gran's old dresses. I have about six of these; two of which I can wear without alteration but the others need some work. Apologies in advance for the photo quality (and for the mess- I have more things than places to put them), I had to take them all in a mirror and I stand by my right to 'no make-up Sunday' (or any other day for that matter). 

So here's the dress on the hanger. I like the print, sadly it's on very artificial plasticy fabric (like all the ones I got from Angus's gran, which is sad as they're so well-made). When it first came into my possession I did wear it a few times as is; I love the '40s-style sleeves and little stick-up collar. But the dress itself is cut very loose and hangs to around mid-calf on me. Try as I might, I always felt like I was wearing a nightie when I had it on. 

Here you are for the length. The way I'm twisting with my hand on my hip is giving it much more definition than it really has- see blurry photo below.

VERY wide. I wasn't really sure on the best way to refashion this to make it more flattering for me. Checking out the construction I realised it's just a pull-on dress with no zip, so taking it in at the sides would be very risky if I ever wanted to get it on/off again. After a little play around I decided that I would just wear it as belted and shortened it, as it has a little kick pleat that was coming undone anyway that I could easily remove as a starting point. Once this was taken out I stitched up the back seam, played around with iron and pins to get the hem length right, and then went for the cut.

Just a shot of some my vintage thread stash, inherited from Angus's gran. Sadly couldn't find anything that exactly resembled the original thread so just went with white. 

  And here's the finished result! I think it looks pretty decent belted, and with those sleeves it kind of resembles a shirt-dress with the sleeves pushed up over the elbow (a much better mental image than a baggy nightdress!). 

It is a bit cheekily short (I made sure there was plenty of turn-up in the hem in case I later came to regret this). But I was going for a bit of a '60s vibe with the length so it would still look decent unbelted. 

What do you think?

NorseOtter xx

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