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Day and Night Dress Challenge

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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.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Sometimes “challenge”=challenge

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?

  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:     

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.

Extra versatility

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!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

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!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

Wow, It’s year 3 of the Day and Night Dress Challenge. It’s always a pleasure to take part in this great project. Every year Elizabeth showcases amazing talent throughout her challenge.

Elizabeth decided to shake up her 2019 challenge, instead of making two dresses. We have to use a previously made dress and create items to compliment it for the day and night.

The Chosen Dress

The McCall M7745 was one of the top pattern in 2018. I took a look at the tag on Instagram and it’s been posted 252 times. I’ve also seen quite a few people add it to their future makes. I really wanted to sew this pattern because it looks like such a ready to wear piece. I’ve had this dress in my wardrobe for about 6 or 7 months and haven’t worn it yet. Timing has a lot to do with why I haven’t worn this dress. I live in west-central Wisconsin and our winter is brutal. Typically Fall begins in mid September and the opportunity to wear it truly only happened because of this challenge.

Signature Style

Elizabeth asked me to describe my style and honestly it’s not the easiest thing to do. In just 4 words, I would say my style is Polished, Textured, Balanced and Beautiful. I would say classy, but if you have to say it then you’re trying too hard 

Look 1 – A Comfy Mid-Western Day

A typical day for me is all about comfort, while still staying stylish. I work from home and I live in a very cold climate. The day look would have to be a cozy look, which would take me to my in-home office to the mall or grocery on my lunch break. I felt really challenged because this dress is extremely summery.

The idea of creating a look that would take me through the day, didn’t come easy. I know most people would make a cardigan or jacket to accompany this piece. It was one of my options, I even considered making a turtleneck. But the more I looked at the dress, I really starting feeling the cozy sweater was the item to make for this look.

I really wanted to create a snugly mid-western look. Something you might see in early Fall or Spring. I’ve made BurdaStyle 11/2012 Style 128, three times before a slightly oversized pullover sweater. It’s the perfect pattern to deliver my day look. I used a very cozy pink fleece fabric from Joann’s. To complete the look, I added my caramel boots and some dainty jewelry.

Look 2 – A Dark Rose Night Out

Gosh! I was worried about this look. I wasn’t sure if I made it too simple but I love the stole created. It was a simple self drafted rectangle pattern. The punch this stole adds is just fabulous. It’s all about the fabric, the textural effect adds evening appeal to the look.

I used leftover special occasion fabric from Joann’s and stretch satin for the back. It’s a pretty blush brown/pink fabric. I think the stretch of the satin, works well with the flexibility of the black. To lock this look down, I switched up my lipstick, changed to strappy heels and switched up my jewelry

I’m totally committed to making more pieces that pair well with what I currently own. The challenge has given me more insight into trying new looks, and finding ways to create a blended look that may included pieces that you typically don’t wear together. Sort of like Athleisure!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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’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!

Night look

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! I wanted some sort of scarf-type accessory and for some reason my mind when to the Itch to Stitch Bellavista Top.   

I only wanted to use the cowl. I really love that cowl! 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!  

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

Hi Everyone! I’m Eli from Cat in a wardrobe


Outfit details:

  • 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. 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:


~Night Look~

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. I recommend the pattern If you are looking for a casual blazer 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?”


~Conclusion~

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!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

If we haven’t met somewhere in the sewosphere before, I’m Alex and I blog at Sewrendipity.com about sewing a sustainable, meaningful wardrobe. As I am all about making clothes that have meaning and that will live in our lives as long as possible, this year’s challenge spoke to me like never before. I am advocating styling as a way of bring back to active life garments we have made before and maybe no longer love, so this was a perfect opportunity to put this principles into practice, AND take part in a community challenge, which I don’t do very often.

Creating a meaningful wardrobe: My philosophy

Before we skip to my outfits, I wanted to share a bit more about what a meaningful wardrobe means to me – and I promise it all makes sense and links in to my take on the challenge (you can also read more on my blog).

When we learn to sew (especially if it’s later in life), we have a tendency to sew all the dresses, usually in quirky quilting cottons. That definitely happened for me, and I actually have very few items from the early days of my sewing journey. But what also happened, at least in my case, was that as I got a bit older (I started sewing when I was 27, I am now 36), my tastes changed significantly and the garments I had previously made were just not ‘me’ anymore.

Now, from a sustainability perspective, the best thing you can do for your clothes, once you made or bought them, is to wear them for a long as possible. And, as I mentioned, I am definitely firmly into the sustainable closet camp. This meant I had a bit of a conundrum on my hands. I have clothes I don’t like any more, but I also don’t want to be sewing like mad to replace everything I already had. But I love sewing. And I love wearing clothes that represent me… Hmmm.

