Monday, September 3, 2012

One Hit Wonder # 3, Refashioned and wearable

Time to revisit my sometime series of One-Hit Wonders, which are dresses I worked hard to make for a special occasion, wore one time and then put in the closet, never to be worn again.  In this instance I knew I loved this fabric too much for it to be shut away. Consequently I did some refashioning and now am more than happy with the result.

Pink green dress

A double treat to wear my "new" dress, for my birthday dinner, on vacation.  I originally made this dress in July of 2010, to wear to a wedding. (that seems to be a pattern for my one-hit wonders,  see the previous ones here and here.)  I think I have mentioned that when Karen was in California sewing with me she was wowed by my collection of super-bright floral dresses. Being a fan of the colorful and floral, she urged me to revisit them and this one had the most possibilities for refashioning.  Actually the refashioning is pretty subtle, but makes it so much more wearable, or at least suitcase packable!

The original dress has the same bodice, but I took off the skirt and cut it down considerably. The skirt on the first version was 120 inches in circumference, with 1 inch pleats at the waist. Very heavy in this cotton sateen. At the time I was going for a retro early 60's technicolor movie style, and it was OK, but a bit too much in retrospect. Removing the skirt I changed it to a much narrower straight skirt, slightly gathered at the waist. It may be difficult to see, but I left the center front of the skirt flat, and then started the gathers near bodice princess seam. I like this look on a dress which makes a gathered skirt look a bit sleeker. I cut the pockets off the first version and restitched them into the new side seams on this, total recycling for this project :)

Pinkgreen front view original pink green dress on form

Lastly, this dress seemed to need a belt so I used one of my belt kits (purchased from A Fashionable Stitch, so glad she has these as I used to find them all the time locally but now they are very scarce). On the left is the fabric covered buckle, half finished so you can see how it looks once you get the fabric stuck on. These are really easy to make, if you have never tried one give it a go. I suggest a very thin fabric (cotton or something similar) for a first try.  On the right is my Singer buttonhole maker which I use to make the eyelets. The smallest template makes a 1/4 inch buttonhole. OK, it is not circular, but it is fine with me and very sturdy.

pink belt bucklepink green belt buttonhole

Not having made one in ages, I made a slight boo-boo on the the little tongue-y thing which is sticking out a smidge too long, but after a few minutes with the pliers and not wanting to snap it off I decided it was just fine.  When I make belts I put the little loop on the buckle side of the belt, stitched in place as the end of the belt always wants to stick out and this makes it look more finished.

pink green dress belt

To see how full the skirt is on the first versionand all my other one-hit wonders see this set.  I used New Look 6457 for the bodice, and here is a previous blog post featuring this same pattern. 

No actual sewing for me for a while, but I was busy in July and August so I have a few blog posts coming up on completed projects, including a few knits (starting to see the possibilities - and instant gratification sewing with knits provides).

The grand finale to my one-hit wonders is coming up soon and you don't want to miss that. Floral, tulle, piping, shoulder pads. . . and you are asking why I don't wear it more often? ha ha. Wait and see!

Summer is not really over but it kind of seems like it on this weekend.  Time for thinking about winter projects?   Say it isn't so, at least not here in the 50th state :) 

Happy Labor day and/or unofficial end of summer sewing to all,  Beth


  1. Love your re-fashioning on this dress

  2. It seems you love cotton sateen as much as I do as this is the second one that I've used on a project as well. The refashion is really pretty! So glad you will get some use out of that gorgeous print. I made mine into a skirt that is sadly too big for me now. I guess I could take it apart and make it smaller but I REALLY HATE alterations.

  3. What a great and usable update. Gives me the inspiration to continue w/ a refashion project I have. Thanks.

  4. What a pretty cotton satin that is! such an adorable print and such a shame it was going to be live a life of confinement. The refashion made it more wearable but the first version was soo pretty!

  5. This is such a beach party frock now! I like how the print seems to look less busy with the straight skirt. Nice refashion!

  6. Beautiful beautiful dress on you! I'm so glad you made it into a new dress that can be used more often. I love your choice of fabrics.

  7. Very appropriate refashion. Not ready to move into fall/winter sewing myself, need to, but dragging my feet all the way.

  8. I think it's great that you will be able to get more wear out of this lovely dress, enjoy it while it's still summer!

  9. The dress looks great - very cute! A good save.

  10. Very gorgeous fabric and well worth saving! The newer slimmer version does look really beautiful, and more "you" :)

  11. Beautiful save! I love it! What will you do with the leftover skirt fabric?

  12. I love that print! It definitely looks more wearable as a slimmed down dress. I hope you had a wonderful birthday and are enjoying your tropical vacation!