Home » sewing » When Dresses Fail, Opportunity Arises

When Dresses Fail, Opportunity Arises

Last summer, I tried to make a dress out of this fabulous, breezy orange fabric I had. It was going to be an easy, go-to sundress for any occasion. I had a pattern. I measured things, I cut pieces, I cut lining, I sewed things together, I followed the instructions to a tee (if you know me, you know that NEVER happens). Then I tried it on.  Apparently patterns default to a B cup size – um, yeah, not since 7th grade for me. “Okay, so the bust was a little small, I can improvise and fix this,” I thought, naively. I tried to add a bit of length to the bodice, thinking I could fix it later with darts. Did not work. I kept trying different solutions, ripping out stitches, sewing things together again a different way, and finally, I hung the breezy, not-so-easy, orange dress in the closet to hibernate for a year or so, while I sharpened my skills.


I love the fruity fabric


This is just not going to work!

After mulling it over on and off for a year, I came to the decision that I just needed to have cut it out differently. Since I have yet to craft a working time machine, I decided to salvage what I could. I cut off the bottom and made a cute tea length skirt with POCKETS!!

Pocket skirt

Pocket skirt

I cut the entire bodice off, folded the waist piece that was left and sewed it. I almost lost the zipper in the process. Public Service Announcement – do not try to zip a zipper up if there is nothing to stop it at the top. The zipper pull will come off, and you will curse a lot when trying to put it back on.

Front view

Front view

I really love how this skirt turned out, and it is such that I feel like I can wear it to a party, out to dinner, or just for a day of relaxing. I can carry my phone, chap stick and my wallet in it easily and be hands-free all day!

Side view

Side view

It is comfortable and easy as pie. I kept the bodice, thinking I can repurpose it for something. I am happy that I was able to salvage part of my disaster and make this cute skirt.

I have not given up on making a dress. In fact, I am taking an online class about the basics of dress making! I am looking forward to it. I am also working on my pattern following skills by making some shorts, and some pajamas using a pattern. I will follow the directions – at least, that’s what I keep telling myself 🙂


5 thoughts on “When Dresses Fail, Opportunity Arises

  1. I love that material – happy you could salvage it. Make a bodice bag from the leftover! 😆 (natch, I’d think of that – I’m a bag lady!)

    • I am thinking a bag is definitely the way to go. I have cut it considerably trying to make a flower brooch out of it, but it is not turning out how I planned, yet. I think I may do a pencil type bag from it. I love your bags and crafts on your blog. You make such cute things.

      • oohh – a pencil type bag – I haven’t heard of that. I will have to come look when you get it finished, always looking for good ideas. And thanks for checking out the stuff I’ve done…waiting for my new sewing room so I can get back to making things again!

  2. If there is enough fabric, you could salvage the top of the dress and use it to make a zippered pouch of some sort, for small things. Here’s a cute little coin purse: http://www.deliacreates.com/2013/06/color-your-summer-rainbow-with-see-kate.html

    Alternatively, you could cut the fabric into strips and create fabric yarn. There are a lot of good tutorials on the Net, but I like this one: http://laughingpurplegoldfish.blogspot.com/2008/01/fab-yarn-making-fabric-into-yarn.html and also this one: http://www.micahmakes.com/tips-tricks/making-fabric-yarn
    Hope that helps!

    • I don’t think there is enough to make yarn from this, but I have been wanting to salvage some fabric into yarn. I have also been saving all my scraps for a “yarn” type project in the future 🙂 I do like the idea of some kind of bag. Thanks for the good tutorial links!

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