It's my third go at making my daughter a repurposed summer dress - albeit the word 'summer' is a relative term in Sweden given our current temperatures of about 60 degrees (15 celcius).
I am absolutely thrilled with the result...and I think it is the first time in my life that I am halfway thinking that maybe I can sew after all! If you have seen my "How to sew a dress and save the world" experiment with M's summer wardrobe (part I and part II ), then you'll know that my style of sewing has been more about kamikaze and less about formality. But this time I stumbled across a fabulous video tutorial from The Crafty Gemini and she led me right through the process of making professional seams...easy-breasy.And I love her for it!
There's a GREAT and quick video tutorial from The Crafty Gemini on my blog post at Blue Velvet Chair.
In my continued efforts to use what is already out there in the world, I found two scarves (2nd hand) that I thought had a nice complimentary color scheme. Plus, I have a weakness for souvenir scarves - you know, the ones that have tourist sites and the place printed on them? I really want to make some pillows out of them sometime. Ok...focus! Back to the dress.
Step 1: Kamikaze Sewing
I chose to imitate one of those pillowcase dresses that have been all the rage these past years...adding my own sense of kamikaze sewing to the process of course. They seemed simple enough for an amateur like me. My cuts are all still done by eye (because I can't be bothered with the measuring stuff), but this time I did use more pins to keep the materials in place while I sewed...a big step forward on my part towards better sewing methods.
Step 2: Used a Pillowcase Dress Idea As Guide
Find any easy-to-follow instruction for making a pillowcase dress and use that as your basic pattern. I used one of M's existing dresses and laid it on my scarves to determine where to cut for the underarm seams.
Step 3: Sewing French Seams
Then it was a quick watch of The Crafty Gemini's video on how to sew a french seam. Thank you, Vanessa! You really upped the anty for my project. I won't go through the details on this - but instead invite you to watch the video to see for yourself how I tackled all of the dress seams.
The Crafty Gemini also had another video where she made her own straps for her pillowcase dress (instead of using the traditional ribbon). Well, not being able to let my cut scraps from the scarves go to waste, I used her video to make my own coordinating ribbon for the dress. Yeehaw! Worked like a charm with the exact effect I was hoping for...long flowing ties on the dress.
Step 4: Fabulous Results
My kamikaze style in this dress comes in the fact that I wanted the back side to be lower than the front...so I chopped off some inches on the scarf that would be on the back before I started sewing any seams.
The result? A silky summer dress for M that has the perfect amount of 'flow' to it - no stiff fabrics on this one. And I absolutely LOVE the souvenir scarf surprise on the back side. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get one of these for myself!