The solution I came up with was to slowly sew a few curated pieces that will stand the test of time in both quality, techniques, physical and emotional longevity and also versatility (the 30 wears test). Plus, coming up with ways that I could mix these new, meaningful garments with things I already have. I’m not gonna lie, I did have to part company with a few items (mostly passing on to my friends or my sister, but also a few to charity shops). But for the majority, I found creative ways to bring them back into rotation.

And this brings it back to our Day and Night Dress Challenge. I have a bit of a different interpretation to most other bloggers, in so much as I chose not to make something new to go with my old dress, but made a conscious effort to find a few meaningful items I have made recently that will complement and enhance my now forgotten ‘past me’ garment.

THE DRESS

So, about my dress…

This is one of the garments that I was most proud of making. Ever! It’s the first seriously difficult one I made, one that I designed myself, constructed and fitted to perfection. It was the first time I worked with faux leather, the first time I lined a garment, the first time I did a toile, the first time I pattern hacked, the first time I wore a me-made garment to a significant event in my life. Also, fun fact, this was the garment that I took to my Great British Sewing Bee audition (and that potentially got me on the show).

I made this dress while going through an incredibly stressful period at work and every night, to be able to fall asleep, I would think about sewing and dream up new designs. And one night, I had a brain wave, and so this dress came to be.

It’s a mash-up of Vogue 1102 for the top part and a Burda Magazine 02/2009 skirt for the bottom. The fabric is a stretch cotton that used to be printed, but I dyed it black. This was also the first time I overdyed something.  The red pleather accents are in fact upholstery pleather, but I really did not know better back then. It still works though.

I wore it to my best friend’s wedding back in Romania, and it was the first time I showed all my friends a garment I made myself that I was truly proud of.

You can tell this is a pretty special dress to me, with a lot of emotional load!

But I haven’t worn it in years! It’s just been sat like a relic in my closet, loving looking at it from time to time, but never coming out. It’s a bit too revealing to wear to work, a bit too fancy to wear on a night out and I can’t really wear to weddings anymore because many people would have seen it (I know, we all have those hang-ups).

So it was the perfect candidate for this challenge.

But I must confess, I was really struggling to think how could I make it more day-friendly. It was meant to be an evening dress, which was easy, but the low back was in no way suitable for going to the office, for example.

THE DAY VERSION

My recent style is quite minimalist, a bit oversized sometimes, streamlined, polished, yet comfortable. Which is what this dress was not. It’s tight, figure hugging, low back and has pleather! Plus, I must admit, I was definitely waaay skinnier in 2013, so it’s a bit too tight for comfort right now.

So for the day outfit, I decided that the most important thing was to fill in the back. So I needed something to layer it with. In comes my trusty self drafted viscose jersey turtleneck.

This is the perfect wardrobe stable for the colder weather. I have worn it many times under pinafores, short sleeved dresses, under jumpers, and even on its own with more colourful bottoms. It’s nice on the skin, wears well, looks good and so comfortable.

And so there I had my solution to sort out the revealing part. I think it works really nicely to turn my dress into some sort of a pinafore-look.

I also added the biker jacket for a bit of an edgier look. This is one of my all-time favourite items, a Mona biker jacket from Make My Lemonade. My sister once told me ‘now that’s a piece that truly looks shop-bought’. I’m pretty sure she meant it as a compliment…

To complete the look, I wore my favourite boots, these platform Zara boots that I got for £12.99 in the sale. The look towering, but they really are the most comfortable high heels I have ever worn. I liked that the studs on the boots go with the hardware on the jacket for a bit of an edgy feel.

I won’t be wearing this combo to the office in a hurry, but I can definitely see myself going out in it for a dinner date.

THE NIGHT VERSION

For the evening part of the challenge, matching the dress with the occasion was not the issue. My challenge was what else to add to make it an outfit.

One of my best loved, most worn and most praised items came to my rescue again. The red coat, which is almost famous in my group of friends. My husbands jokes that this coat got me a seat in business class when I was travelling to the states once (not true, I actually had the ticket as it was a business trip). People stop me on the street to tell me how much they love it. This is a Butterick 6244 Lisette pattern in red wool, which I had originally bought from a charity shop (Oxfam).

So here we are pairing two pieces that are very dear to me, and yet, it never occured to me to put them together! I feel it’s a match made in heaven! The reds are not quite the same shade (the dress is a bit more orangey and the coat a bit more blueish) but somehow I think it still works.

