Friday, February 29, 2008

Sundress Rises as Skirt

In the Ballentynes Blitz post, I offered suggestions for how to wear a sundress and said I was going to convert this one into a skirt. The dress had a shaped bust, and two rows of encased elastic forming the waistline. Here’s how I transformed it.

Remove the shoulders/bust of the dress, leaving enough extra fabric at the top of the skirt to form a waistband. Chop off the corners. This dress was lined, so it was easy to turn inside the raw edges of the corners and stitch.

Add a strip of interfacing inside each side flap to which will be stitched button or dome fastenings.

Fold under edges of waistband and topstitch. Overlap the side flaps, folding under any bulges, and topstitch, leaving room to get in and out. I topstitched as far as the upper row of elastic (marked by the orange pins; the 2 pins at the top show the amount of overlap required to fit my waist), then stitched each side of the opening separately.

Here is a view of that topstitching from the inside. The seam is on the right side of the pleat of excess fabric running down between the two elastic tracks (what was the bulge). The pleat is 25mm wide at the top.

Dealing with the bulges proved that I had to remove the two rows of elastic before I could topstitch. To do this, I had to cut into the outside of the skirt, because inside the lining formed an extremely secure casing. With the elastic removed, the bulges smoothed out nicely, but I had some unsightly holes in the outer fabric. I secured these with zig-zag stitching. Then…

Satin ribbon can hide a multitude of sins. I ran the ribbon over both of the elastic tracks. Holes hidden. Skirt happy.

My sewing machine is rebelling against buttonholes, so I opted for domes (press fasteners) to secure the flaps, and moved the buttons, now purely decorative, forward a little.

Voila! A skirt prettier than the dress it came from, and in one of my favourite colours!

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