Monday, January 14, 2013

Refashion Project - Jeans and Mens Shirt to Cool Dress

I don't know what came over me, but recently I saw this shirt hanging in my closet and I felt the overwhelming need to refashion it into something else.  A guy friend of mine gave it to me along with another one just like it in blue.  Which I refashioned into this dress here.  I wasn't planning on doing anything with this one because I liked wearing it around the house at first, but lately, it has just been hanging there.  

I also had this pair of jeans from him that I took in the waist on, which you can see in the same link/post that I posted above.  Maybe that's why I felt they should go together. 

I wore them, I liked them, but I didn't love them, so if a good enough idea came along I would be willing to sacrifice them for the greater good.  

My idea began slowly.  It was formed by the fact that the shirt wasn't very big, so I had a minimal amount of fabric available.  The same went for the jeans.  (Note to self:  I need larger, fashionable male friends).  I decided to cut the shirt into 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangles.  The reverse side of the fabric is a really nice striped print, too.  I used it for accents in the other dress I made.

I sewed it into stripes, alternating front and back fabric, to a width of the largest point of my hips.

I ended up making one front panel and two back panels.  I knew I was most likely going to need a zipper to add width to the skirt, since I had barely enough fabric to work with.  This is as wide/long as I could make.  

Due to the fact I had very small panels, I thought it would be best if I made a dress out of it instead of a stand alone skirt, so I didn't have to figure out a waistband.  I dug through my pattern stash for some bodice ideas and I decided on this one.

I made this dress with this pattern, so I was familiar with the pattern.  It's not too hard to work with.  I thought it would look really great in denim.  Here is a little preview of the bodice with the top strip and skirt pinned to the dress form for a little sneak peak (for you) / idea formulation (for me).  I was feeling pretty good about things at this point, so I went forward.

My only trouble was I didn't have enough of any fabric left for the straps and then it dawned on me that I could use the waist band of the jeans (that I worked so hard on taking it in).  There was just enough, when cut in half, to make up each strap.  

I undid the whole seam of the bottom of the waste band and took out the remnants of the denim I had cut off.  I took of the belt loops and then re-sewed the strip.  I put two lines of stitching on each end, just because the bottom had two lines originally sewed on it and I wanted each side of the strap to match.

Here is the finished product.  I wanted the skirt to be fitted, I didn't use a pattern for that, just the dress form.  I considered gathering it at the waist, but I think I made the right decision to go form fitting, since it was going to be tight at the hips.  I think it looks smooth and clean fitted.

I used the existing seam line on the inside of the pant leg in the center of the dress, which worked nicely. 

I decided the reverse side of the shirt fabric looked best for the bodice top piece.  

I've been wanting to make something with an exposed zipper lately.  This was the only part of the dress I had to buy.  They had the perfect size!  I didn't have to do anything to it, just sew it on after finishing the edges and folding them under once.

For the hem (I didn't get a good photo), I had very little fabric left to work with.  I ended up cutting a strip of 4 alternating rectangles and cut it in half the long way.  I pieced it together to match the same length as the skirt, folded it in half and sewed it to the bottom of the skirt for a finished hem.

I ran two lines of stitching down each side of the zipper.  I also added interfacing to the skirt (not the bodice since it was heavy denim) to the part that is hidden under the zipper for extra stability, since the fabric is so light weight.  I didn't want it to warp or pull.  I also top stitched over all the seams in the skirt.  Each panel, the hem, the side seams, and the waist all are top stitched and tacking down the seams underneath.

Well, here it is on ...

What do you think?

I'm digging it!

I recently re-arranged my tiny room by adding yet another dresser to house all my fabric, so I barely have any room to take pictures anymore.  I really need to get sewing and burn through this fabric I have, since moving into a bigger place isn't really an option!

Now if the weather will warm up...
- - -it's dropped into the low 30's here in sunny Southern California, BRRRRR!!!! - --
... then I could wear this cute little number somewhere fun.  Who knows where?  I'm excited at the prospect of a warm day on the horizon in which I will.

1 comment:

  1. That's totally genius!! I love it! I would never have even thought to make a dress out of jeans and a shirt (I'm a total beginner at sewing). You're seriously talent... I'm so envious! :D