I was going for a classy look, so I paired them with stiletto heels, of course. I don’t wear heels that much anymore (unless it’s platforms), but there is a lot to be said about  pencil skirts and high heels.

THE VERDICT

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge which allowed me to reconnect with a garment I love dearly, but also pair it with some other pieces that are now staples of my wardrobe. A win-win overall and I hope some inspiration for you all to challenge yourselves to do the same!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

Hello! I’m so excited to share my Day and Night Dress looks today. My name is Gillian, and I blog at Crafting A Rainbow and I run the Sewcialists!

Closet Case Fiona for all seasons

My base dress for this challenge is a Closet Case Patterns Fiona that I sewed as a pattern tester last summer. I have a full blog post about it, if you want to know more! I wore it a few times in the summer, but then packed it away for winter. This challenge was a great excuse to restyle it for colder months.

Defining my style

I sew and wear 90% knits, so a dress like this (even in a stretch denim) is definitely something out of my comfort zone! I like to bright, bold, colourful prints, so as a summer sundress this feels a bit chic and classic for me. The great thing about layering it for winter is that I got to mix in more textures and prints, and the solid black became the perfect blank canvas for day or night!

Day look: Starting with a fabulous accessory

When Elizabeth proposed this challenge, my sister had already started knitting me this stunning wool scarf. It was the inspiration for this whole outfit! I pulled in an old Cashmerette Concord tee that had the right shade of oatmeal – I also love how the stripes add in a print and tie into the gradient stripes in the knitting, I made a pair of oxblood leggings from my TNT Cake Espresso pattern, and voila!

Let’s talk pros and cons, shall we? I really like this outfit, but it’s not perfect. The dress is quite snug (ie. almost tight) at the top so that it doesn’t gape as a sundress… which means that there isn’t much room for layering over a tee. The shirt does stop the straps from falling off my shoulders though! This is the kind of outfit I’d wear to look cute on the weekend going to a craft fair, where I’d be walking around for a few hours. I wouldn’t wear it to work though, where I need to be able to sit and move around a lot. Overall, it shows me that I’d enjoy an overall type dress specifically made for winter layering, which is good to know!

Night look: Cashmerette Concord + glitter

And now, here’s my night look!

It is… wait for it… another Cashmerette Concord! I mean, why use two patterns when you could just hack one? I love cropped cardigans for layering, and this crazy polyester metallic-brocade-with-glitter was perfect!

I wish I could show you how truly tacky and fabulous this fabric is! It’s photographing much more elegantly than it is in real life! I finished the edges with self-drafted facings.

When I see the night look head to toe, I keep thinking I should have made some slightly sheer black tights to go with it… but realistically, I don’t ever go anywhere fancy, so this is more like a dressy-casual look for a work Christmas party or pub night. (Neither of which I attend, but hey, at least I’ll have an outfit ready if I decide to be more extroverted next year!)

Now, you might be saying, “Gillian, you just made two outfits you like and then said you wouldn’t wear either of them!” Well, yes, that’s true. But this was still a good learning experience! Now I know that I’d enjoy a looser overall dress for winter, and I remember how great I do feel in this pattern. As I mentioned, this dress was sewn as pattern testing, so it might be worth making another version with the tweaks to make it perfect!

I’ve already worn my new leggings with a few other outfits, and the gaudy knit cardigan is ready to be paired with a tank and jeans. I’m totally in love with the shawl, and now I know it pairs well with this top. The dress itself is the part that wasn’t perfect… but coming up with ways to wear it in winter was still inspiring!

Dressing is about experimenting

I love the format of this year’s Day and Night Dress challenge. It reminded me to play around with my clothes, and I had lots of fun making two whole new outfits with just a pair of leggings and a t-shirt pattern!

Thanks Gillian! While you’re here, be sure to check out Mesha’s gorgeous remix!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

The Day and Night Dress Challenge For a Simple Stay-At-Home Mom

Welcome Mesha of Keamesha. She’s bringing her beautiful casual style to The Day and Night Dress Challenge and showing you how to add a little bit of polish to your everyday. I’ll let Mesha go for it!

Oh, boy was this a challenge for me! How does a simple SAHM with a bold print dress create 2 looks from one of the 3 dresses she has in her closet?

The dress in question

I made this dress using McCall’s 6886 back in December 2017 for a Christmas party that my husband and I attended. I’ve only worn it once and being that we rarely go on fancy dinner dates or engagements, I knew this was probably going to get one good wear out of it. The dress is made using Liverpool knit from one of my fave small businesses Sew Blessed Fabrics.

