When At First You Don’t Succeed…

I’ve been sewing for about five years now and I’ve gotten pretty decent at it, but one thing continues to be a challenge for me, and that is sewing for myself.  I’m a little more curvy than my daughter ; ) and I look really frumpy in loose fitting clothing.  So easy swing dresses and boxy tees make me look rather large.  When I do try and make things that fit they almost never fit at all.  Coupled with the fact that I’ve gained, lost, gained, and lost again about 50 lbs (mostly gained, less lost) sewing for myself has resulted in a lot of wasted fabric.  And that makes me sad.

Someday I should display all of my fails on here, but that is for another day.  Because today I am happy, today is about success!

A week or so ago I went to Goodwill and found this giant purple dress in linen.


I’m a sucker for purple, I’m also a sucker for linen.

It was XXL and drowned me in fabric. I had an idea in my head for a dress inspired by this skirt, but I really didn’t think I had the skill to execute it.  

Thanks to Cotton & Curls tutorial and many many fittings I was able to finish the dress yesterday. I’m calling it an Easter present to myself.

I tried to take some pictures of myself in the dress because the dress doesn’t actually fit my dress form.  I can’t zip it up. This is both awesome and not awesome. Awesome because I purchased that dress form based off of my measurements a few years ago. It’s adjustable so I thought I was safe. Now I’m just a tiny bit smaller than the smallest adjusted size. See, awesome and not awesome.  
Annnnnnnyyyyywayyyyyy, here’s the dress on. Also taking pictures of yourself is a ridiculous and difficult process.  After this I’m ready for my children to be the models.
The original neckline was too low on me so I had to take up the shoulder seams a couple inches.  Then I was able to use the existing invisible zipper and neckline by laying an old dress on top as a pattern and matching them up at the shoulder seams.  I had to add a few darts here and there to take in some excess fabric.  It took many fittings but I got there in the end.
I know that probably doesn’t make much sense. I thought about taking pictures as I went along but I thought this project had a 85% chance of failing and so I didn’t bother.  

The bottom ruffle was made exactly as Cotton & Curls made the ruffle for her skirt.  It took about 5 fabric circles 4.5 inches wide.

The best part about refashioning an existing dress is some of the work is done for you. This dress was fully lined to begin with so it wasn’t hard to keep it that way and, because I didn’t have to hem the neckline or insert a zipper, things went fast.

Me posing with one of my sick children.  Just keeping it real : ) She wanted to get in on the photoshoot.  There’s a crazy bug going around and both of my kids got it.  I’d love to be outside at the park with them instead.  But, a day at home isn’t so bad either.

Next up is altering some church things for my husband, making a dress for my daughter, and some pants and a vest for my son.  Easter outfits for everyone!

Happy sewing!


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