Hack it up, patch it up.

Well.  I have been living here in visa limbo at my parent’s house for a couple of months now, and the ‘change one thing every month’ project has, needless to say, completely fallen apart.  For now.  I will begin again, and hopefully cajole Adam into it too, once I get to the US.  Still waiting on that visa, but the good news is that we do at least have a place to live!  We’re getting there.

With nothing else to do all day except wait to hear from the embassy, I have been crafting with unprecedented ferocity.  I’ve been knitting and crocheting like a demon, and (most excitingly) playing with my mum’s sewing machine!  Sewing is fun but very hit-and-miss for me, since I have something of an avant-garde approach to it.  I generally dive in headfirst without bothering about things like measurements or precision.  Sometimes it even works!  So now we come to the point of today’s post – a fabulous dress I made by hacking up some other stuff and sticking it together again.

These kinds of dresses have been around for a while now, and my feelings about them have followed the same pattern as my feeling towards most trendy things: that’s weird / what’s the point of that / hmmm that one’s nice / man they’re cool / I WANT ONE.  The penny finally dropped when I was in H&M a few weeks ago (they have loads at the moment, like this one).

I looked at them and thought, 25 quid?  No chance.  It’s just a top and skirt stuck together right?  RIGHT? So I decided to make my own, and took myself to the nearest charity shop.  Here’s how to do it.

First of all, you obviously need 2 parts.  I liked the fabric of this dress and chose a plain vest top.

ImageApologies for the terrible picture.  Anyway – the dress was a fiver and the vest was a pound, I I think.  So far, winning.  I also got some really wide elastic to use as my waist band.

Next, I separated the dress into top and bottom halves.  It turned out that the skirt was so big that I only needed to use half of the fabric for my skirt (I made an adorable top out of the other half!).

Thirdly, I  tried the vest on and pinned my elastic waistband to it at belly button level. Then I sewed the elastic to the vest, before trimming the rest of the vest away.  Sew first, cut second, to avoid horrible mistakes and it being too short.  Finally, repeat the process by sewing the skirt to the bottom edge of the elastic.  Simple!

Here’s my finished dress.


Success!  It cost me maybe £8, and I had plenty of fabric left from the original dress to make other stuff.

Yay, sewing.



1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    M-J said,

    Helen! This is amazeballs! Well done you! It looks fabulous! My sewing has so far not progressed much past the cloth peg bag and sewing on cards stage, but this looks great and quite easy. Though, I am the same school of thought as you, just whack it into the machine, press go and hope for the best. Not been terribly successful so far, as the clothes peg bag has no hem along the collar as I forgot to do it before I stitched the arms on and then I couldn’t figure out how to do it without unpicking the whole thing. Sigh. Live and learn tho eh?

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