Self drafted dress gets some wardrobe mates: Cat in a Wardrobe for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019
Hi Everyone! I’m Eli from Cat in a wardrobe
- Me Made: Dress, Jacket, Crossbody Bag and Accessories.
- Fabric: Dress (wool and cotton twill) and Jacket (polyester velvet).Sewing
- Pattern: Dress, Crossbody Bag (self-drafted) and
- Jacket (Morris Blazer)I copied from a RTW dress I saw at a local store.
My dress for the challenge
The dress pattern is self-drafted. Really love these big pleats in the bodice and skirt. I made the dress last year, but I’ve not worn it outside. Why not? I’m sensitive to cold and hardly wear sleeveless dresses in the fall and winter.
How about wearing the dress with a cardigan? Unfortunately, I don’t have a cardigan that matches the dress, and I was worried that wearing a cardigan over the dress would make me look frumpy.
~About My Style~
This is my favourite style – comfortable and unique. I’m wearing the dress (Tacara Dress by Seamwork) in this picture the most often. (Look! These pom-pom shoes:D) I really love swingy and cocoon silhouette. I have spent 50% of my life wearing casual dresses and a pair of blue jeans. I’m pear-shaped, so I usually choose dark coloured pants or skirts. However, dark colours don’t flatter me, and I often wear them with a bright top and accessory. I’m a cheerful person and my clothes reflect that.
My Style ~Day Look~
First, I didn’t have specific project ideas for what to do for the Day Look. I like the dress but I think it’s too conservative without any accessories. To mix it up, I decided to make the small crossbody bag and bow belt using the leftover fabric from the dress. I will wear the dress with these accessories when I meet a friend at a coffee shop. I didn’t use sewing patterns and made them simply by relying on my intuition but they turned out well. The fur trim of the bag is detachable. I didn’t have much fabric (50″ 2 1/2yd) but I managed to cut the pattern pieces. Also, I will make a bow tie blouse for work. I think a patterned bow tie blouse will go well with the dress.Picture here:
This jacket is from Morris Blazer (by Grainline Studio) with the corsage for Night Look. It might be hard for you to see from the picture, but it is made of shiny velvet.
Theme of the style? Hmmmm, I’ll wear it for a business dinner. This is the first time that I have made Morris Blazer. To be honest, I avoid wearing blazers because they make me uncomfortable. But the Morris blazer is casual and more comfortable than I expected. I would like to another one with thin denim or floral fabric. If you are looking for a casual blazer pattern, I recommend the pattern.
I made the corsage without using any instructions, but it was simple and didn’t take much time to make. First, cut the fabric into a petal shape (12-15 pieces). Next, mix laundry starch (or cornstarch) with some water. Fill a spray bottle with the starch mixture and spray the petal pieces. After the petal pieces dry, sew them together. It’s pretty easy, right?”
Thanks for reading, friends! I really like additions of the Jacket and accessories. I’ve also been trying the “Scrap Fabric Buster Challenge”. My closet is FULL of my fabric stash (I stashed away EIGHT boxes in the closet!) and my garments. For that, I don’t need scrap fabric anymore. My goal is to reduce the leftover scrap stash by half this year. This time, I used the fabric for a dress without leaving any leftover.
The Day and Night Dress Challenge is interesting and fun. I just thought that it was a good chance to review my wardrobe and fabric stash. I dress according to my mood. However, the “occasion” is very important. There are still a lot of neglected clothes and I would like to save them. I’m so glad that I join the challenge. Many thanks to Elizabeth!
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Marie Kondo + my handmade wardrobe: Sue Parrott for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019
Elizabeth’s Day and Night Dress Challenge came at just the right time! Both daughters were going through my closet and decided I needed to do some heavy-duty Marie Kondoing…that’s not an easy task when you’ve created so many things you really love.
Saving a favorite dress
I did come across this dress I made so long ago and had forgotten about. Since I love the fabric so much, I hung onto it and a few days later, Elizabeth asked me to post for this fun and yearly challenge. Disaster averted, no need to get rid of my dress!
This dress was made with McCall’s 7122 in a textured knit I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics. I so love the color and texture!
