Refashioning a Vintage Shirt-Dress (Part Two)

Before we moved, I posted the beginnings of my dress refashioning project, hoping that having a preview posted would give me more motivation to finish it. Well, it's been almost a month, it's finished!!!  

Here's a reminder of what it looked like before:




Awkwardly long, flowy sleeves, stretched out elastic waist... Only a true hipster (or maybe a homeless person) could have pulled off this dress as it was. I loved the colors and the soft rose border at the bottom, so I knew I had to make this dress wearable.


I started out this project meaning to give a step by step tutorial, but since I am just starting out with sewing and barely know what I am doing myself, it's been difficult to plan that far ahead. Also, if anyone wanted to recreate this type of project, the steps would be vastly different depending on the style and cut of the original dress. For my own records, I'm going to go through a brief checklist of the things I did during this refashion:


1. Cut off about a 4" section between the flower border and the main skirt of the dress to shorten the length without losing the pattern.


2. Removed the sleeves- one by seam ripper (which took HOURS) and one by scissors (which took about 5 seconds).


3. Resewed the bottom border and the main skirt and hemmed the new arm-holes.


4. Took in the side of the dress, starting at the armpit seam about 1.5" from the existing seam and then tapering my stitches so they met the existing seam at the waist band.


5. Eliminated the weird saggy waist line by turning the dress inside out, folding about an inch of the skirt over the existing waist line and sewing a straight seam around the circumference of the dress.


6. Sewed the leftover fabric from Step 1 to make a sash.


The results?



I'm on vacation with my family right now and don't have the proper accessories packed, but as soon as we get back to Pittsburgh I'll upload some pics of it on and styled!