Monday, May 27, 2013

#38: Remake Combo!: Big Billowy Red Dress

Hey all! Happy Memorial Day!

I've got lots of great stuff in this post for you today, including an update of some of my pieces in action, and a a piece that I re-re-re-transformed!

First, let's take a look at today's piece. You may have seen it before, but keep reading because I've changed it again!

I picked it up for less than $3 last Summer while thrifting with my mom.

Before: Big, billowy red dress

Before: From behind

Definitely looked like there was a box under all that fabric! But I just LOVED it!

The Big Box Strut!

Back in October 2012, there was a little over a month after my first little sewing machine broke that I was without a machine. But that didn't stop me from trying a transformation anyway!

Armed with a needle, thread, and scissors, this is how I did the first transformation (sorry, no pics for this first process):


1) I removed the shoulder pads and the sequined shoulder decoration.
2) Then I cut off the sleeves and skirt.
3) I hand-sewed a hem around the bottom, as well as some darts to create a wavy effect.
4) I folded and stitched under some of the material at the shoulder.
5) I took half of the billowing material from the back, hand-sewed a button and button hole, and used a scrap of material from the sleeve to tie up some of the crazy amount of fabric in the back.
6) Finally, I took the rest of the billowy material on the front, gathered it together in the center, and stitched it together, embellishing it with the sequined shoulder decoration I had previously removed.

Here is the first way I transformed this big red dress---all with hand-stitching:

After #1: Drape-y Grecian

After #1: from behind


This first transformation whet my creative appetite, but I did not really want to keep it this way. So when I found this photo online advertising a hair makeover, I was more interested in the woman's shirt than her hair!

Fragment of a shirt

And I knew just what I wanted to do next with this transformation.


1) I undid most of what I had done previously (no more sequined center or back button).

Undoing it all

2) Then I removed the hand-stiched darts and bottom hem.

So long darts, so long hem!

3) Next, I completely separated the shoulders on both the outer and inner layers of the top.

Layers and layers

4) I cut out a wider neckline.

Wider neck

5) I took in the sides all the way down so the under layer would be more form-fitting, and cut off the excess material.

Slim the sides!

6) I pinned and sewed around the new neckline, shoulders, and arms on the inner layer.

Pinning and sewing

7) Then I pinned and sewed a new hem at the bottom of the piece.

Hemming it up!

8) I also hand-sewed a straight stitch and pulled it tight to scrunch it on the sides at the bottom of the piece.


9) Next, I cut a slit at the neckline in the under layer and sewed a v-shaped hem.


10) After that I cut and sewed a strip of material. I took the beaded, sequined decal, wrapped it inside the strip, and sewed it onto the strip.

Strip and sequins (not the Las Vegas kind)


11) I took the sparkle strip and pinned it to the under layer of the piece. Then I sewed it on both sides and cut off the excess.

Pin the strip

Sew and cut the strip

12) Then I separated the back seam all the way down on the outer layer and cut a deeper slit down the front of the outer layer.

13) I took the HUGE amount of material at the front and wrapped it around the front neckline, pinned it, and sewed around the front, leaving some of the sparkly decal exposed.


14) Then I did the same with the back, and cut off the excess material.

15) I did a few adjustments under the arms to make it fit better, and then I was done!

Here is a reminder of how it looked first:

Before #1

And then second:

Before #2

What I was aiming for:


And now the third!:

After #2

After #2: From behind

And a little less bright for more detail:

After #2: Less bright

After #2: From behind

I'm liking this much better. It still has a bit too much fabric for my liking, but it's much more practical than the billowing big red dress!

And if you're wondering what I did with the bottom skirt, I used that 2 different ways. First, I made a Halloween costume using all that fabric from the bottom portion of the original dress as both the skirt, cape, and mask, as well as borrowing elements from two of my previous projects.

After #3: Hero Girl!!

To save the day!

After Halloween, I used the skirt as a tree skirt for our Christmas tree!

After #4: Red Tree Skirt

Wow! I really re-re-re-transformed this big red dress! I can finally say that I've completed this transformation. Whew! :)

- - - - - - - - - - - -

And here's an update: On Mother's Day I was able to deliver my grandmother's bibs I made her (here's a refresher),

She loves them! younger cousin's yellow skirt I made,

She likes it! Hey Mikey!

...and the Barbie dress I made my family friend,

**More Barbie clothes to come soon!**

...all while wearing my Valentine's Dress!

Here are my creations in action!

(Sorry so fuzzy)

I hope you enjoyed this cram-packed post! I've enjoyed creating each of these transformations, and I'm looking forward to a brand-new start on a brand-new project.

Until next time, blessings.

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