My selection for Project ReStyle this week is what I like to call a happy little accident. Here at The Fainting Goat, I’ve been working hard to get my spring collection ready to debut in a few weeks. Yesterday I spent a little time digging through my selection of hideously beautiful 80’s prom dresses & church lady clothes looking for items that I could redesign and add to our spring line. For me, this means trying everything on with pin cushion in hand to see how I could make it fit better and look more up to date.
I had held on to this mint green number with the intentions of snatching that awesome flower detail from the front to make into a headband or hairpin, I hadn’t decided which. When I finally tried it on yesterday though, I immediately envisioned a new purpose for this little lady. (Yes, I personify clothes. Most dresses are women… but not all.) First, I realized the color looked awesome on me and went really well with my hair and eyes, so I knew I was making something for myself to wear. (This was further confirmed later when I accidentally cut a tiny hole in the dress. Like I said, a happy accident.) Second, once I had the dress on and realized how great the top fit me, I knew there was no way I could pick that flower from its home. I decided to keep the top as a top, and repurpose the bottom into something equally as awesome.
I don’t have pictures to accompany my how-to, mostly because it’s not very pretty. I really do not know how to sew, my first attempt was the scarf I made in week 1, so everything I do is pulling from the faint memories I have from 6 weeks of Home Ec in middle school and my keen MacGyvor-like crafting instincts. The finished products look great though, and that’s all that really matters, right?
For the Top
This one is pretty simple. I just cut the lining about an inch from the bottom of the top shell, removing the skirt from the top. I thought about removing the liner from the top altogether but held off on that for now. The back, which I realize that I didn’t take any pictures of, has this great button detailing that exposes the satin liner beneath. If I removed it, you would be able to see through to the skin beneath, which could be kinda cool, but since the top fabric is pretty sheer, I’d probably wear a cami under it anyways. I love how the bottom edge comes up just a little where the flower is; I think this detail makes the top! Even though the fabric has a bit of a sheen to it, I could totally see myself wearing this with black jeggings (like I am here) and strappy heels (like I am not wearing here) any old day of the week.
For the Skirt/Dress
This part was a little more tricky. Actually, a lot more tricky, but we’ll get to that later. After cutting the top off the dress, I was left with about 1 inch of flat satin fabric above the top of the skirt. My original plan was to hem this into a tube, run a piece of elastic through it and BAM, awesome dress. I didn’t realize until I got ready to sew however that the top edge of the skirt wasn’t a straight line. It mimicked the hem line of the top, meaning that in one point, the skirt line came up into a slight point. At this place, my 1 inch of flat fabric shrunk to about 1/3 of an inch. Bummer.
With my easy peasy idea no longer an option, I decided to sew the elastic straight to the fabric, then roll it over and attach again. The only place this became an issue again was at the uneven edge. My solution here was to sew across the crimped skirt part in a straight line (well, as straight as the rest of my lines are), and attach the elastic that way. Once I got this done all around the top of the dress, I went back and tacked down the extra fabric in my problem area so that it created a small fold at the front of the dress. I figured that most lady’s need a little something extra there to keep things flowing right anyway.
Once I had the top done, I went hunting through my ribbon and belt collections looking for the perfect thing to tie it back with. I decided on this thin hot pink plaid shirt tie. I tried wearing it a couple of different ways: empire waist style for a more formal look, and tied at my natural waist with a nice 1970’s bloused look on top. Either way, this light, sheer gal will be great come summer when it gets too hot to wear clothes here in Georgia!