I bought a strapless maxi dress from a thrift shop for £1.00. It was the type with a bandeau front and shirring elastic at the back. It was OK but the top just did not feel safe for me to wear anywhere. I am not really into boob tube type tops but prefer to have the security of a strap or boning at the very least. I think most people wear with a bikini by the pool on holiday. I should have taken a photo but forgot. Anyway it started off something like this:
So having decided I like the fabric which was a bargain at just £1.00 I needed to make something I can actually wear. The front has what is a princess type construction with three panels. The back is just one panel but has shirring elastic at the top. I chopped off the top completly then used this pattern to cut out a vest type of dress using view C but without the sleeves.
I wanted to achieve a vest dress which was fitted like the pattern but with a slightly more A-line skirt.
To do this I first cut the front and back of the original dress appart at the side seams but left the princess seams of the front intact. I folded each piece in half at the centre. Since the dress was second hand and had been worn and has no elastane I now found that in order to keep the grainline straight the side seams were a little squewed. This did not matter since my pattern pieces were quite a lot smaller than my fabric pieces. If you do this you just need to make sure your new centre front is flat and has no folds and that it follows the grain of the fabric. Also that the princess front seams line up as well as the grainline being correct.
The I positioned the front pattern piece on the folded front panel and the back piece on the folded back panel. At each centre fold at the bottom edge I added 1cm extra however I kept the pattern right on the fold at the top and down to the waist to make a slightly A-line skirt but not to add any extra ease through the top part. I cut it out and simply overlocked all seams. Then because I did not know if it was going to work out to be wearable at all I overlocked all the edges too.
Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will know I am quite into the punk look so for me overlocked hems is just fine and I like that. I decided it is wearable just as it is but if I decide to I can still go back and twin needle stitch a hem at arm holes, neckline and hem later.
So here is the final dress again. I am quite pleased with the end result and wore to work already.
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