Dress Refashion

Living aboard doesn't allow for me to have many dresses, and the ones that I do have need to have the ability to be worn multiple times, at many places, and not be bothered by the washing and drying in our marina's industrial laundry machines. I've had many pieces of clothing fail because they weren't up to the challenge of liveaboard life; so, the idea of refashioning clothing from the thrift shop has attracted my attention.

I've always loved shopping at thrift stores and have had success finding great deals on brand new or barely worn clothing. Yet, refashioning means that I can take pieces (in whatever size, shape, or style) and make them work for me. Also, I can't bring myself to buy clothing at the prices that most pieces are marked, especially when I'm not sure if they'll hold up in the wash, or collect wrinkles when put away on a shelf in my clothing storage locker.

So, refashion. With the help of Ruffles and Stuff, I've completed the first refashion of a dress, just in time for the dinner dance I am attending next weekend. With a nice cardigan and some (plastic) jewels, I think this dress will work.

For this dress, I did the sewing with the dress turned inside-out. I sewed along the side seams just about an inch to bring in the sides. Then, I did sewing along the tops of each shoulder down about an inch, as well. I cut off the excess, tried on the dress, and then decided where I wanted to place the elastic around my waist. I traced a straight line (on the inside-out side of the dress) with fabric pencil to show where I needed the elastic, then did the sewing. Pulling the elastic slightly while sewing along the traced line allowed the fabric to gather. I cut off the excess elastic, left the length of the dress alone, and tried it on (which you see above).

Not too bad for a first try, I think. And the cost of this dress was about $10 ($4 for the dress, $3 for the thread, and $3 for a pack of elastic (of which a lot is left)). Much better than a department store purchase and with some accessorizin' hopefully this will be fun to wear.

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