How I Turned an Ill-Fitting Dress into a Gathered Skirt
Posted on Thursday the 14th June 2018 by Athina Kakou
It all started when I received my parcel from Minerva Crafts, containing the fabrics for my next 3 projects. I’m sure you all know the feeling of getting a fabric so beautiful, that you have no idea what to turn it into. This was the case with this floral Linen Fabric treasure. I wanted to make something that would do it justice and I wanted it to be something that I would get tons of wear out of.
This fabric has the perfect colors for me and since I’m working on a pink collection for summer, it would be the ideal addition to the mix. I cannot even count the times I changed my mind about what to do with it. At first I wanted to make trousers, then a pair of shorts, then a dress. Oh.My.God! No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make a decision. Until the time came and I realized I had left it for the last minute. I had to send my blog post and I hadn’t even known what I was making. So, I took out all of my patterns and picked the ones that would be a good match.
One of them really stood out, the New Look 6518, View A, which is a super cute dress for the summer. As I live in dresses, I thought it would be amazing! But… I made the mistake of not sewing a toile first. I spent an entire morning tracing the pattern, cutting out the pattern pieces and sewing almost the entire dress, until I tried it on to adjust the straps. And then I realized two things: 1. it was huge on me 2. no matter how much I’d take it in, it was not going to look good for my body shape. The thing is I am quite busty and I had so much trouble positioning the bodice on the right place. I think the dress is supposed to have an empire waist line, but the bodice was too short in order for the waistline to sit under my bust. And if I left it as it was, with the waist seam on my bust, it didn’t look flattering at all.
I won’t lie, I had a mini panic attack, mostly because I thought I ruined this gorgeous fabric. I took the dress off, went to have a snack and got back to it with a clearer head. I looked at it for a few minutes, thinking what I could do to salvage the fabric. And I had a light bulb moment! I could easily turn it into a simple gathered skirt. I chopped off the straps and realized I could easily use the bodice as a waistband. All I needed to do is to measure my waist, add 1,5 cm for ease and fold the bodice in half to create the waistband. I unpicked the center back seam of the dress first, then cut off the excess fabric to create my waistband and inserted an invisible zip. I didn’t even have to unpick my gathers! A few hours later, I had a simple but beautiful skirt, totally wearable and very pretty!
Ok, it’s not the garment of my dreams. It’s not what I envisioned this fabric to be turned into. But I managed to save an ill-fitting dress that would gather dust in my closet and turn it into something that I will enjoy wearing every day. I call it a success!
So, dear friends, this month’s post has a message from me: never give up! Everything can be saved, just use a bit of imagination and maybe lower your expectations sometimes, haha! I hope you like my skirt and I will see you back on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network very soon, hopefully with a more exciting project.