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. I just 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
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?
- 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.
- Let other people know about it. Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
- Keep reading here to find out the latest. Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
- 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.
- Grab the graphic below and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram: