A Possibly Perfect Refashion

Sep 6, 2013

Days are getting warmer, which means it's getting easier to photograph my recent projects! It would be easier still if my sewing ever followed any kind of seasonal pattern, but what can you do... At least there's no incentive to rush when you're working on something that will be unwearable for the next two months :P

Every so often - in any art form - there's something that works out just right, reminding you exactly why it is you indulge in this hobby when you could be in bed watching How I Met Your Mother instead.
For me, that something was this dress:

Ignore the awkward sour face - it really is comfy!

The original: 

This challenge was the result of my obsessive rayon addiction. Most fabric stores have a little rayon section, but its near impossible to find a nice plain colour, let alone a print. Most refashioners (is that the accepted term now?) seem to suggest going for larger sizes when thrifting. There's much more fabric to work with and a much greater chance of success. But, typical me, as soon as I realised that I had my hands on rayon, I was handing over my money and skipping down the street without a second thought. It wasn't until I got home that I noticed this dress is way too small! (I realise you can't see this in the photo, but it really was!).
Along with the publicly unwearable tightness, there were large holes in the side-seams, holes where buttons should be, and fraying patches in place of every buttonhole. 
But who doesn't love a bit of a challenge?

If you are interested in the up-sizing process, read on for details!

The Process

My first step was to trim off the button plackets and cut the hem to a new, shortened length. 

I then tried it on and carefully measured across the front opening to determine how much extra fabric I would need to create a comfortable amount of ease. I wanted a fairly loose fitting dress to make the most of the previously pointless back ties and the drapeyness of rayon. These measurements formed a trapeze shape, going out from the bust, rather than in towards the waist.

The fabric leftover from shortening the dress was nowhere near long enough to fill in the front gap in one piece. So, I used two shorter pieces, making sure the join would sit at my waistline - about 10 inches from the neckline.

At this point, the panel was still about 4 inches shorter than the rest of the dress. By piecing together the remaining leftovers from the bottom of the dress, I made a ruffle to fill in the 4 inch gap.
This little detail is my favourite feature of the dress. It's barely noticeable from a distance because it so easily blends into the busyness of the print. But up close, it adds just a bit of cuteness :)

The dress is very short, and a little terrifying on windy days, so I wouldn't suggest this exact technique to anyone taller than I am (5'3"). Although, the whole central panel idea could be an amazing way to use up stash fabric and incorporate some colour blocking...


Images source: Pinterest


  1. Lovely ... clever idea!

  2. Your blog is really cool! I've nominated it for the Versatile Blogger Award. Learn more about it here: http://andpossiblyadd.blogspot.com/