Friday, December 26, 2014

#79: Leopard, Vested Teacher Dress

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the new year. Over the past week, I spent lots of time with family, went to a wedding, and even began some new traditions with my husband on Christmas Eve! I was also desperately craving some machine time, so I busted it out, and got to sewing! Today's post brings you this little number:

Side slits!

Check out those side slits! This crinkly leopard-print dress with attached non-matching half-vest was NOT the business. It reminded me of something a 1990's teacher would wear. I can't even remember where I found this, but I heard it screaming out for a transformation. 

Before: Leopard-print Teacher Dress

Before: From behind

My Facebook often has advertisement banners for clothing stores. I was super inspired by a dress I saw on an advertisement, and it served as my inspiration for this dress remake (check out the original here). 

My inspiration dress at

So to make a look-alike, I began by giving it a good iron to smooth out the skirt, as the fabric hug was not flattering my lower half. 

Iron away!

Next, I sewed closed the side slits on the skirt. I followed that by removing the unflattering half tie-vest. I had to remove almost all the seams in the top portion of the dress to get it out.

Removing seams, removing the vest!

Once that was gone, I had to re-sew the seams at the sleeves and shoulders, and took in the dress under the arms until about halfway down the skirt.

Taking it in at the sides

Once I had the seams done, I began working on the slit pictured in the inspiration dress, though I didn't want it as high. I cut the slit a little less than a foot long.

Cutting a new slit

Then I took some of my black scrap fabric, sewed long strips, and pinned them down from the waist, along both sides of the slit, and around the bottom hem.

Pinning a sewed strip from the waist

Prepping the slit

Once I had sewn the black strips in place, I slightly opened the waist seam, tucked in the top portion of the black strip, and re-sewed the seam at the waist.

I intended to make the dress form-fitted, and add a side sipper to get in and out, but I accidentally broke my only black zipper, so I decided to leave the waist a little large, and added a small strip of elastic to the inside back of the dress right at the waist seam to make it more fitted.

Pinning the elastic

With that last step, the transformation was complete!

Here again was my original dress:

Before: Leopard, vested teacher dress

Before: From behind

Added some accessories, and here is how it looks after the transformation!:

After: Sexy leopard slit dress

After: From behind

Let's check out some side-by-side action!:

Side-by-side from the front

Side-by-side: From behind

I think I did the inspiration piece some justice. Whatd'ya think?

I next plan to post a creative and functional Christmas gift I made for my mother-in-law. Now that Christmas is over, I don't have to keep it secret anymore. Check back soon for the post!

I hope you continue to enjoy this time of year. As Winter gets colder, try to stay warm out there!

Until next time, blessings :)