Thursday, March 21, 2013

Purple Passion Refashion

Happy Thursday! How's that for follow through on promises?

I found myself another muu muu. (For a refresher on the first one, click here) With this choice, I'm pretty sure I was channeling my mother with the purple. The color brought me in first, the muu muu brought me in for further inspection, and the fun flowers nailed my decision: I had to have it. The fact that it was $2.50 had a certain appeal as well.

It was a massive dress (with pockets!) that got me all sorts of excited. First thing I did was seam rip the arms off. I know, I know - I always do that, but I had goals of making this a summer dress to bum around town with so shortsleeves was a necessity. Also, the fabric was a bit thick for summertime so a little editing was much needed for summertime comfort.

After taking off the sleeves, I threw the dress on Sophie inside out so I could pin the sides and take a lot of the width in. This was - and I'm going to try to avoid the many, many swear words that were coming out of my mouth during this task - pure hell. I took it in a few inches on each side while trying really hard to keep some pocket in tact. Too big. Then I took it in a bit more, sacrificing the pockets. Too small. It was like a real life Goldilocks going on in my craft room. Finally, I found my happy medium and sewed up the sides. This, unfortunately, took out a lot of the draping, but after so many times of seam-ripping, one tends not to give a dang about draping.

Once the sides were finally at the right spot, I moved onto the neckline. I made a nice hem all the way around the armholes and around the neck and sewed everything up. On one side, I kept stopping and starting and skipping over the places that didn't need to be re-sewn. On the other side, I did one fluid seam, resewing the manufacturers spots even if it didn't need it. As it didn't really make a difference, I decided that one fluid motion was better - not because it looked better, but because when I get into a groove, I'd rather just roll with it.

Lastly, I decided that I would cut the bottom off to a length that wasn't quite so matronly. I picked a spot on the bottom of the dress that was a good length, and chopped it off about an inch below that length.

This is where hell rose again. I tried to do the hem that a sewist is supposed to do by rolling up the bottom edge and then rolling it again in order to make the inside all nice and neat. This did not go as planned, as it kept on getting unpinned, rolling under itself while I was sewing, and generally being a huge pain in my side. Eventually, I decided that it wasn't worth it and no one was going to crawl up my dress and inspect the seams on the inside, so I just rolled up the bottom edge once, ironed it (you heard me - I actually ironed) pinned it and sewed it. This went much better and no one would know the difference.

I used the bottom portion that I chopped off for a sash just incase the dress was too billowy that it needed to be sinched. I cut the bottom into one long piece, then folded it in half lengthwise, making sure to put right sides together (learned that one the hard way.) Then I sewed it all up and turned it right side out into one long tube and sewed up the ends.

So this one didn't quite turn out as I was hoping. I enjoy the neckline, the pattern and the color, but I'm not entirely convinced on the length that I made it. At certain angles it looks a bit nightgownish. The sash didn't quite work out as planned either - it made the dress awkwardly short that I knew I would never wear it.

Final product?

Upon further inspection, I actually noticed that I had totally messed up one of the side hems (not a surprise, really, when you think of how I did the seam 3 times and was pretty frustrated by the time I was done) to the point where it was bunching to be even shorter. I also found a few holes on the sides that were probably made during my side seam-ripping fest. I think I may re-visit this refashion when summer gets a bit closer. If I wear it as is (it is really comfortable!) then I will leave it as is and fix the holes and re-sew the weird side. If I don't feel comfortable wearing it as is, I'm going to chop it off at the waist and make it a pretty flowy blouse.

Win-win? We shall see.