Refashion Friday: Overly Colorful Dress

S on SnowdoniaThis dress is another one from the stash of things my mom brought me from the thrift store this summer. Because my mom is the best!

The print is really super colorful, which was too much on this dress. It has that bottom ruffle that I dislike on pretty much every dress ever (why would you ruffle a print this colorful? I don’t know, it’s too much). And the shape was pretty frumpy.


I decided to do it without dyeing the fabric as a challenge. And because I wasn’t sure there was any dye that would look good over all of those different colors that also wasn’t black. The best way to make that work was to make this dress into two different pieces that can be worn separately. So! The first thing I did was remove the offending ruffle from the bottom and take the bodice off the skirt. I forgot to take a picture of the spare ruffle piece. But then I took the ruffle, cut it in half, and then sewed the two halves together like this:

ruffle sewn together


Then I sewed those two pieces to the bottom of the bodice to make a new waist section. Unfortunately, there was a weird bunching in the back, which was true on the dress in the first place:

bunchy back

I took out that bunching section that was too big and ironed it out. This is too long for across my shoulder blades:

too long back

So I cut out a chunk and sewed it back in. That was the end of the top!

top done

It’s cute, but it’s not really “me.” So I’m planning on donating it right back to the thrift store. But the skirt is cute, and I’m going to keep it. To make it, I removed the elastic from the skirt section and laid it out. I put pins in it to make it more of an a-line shape.

(Sidebar: This refashioning is teaching me a few basic sundress construction conventions, many of which I’m finding are easier to sew than other techniques, but which tend to make a dress that’s quite unflattering. The ruffle at the bottom is one, the two triangles bosom shape is another, and the “make a tube of fabric and throw some elastic on it to make a skirt thing is another. I find that the tube of fabric skirts tend to puff out too much right under the elastic, creating a weird ridge in the appearance of the body line. I much prefer the a-line shape, which widens gradually from the elastic waistband and makes a smoother visual line on the body.)

skirt reshapingI sewed along those pin lines and then made a new elastic casing. I put the elastic back in my new casing with my fun bodkin:

putting elastic back in


And then I hemmed it and I was done!

skirt done

Ooooh! Work-appropriate! And way less overwhelmingly colored!

before and after



3 thoughts on “Refashion Friday: Overly Colorful Dress

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