Happy Friday! I am so excited because it is Fashion Revolution Week! I really love this week because it’s a time for everyone to come out and ask the fashion industry about what they are doing. For those that don’t know what Fashion Revolution Week is, you can read about it on their website!
To be honest, I like to believe like every week is Fashion Revolution week, and one of my goals with refashioning projects is to educate others about reusing resources we already have, whether that be through clothing in our own closets or thrifting items. I’ve found my best solution to the messed up world of fashion is through my sewing. Over my 13 years of learning to sew, I’ve become much more aware of the textiles I’ve been bringing in, and the waste I accumulate. My sewing has become much more mindful, and I’m really honing in on my style, and the quality of my makes.
That being said, I have a new refashion to share today! I’ve had this dress in my refashioning pile for months, waiting for the right idea. I went onto Pinterest and started searching around for denim dresses, and one style that popped up was a shirt dress. I don’t have a casual shirt dress in my wardrobe and I thought it would be a fun, easy going style to carry me into summer.
The one thing I really wanted out of this shirt dress was a longer sleeve, but because of the limited amount of fabric, chances were that I wouldn’t be able to get the full sleeve – and I needed a pattern for it. That’s when I remembered I had a pattern in my library for a shirt dress- and I already made it once before! I was able to take a few of the pattern pieces from Mimi G for Simplicity 8084 for this refashion.
One of the reasons I bought this dress in the thrift store was because it had a lot of stains, and I knew most people wouldn’t want it. It sat around for so long because I was trying to figure out ways to work around the stains. But after washing it, quite a few of the front spots came out so it wasn’t that big of a concern anymore. There were a few large stains I could work around, but two smaller ones that I couldn’t do anything about.
The first stain was right next to the side seam- a nice bleach stain that was easily cover-able. The second stain was on the sleeve, and thankfully I had enough hem left over to make a new upper sleeve! There is still a small stain on the bodice that you can’t see unless you are right on top of it, and one more that’s on the button placket but it gets covered by a button.
The first step was to remove the skirt gathering. It was just a detail I didn’t want, and it allowed me to use some of the extra fabric in other places. I really wanted to keep the side pockets so I had to remove fabric from the center of the front skirt pieces, since I also wanted to keep the front button placket in tact. I did the same with the back skirt, removing material from the center. Since I wanted to make this look intentional, rather than just having two seams down the front skirt, I added some stitching on both sides of the seam line for detail. This was just a little trick that can go a long way for refashioning.
I didn’t want to mess with the top bodice at all. I remember from my denim dress refashion that removing the pockets left deep holes in the fabric that have to be covered, so while I think this dress would be cuter with smaller pockets, they will be staying in place!
I absolutely love how the sleeves turned out! At first I thought I would get rid of the hem, but decided to play around with it instead! With the seamlines in the skirt, having more exposed seams just made more sense, and added cute detail. I cut sleeve bottoms from the dress hem and attached them to the original sleeve bottoms. I made some tabs from leftover scraps and added buttons from my stash to complete the sleeves.
The final step to making this look into more of a shirt dress was adding in the curved hemline. Again, I used my pattern pieces to get the curve. You really don’t need a pattern for this step, but it was easier since I already had it on hand!
Overall, this refashion required way more steps than I thought it would take because as much as I love the “oversized” look, it does not work on my body. I love the boxy style, and have made several pieces in the past with this style in mind only to remember that I don’t look good in it. I originally left the back bodice in tact – figuring the original size would give that over-sized look, but after trying it on several times, I had to face the fact that I looked like I was drowning. I wound up taking an extra two inches out of the entire back, then adding a back tie to pull in ever so slightly.
I LOVE how this piece turned out. There were so many times throughout this refashion when I didn’t like it. It wasn’t looking right, wasn’t feeling right, but as soon as the sleeves were put in, the whole piece was brought together. It is going to be the perfect spring/summer casual dress to throw on to go out to the grocery store, or run errands, and go out with friends. This is the type of wardrobe piece I’ve been needing to add. Every summer I want cute casual dresses but I never wind up making them. So hopefully this will be the kick I need to keep going with sewing this kind of wardrobe staple!
I do have the video footage, and will be working on a youtube video showing the entire process. Coming soon! If you want to be notified, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!