This is my new holiday dress.
It started out as a thrift store purchase that looked like this:
Not only was it the wrong size, the cutwork around the top was badly frayed and the straps were coming off. But the bottom edge of the skirt was in fine shape, and had plenty more cutwork to, well, work with. And I didn’t think the deeply pleated skirt was the best styling to show off this fabric. The cutwork got lost in the fullness.
So I started by cutting off the chiffon at the waist. That gave me about two yards of this to work with
I decided that to show it to best advantage, I wanted a light contrasting color behind it. And since our holiday photo shoot colors are navy and silver, I pulled out some silver satin and started draping. I decided I wanted the final dress to look something like this:
That is literally just fabric pinned onto my dress form. The navy satin came from the underskirt of the original dress.
So, I used a pattern (two actually, one for the dress and another for the sleeves) and made this as a base
Then I cut the chiffon at the seams, so I had 2 one yard pieces. I turned one upside down and started pinning it into place on the dress.
When I got to the back I pinned all along the zipper
Leaving the chiffon open below the zipper.
I sewed that piece in place along the edges and the zipper, then I closed the seam below the zipper. I got the other piece of chiffon, folded it in half, sewed a new seam down the short end, and serged around the top so I would have a finished edge to work with. I gathered this like a skirt and fitted it over the current dress and chiffon.
You can see the gray serger thread I used in the picture below.
In some places, like on the left side of the picture above, the cutwork of the top piece extended beyond the waistline. I wanted to keep that, so I cut along the edge of the applique and removed the chiffon, then put the skirt edge under it. I sewed all of this in place like I did for the neckline.
Finally, I used the pleated waistband from the original dress and made a faux belt (it’s sewn on) to cover the part where the bottom chiffon met the top chiffon. I trimmed off the under layer of chiffon (from the top half of the dress) very close to the belt stitching line.
And now I have this
I have to say, I felt very Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink stitching this together.
And the back view
Now I just need some holiday parties to wear it to!