Sewing,  Style

PSB – Challenge No.2 – Dress Refashion

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Charity Shop Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

Charity Shop Refashion - Retro Claude

Charity Shop to Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

And so another Sewing Bee challenge is complete! Continuing the WW1 theme, this challenge was again inspired by war time austerity but unlike the previous challenge, challenge No. 2 required us to make something new from something old. Or as I would call it, a refashion!

I love a refashion. I think it is so inspiring to transform something unwanted or unloved into something new and exciting. For this refashion, I headed to my local charity shops to find a likely looking garment for a makeover. I struck gold with this enormous, boxy maxi-dress which was … 100% linen eek!

The maxi-dress before - Retro Claude

With lots of beautiful linen fabric to play with I thought I might attempt a jumpsuit, but quickly changed my mind to a playsuit because the skirt of the dress wasn’t quit long enough.

So how did I do it?

Well read on my friends:

The Method

Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
To start with I lay the maxi-dress inside out on the floor.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then cut the skirt away from the bodice
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Next, I undid the stitching holding the skirt gathers in place.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then lay a pair of trousers on top of the skirt section of the dress and traced the curve of the front crotch section
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
You can just about see the red tailor’s chalk.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then repeated this process but for the back crotch curve.

Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude

Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Next I refolded the skirt fabric, matching the side seams to begin cutting out my shorts. I kept the original side seam so I could make the most of the pockets.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I decided on the length of my shorts and squared across from the side seam and down from the end of the crotch curve to make a right angle.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Then in blue tailor’s chalk I added 1″ of seam allowance around my shorts pattern.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then cut out the pattern pieces for my shorts.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Then I joined the crotch curves joining fronts and backs together.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Then the inside leg seams. And there we have a pair of shorts!
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I did a quick fitting, but when I tried the shorts on they were a bit too big so I took a few inches in at the front.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
And so I now have a pair of shorts and a crop top. Time to make them into a playsuit.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Now unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the next bit, but I dyed some of the linen yellow using turmeric. I felt that the natural colour of the linen was a little bland and wanted to spice it up a bit.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then cut a waistband from the yellow fabric, I had to do it in two pieces and have seams at the side.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
But now it starts to look like a playsuit!
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
The next issue I faced was how to get it on. I decided that a CF button stand was the best option and so cut through the centre of my playsuit.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I then turned back the CF edge twice to neaten the raw edges and pressed it
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Now felt like a good time to hem the shorts. For this I used my new rolled hem foot for the first time. It was trickier than expected and the finished result is by no means perfect
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
Moving on from the dodgy hem I had to decide on some buttons. In the spirit of refashioning I decided to use only buttons I already had and experimented with different colours and styles until I was happy.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I decided on a mixture of buttonholes and rouleau loops ad decided to have an asymmetric element with the loops and button holes on different sides.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
For the fly section I wanted the fastenings to be invisible so I experimented with small buttons and buttonholes through the facing.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
But this went horribly wrong! I tried to fix it by hand stitching the buttonholes, but that didn’t work so I ended up making swing tack loops. I really hate how this bit turned out, it’s soooo messy. Still nobody’s perfect
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
I was much happier with the rouleau loops on the waistband. I think they look really sharp.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
But I’m not sure about them on the to of the playsuit. I think they look really clumsy. I wish I had done all buttonholes.
Maxi-dress Refashion - Retro Claude
The last step was to stitch some darts through the bodice, waistband and short to make the whole thing fitted. And then voila! Fin!

Shall we have a look at the before and after pictures?

The Finished Refashion

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the outcome. Yes there are things that aren’t perfect. If I had my time again I would do some things differently but hey, we are all still learning right?

I hope you learnt something from this post. Let me know what you think of my second ever refashion.

Love Claude xx

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