How I Saved a Handmade Dress Disaster


IMG_1637IMG_1635IMG_1631I decided to start Selfish Sewing Week a little early this year. Well actually most of my sewing is for myself, so I guess you could say that every week is “selfish” in my sewing world. But none the less, I decided for this years Selfish Sewing Week, not only would I make a few cute new things for my spring wardrobe but I would also try to revive some of my half-ass/not so great projects that I started awhile back and never finished. And this little black and white stripe dress was one of them. This dress started out as a fitted maxi dress that I made using the bodice and sleeves from the Out and About Pattern and a self drafted maxi skirt using the same idea as I did for this dress. After all was said and done, I realized that vertical stripes on a fitted skirt was not for me:

The “before.” Yikes! Stripes!

I knew I was never going to leave the house in it. The stripes are not forgiving and it showed every ounce of cheese dip I had eaten in the past three years. I was not excited. And of course Will’s response of “Nice but is it supposed to be that tight?” meant only one thing: The dress had to go. But I was not going to let close to 3 yards of beautifully soft jersey knit go to the way side. So after lots of seam ripping while I watched one very thrilling episode of The Walking Dead, I was left with a finished bodice and sleeves plus the re-usable fabric from the skirt.

How I made it work: To recreate the skirt, I removed one of the side seams but left the other one which intact. This gave me one large piece of fabric. I opened up the fabric and cut it in half width wise to give me two equal sized pieces: one for the front of the skirt and one for the back for the skirt.  Right sides together I sewed these two pieces together. Then used a long basting stitch to make a gather on the top. After that,  I reattached the gathered skirt to the original bodice and voile! Now I have a dress that is much more suited for my body type and one that I will actually wear out in public!


 And for your viewing pleasure, here is the Before and After side by side comparison. What do you think? Did I make the right move? before and after stripped dressTune in later this week for some more Selfish Sewing Week action from yours truly. And in the mean time, check out for a great Selfish Sewing Week Challenge where you could win up to $400 worth of sewing swag! So start creating something that is just for YOU and maybe you could even win big!



One thought on “How I Saved a Handmade Dress Disaster

  1. For sure the right choice! I also dream about wearing dresses like your first one, but I’ve learned that no matter what, they just aren’t for me! Adorable!


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