For the nighttime challenge, I knew I wanted to make a black cardigan, but not just any cardigan would do. I needed options. This Abbi Cardi pattern from StyleArc fit the bill! You can tie it in the front or let it hang loose in the front. Obviously I am wearing it tied! With sandals and some sparkly jewelry, it goes easily to the evening and any event you might have.
Daytime look: Itch to Stitch Bellavista into an accessory
My daytime look was created with this fun knit I’ve had in my stash for quite a while. Luckily the colors match my dress perfectly! Some sort of scarf-type accessory came to my mind with the Itch to Stitch Bellavista Top.
I only wanted to use the cowl because I really love that cowl! From the pattern, I cut two pieces just like the instructions tell you but I sewed the lower part of the cowl first, the upper or neckline piece second and then matched up the back center seam.
With right sides together, I sewed three-quarters around the edge and turned it all right side out. I next carefully sewed very close to the edge to close up the opening. With flat sandals and simple jewelry, this will be a go-to outfit for work, running errands, or a lunch date.
Thanks Elizabeth for helping me rescue a dress that needed saving!
Pairing a vacation dress with the Nikki Blazer: Myra Lorraine for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019
This year’s Day and Night Dress Challenge was a challenge for sure! I won’t lie, there was some struggle in trying to think about how to take an unloved dress and make it work with 2 different looks. But this is the kind of challenge I’m up for! This is what I did.
My lonely vacation dress
The dress I chose for this challenge was not terribly old. Still, I made it for vacation and knew I was only going to wear it a couple times and then it would hang out in my closet. My lifestyle is more casual now, and dresses don’t usually play a big part of my wardrobe.
But I loved this dress that I self-drafted, and it fit so well, and I thought it looked cool. So why not give this dress some more love and see what I could do with it?!
Day look: Nikki Blazer hack
Style Sew Me’s Nikki Blazer is made for woven fabrics, but I chose to make it from a knit. I had a ready-to-wear cardigan in mind in working on this pattern, so I decided to change it up.
The fabric that I chose is a striped rayon burnout knit. I played with the stripes, making them vertical on the front edges and top half of the back. The stripes are horizontal on the lower half of the back and front side panels.
I also lengthened the front of the cardigan to exaggerate the handkerchief shape of the hem. With the soft knit, it drapes so beautifully. It was a feature on the RTW cardigan that I wanted to incorporate into this project.
This is a perfect look for going to the store, go shopping, or going to coffee with a friend.
Night look: Cue the edgy vest
So for my night look, I was trying to figure out what in the heck can I do with this bold print dress to compliment it and create a different sort of night look. I wanted to go snazzy with it, so I decided to make another version of New Look 6914.
I’ve made this pattern before in different fabric, so this was a super fast make for me. The only change I made was to add some extra length for a little different look. My fabric choice is pretty unusual. It looks very much like a faux leather, but it’s actually a performance fabric from JoAnn.
The fabric itself is double sided, so I played with that. On the back I featured the “wrong” side which is a matte black. The fronts use the shiny “right” side of the fabric.
It was my goal for both of these pieces to not just make them for the dress, but for them to work with other items in my wardrobe.
For the vest, I’m totally going to wear this with a t-shirt, jeans, and high boots. I love it so much! And this vest is definitely going to be part of my night time going out wardrobe!
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Repurposing a dress that didn’t fit: Sew Much Talent for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019
The wonderful Alethia of Sew Much Talent is here with her story about her dress for The Day and Night Dress Challenge. It’s a good reminder of how things we make don’t always work out how we hoped. So you can sit and be sad or angry about it, maybe toss the project away to ease your hurt pride. But those times that you instead choose to adapt, and work around the mistake, so often you’ll find that it was better than if everything was awesome out of the gate.
This has been a long time coming, but “a change has finally come”, literally! When I say this has been a challenge, it is an understatement.
The whole purpose of this year’s Day and Night Dress Challenge, presented by Elizabeth Farr of Elizabeth Made This, is to take a”has-been” dress from your closet and give it new life. But, to do this, we were asked to create two new pieces to give this “not-worn-in-a-long-time dress a new look for a daytime wear, and one for nighttime wear.
