Sewing is one of those ‘serious hobbies’ that I had when I was younger, and seemed to have left behind in my childhood. I wanted to become a tailor and everything, and I did GCSE Textiles – but then I was introduced to product design, and I became more into creating things from wood and plastic. I absolutely love all this of course, but I’ve missed sewing as a hobby, so I’ve recently decided to do more of it.
The kind of sewing I love is making clothes, especially from old clothes; transforming old or ill-fitting pieces into new things. I have 2 large boxes full of fabric off cuts and old clothes, which I use to make my projects, and I’ll be doing a post very soon (think in the next week) about all my spring DIY sewing projects.
Today I’m showing you how I made a simple dress into a 2-piece, and hope that you might be inspired to do the same to some pieces in your wardrobe (need I go on about sustainability and reusing clothes being good for the environment and society?)
This grey dress is from Zara, and unfortunately I didn’t try it on, so I didn’t realise that it looked a bit like I’d thrown a grey sack over my head. I have a striped version of this dress which just seems to fit and suit me better, so I’m not sure what went wrong with this one.
What I did
I first cut the dress in half, by measuring how long I wanted the top to be on myself, then marking it on the dress with pins. I would use pins to secure both sides together so you get an even hemline. The top part was then pretty much done, as I wanted to leave to raw hem as a feature on it.
I then tried on the skirt part and pulled the edges evenly at both sides to pinch it into my waist so it fitted. I then places pins in to mark where I needed to sew.
I made sure the pins where the same distance from the edge of the skirt so that it was even. I measured from my waist to my hips (or largest part of my leg) then related this to the skirt, and placed pins in the side seams. From this I then loosely created a curve to see how I would resew the seam. I then turned it inside out and pinned the 2 sides together. I sewed along the curve creating the shape of the skirt. (If you’re not used to sewing, you may want to create a template for the curve, and mark it with pencil/chalk then you can sew along the line).
It’s best to leave the excess fabric in the seam for now, so you can try it on and check that it fits properly (try it on inside out). If you find it’s too tight in places, then you’ll have to unpick the seam and redo it, allowing more room for your hips. But if it’s too loose you can just resew the seam further into the skirt. For me I had to make it a little tighter near my waist.
When I was happy with how the skirt fitted around my waist, I cut off the excess fabric around the seam. I then zigzag stitched along the raw edge to make sure it wouldn’t fray or come undone. I also left the raw edge at the top of the skirt, as I liked the way it looked.
This is how it turned out! I like that it now flatters my shape a lot better, and is a lot more interesting. I love the way the skirt fits and it’s shape. It’s actually more comfortable now as well because it’s less restrictive. In hindsight I would have made the top longer, as I didn’t need so much fabric for the skirt piece. I think I will wear this as a two piece, but the skirt will go with lots of other things, and the top would look really cute under a jumpsuit that I own. Making the dress into two pieces has created more versatile pieces that can be hopefully worn a lot more than I would have worn the dress!
I hope you enjoyed this post, I thought I’d try something a little bit different, and if you like it then I’ll probably do more of this in future because I enjoyed it. I’m also really getting back into sewing, and I love to share what I’m up to on this blog.
Look out for the sewing related post coming soon, and meanwhile, I’m working on a style series that I think will be a little different as well! (also stay tuned for the usual ramblings, photos of pretty things and places)