Akram’s Day to Night Barbie recreation from last year’s Day and Night Dress Challenge was hands down one of my favorite interpretations of last year’s theme. And Akram has outdone herself again with her quick change vintage looks.

The dress in question

Basically, all of this came about because of this dress. When I made it in 2014 (2015?), I pulled out Butterick 4443 and just wanted to make something. Yet it hasn’t seen much wear because it’s a (dun dun dun) strapless dress. I don’t like baring a lot of skin on top, and zero people enjoy the nuisance that is a strapless bra!

But the fabric is so nice, being a white linen with black embroidered flowers on it. So how do we make this work?

Day look: a little bolero

I knew I wanted to make a jacket, and I knew I wanted it to be reversible, but I didn’t have a good idea of exactly what I wanted until I went on Pinterest.

A vintage feel was on the top of my list, and I found some cool inspiration from a Turnabout pattern. It features a winged extension to the front edges that overlap each other. You can fasten it with a beautiful vintage brooch or flip open the edges like lapels to reveal the lining. Because there’s just a single button, it’s meant to be reversible by nature. #winning!

Butterick 6354 quick hack

I’ve made this little Gertie bolero several times. It’s a quick sew with the kimono sleeves and doesn’t take a lot of fabric. Because I’ve made it, I knew it fit really well. And the basic shape of the Butterick pattern is a good starting point for what I wanted to make.

To get the shape of the front that was much like my inspiration jacket, I added on the front edge shape of Burda 6661. My fabrics for this jacket are 2 stable textured knits in white and black. For the day look, I wear it on the white side. I eliminated the button so I could show off one of my vintage brooches. Which brings me to the night look!

Night look: the power of reversible

The black fabric has a little bit of sheen to it which I thought would make a great contrast to my dress for a night look. So, simply turning it inside out and letting the white become the lapels, I get a totally different look.

I think with the white on black, you get a little bit of a tuxedo feel. Plus it shows off my pearls!

Solving a wardrobe puzzle

I always loved this dress but didn’t really know what to put it with. That this little bolero can work with this dress for both my work and a night out is totally bonus. I’m so glad to have this dress back functioning in my wardrobe!


  1. Find your lonely dress in your closet! Sew up 2 extra pieces to coordinate with your dress for a day look and a night look.
  2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
  3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
  4. Post a picture of your newly styled dress and extra pieces in your day look and your night look to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
  5. Grab the graphic below and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:     

Elizabeth is a self-taught sewist with a love for all things DIY and creative. Her friend calls her "The Fabric Manipulator" and she's always looking for ways to squeeze the most out of her sewing time in between caring for her 4 kids and husband.

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