One old dress, two new looks. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! I was so indecisive and couldn’t decide which dress I wanted to transform. I must have changed my mine like 3-4 times, at least. Not to mention, the so many different distractions, and personal happenings that either zapped my time and/or my emotions. Which dress did I finally decide on?
Repurposing a dress that didn’t fit
I decided to pull a dress from my PhD* pile that I started last year, M7242-view B, below. The fabric is a beautiful black/white peachskin print. True to my fashion ( no pun intended), I was making this dress the night before church and went solely on measurements with no extra fitting, no muslins, etc.
Well, I got nearly done and the dress does not fit. The only thing that would have been left to do was to add the ruffle at the hem, elastic in the sleeves, and buttons. After losing my momentum for it, I parked the dress in my PhD/UFO pile and left it. I knew I would get back to it at some point. But, I did not want to throw it in the wadder pile because I loved the fabric that was given to me by one of my sewing sisters online. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to resurrect a seemingly lifeless dress.
Defining My Style
In my opinion, I have a very eclectic style. Most times I am allover the place with my style. But, to sum it up, it can be very feminine, classy, grungy…kinda Denise Huxtable-ish, and very random., just whatever I feel like wearing. This is why i claim an overall eclectic fashion sense. You might just get all of that wrapped up in a days style. Seriously, LOL!This is why I was so undecided as to what I wanted to do. In this case I let a piece of black sequin Lycra from my stash do the talking. Once I saw that fabric, I knew what I wanted to do for my night look. Then, everything else kinda fell into place.
Before styling comes kimono transformation
I needed to finish up the main focal point, the dress I stated a year ago. I decided not to add the ruffle at the hem and finished it off with a rolled hem. Then, I decided that I did not want an elasticized sleeve, so I also finished it off with a rolled him. I did not add buttons, but just one hook and eye at the waist. I wanted a layered look. Done. My would be dress has now become a kimono.
For My Day Look…
Most times I am working from my home studio, so it is a very laid-back environment.
Usually, I am in a t-shirt and jeans or workout gear. Either way, I can throw on a jacket or cute shoes and make a quick change up. So, this is what I did with my day look. I paired one of my favorite t-shirts I purchased from Vik Varwoo, a pair of my staple jeans, my riding boots, and layered it with my new kimono. I accessorized it with an oversized bag.
For My Night Look…
This is where the sequin Lycra comes in. I immediately saw a pair of simple full leg pants with an elastic waistband. I thought I would default to my TNT pattern M6571 (OOP), but I came across New Look 6735 (view D) first, and it was perfect.
The only alteration to make was to raise the center back waist up about 1″ for a quick full seat adjustment. I just stitched on a 2″ piece of black elastic for the waistband. Voila! I thought the top (view C) from this same pattern would finish this look off nicely. I found a solid piece of Lycra in my stash which is what I used for the top. Then I cut the sleeves and neck band from the sequin.
Again, PERFECT! Once I layered my new kimono on top , then added my jewelry and shoes, it was just the look I was going for. This look is great to wear to a concert, church function, or some social engagement that I may attend.
Sewing with usefulness in mind
This is my second year taking part in the Day and Night Dress Challenge with Elizabeth Farr and many of the other inspiring sewists. I must say that I am even more encouraged to take some of my other *PhD’s/WIPs/UFOs and upcycle them into something a bit more useful. And, to really think through the process of creating more looks from just a few simple pieces.
- *PhD= Projects Half Done
- WIP= Works In Progress
- UFO= UnFinished Outfits
Take me to more about The Day and Night Dress Challenge!
The Day and Night Dress Challenge vault
3 years, 3 challenges, scores of dresses by talented sewing bloggers and vloggers
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.
4 thoughts on “The 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge: 1 Dress 2 Looks”
Maria, both your dresses are fabulous and your styling is very cute. I love seeing dresses layered with jackets. Well done.
Jacket + a dress is always a win!
I love the shoe print! I understand how you might like to calm it down … and you picked some lovely fabrics to calm it down with!
I love how the fabrics Maria chose compliments the shoe fabric and gives it a focal point. Such a smart eye!