My personal style

My style is ever evolving. Right now most of my looks are classic, modern, comfortable, and functional. Whenever I make a garment my first thought is “will I be able to manage a toddler in this?”. After I got the function of the garment figured out, I then look for fabrics that are comfortable but at the same time, it’s classic and clean. I’m not big on prints, but lately, I’ve stepped a bit outside of my norm and decided to start using fabrics with bold prints.

Day Look: Vintage Style Sweater

My every day requires flats and some sort of layering garment. So I decided to style my dress with a pair of dressy flats and the Bondi shirt pattern from Sinclair Patterns. It’s a basic shirt pattern that I modified. To achieve the look, I raised the neckline, omitted the neckband and used a catchstitch (vintage technique) to hem the neckline. I also shortened both back and front pattern pieces by 5”. For the waistband, I used the same fabric as the sweater, I cut the length 4” shorter than the finished waist and 7 ¼” for the width, I attached using a ⅝” seam allowance. Because the pattern is semi-fitted, I went up 3 sizes to create a semi-fitted sweater look. I used a fleece backed sweater knit fabric from Sew Blessed Fabrics.

The dress print is bold and busy, I had to make sure my garment of choice has to be simple. Because of the simplicity of the sweater, it can be worn quite often and can be dressed up or down.

Night Look: Matching Clutch

I’m pretty simple and since my dress has such an elaborate print, I decided to stay away from any garment pieces and opted to go with an accessory. I made a basic zipper clutch. I believe bags complete any evening look and a clutch, in particular,  adds a sense of elegance.

For the clutch, of course, I used the leftover fabric from the dress and lined it with navy broadcloth. To maintain the structure to the clutch a midweight iron on interfacing was applied to the wrong side of the Liverpool fabric. I used Mimi G’s Clutch Tutorial on YouTube on how to create the clutch. I wanted to keep a chic and classic look so instead of making a foldover clutch like the one in the video, I used my own dimensions of 12” x 9”.

MY TAKEAWAY

This challenge actually made me reflect on how I’m still not stretching my creative capabilities. Thinking back I think I could’ve actually made an ankle length flowy duster using Double Georgette or Challis fabric for my night look. Overall, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be simple, but simple simply doesn’t mean BORING!

Big thanks to Mesha for being a part of The Day and Night Dress Challenge!

Grab another cup of tea and see how Gillian’s bringing her colorful style to her own dress!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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:     

DAY & NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019

I joined the DAY & NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE! I don’t typically participate in sewing challenges, probably because I was always so busy sewing for events. Nonetheless, when I was contacted by Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This, inviting me to join the line-up of Bloggers and Vloggers for the challenge this year, I accepted. However, it wasn’t a “yes” because I haven’t participated in the past. Nor was it a “yes” because I would feel bad saying no. I said “YES” because of the TWIST she put on it this year.

THE CHALLENGE

If you’ve never followed the DAY & NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE in past years, here’s how it worked. Sew two dresses–a daytime look and a nighttime look. This year, Elizabeth threw a curve ball, put a different spin on it and I LOVE it because it’s totally relevant to my new sewing focus, which is to sew garments that I will actually wear, garments that fit my style.

I would describe my style as Classy & Ladylike. Whether I’m wearing a pair of jeans, or full length ball gown, I aim to present myself as a woman of class, grace and dignity–Ladylike.

Here’s the Challenge! Choose a dress from your closet that you never wear. Create two accompanying pieces, accessories, etc. to give the dress both a day and night look (Insert angelic music).

THE DRESS

As I contemplated this, I quickly realized that I was challenged before even starting the CHALLENGE. Hahaha! I couldn’t decide which dress to work with, but finally decided on this gorgeous Sweater Knit Bodycon Dress that I made in 2017. The pattern is from the McCall’s “Learn to Sew” Collection, McCall’s 7531, and I used a ribbed sweater knit that I purchased from the Michael Levine Loft in Downtown Los Angeles.

DAY CHALLENGE

I wanted the day look piece to be something I could wear with many other garments, so I chose to sew a cardigan/duster. This is another McCall’s “Learn to Sew” pattern, McCall’s 7476, with a lightweight sweater knit from my fabric collection that I purchased from The Loft at Michael Levine’s in Downtown, Los Angeles (Hmmm… I’m seeing a pattern here).

The duster will be worn with other dresses, jeans, pencil skirts, etc. The possibilities really are endless. I plan to wear it to lunch dates with my girlfriends, the movies, church, shopping, casual events and parties. Heck, I can wear this cardigan almost anywhere. Yes, exactly what I need in my wardrobe–versatile pieces.

NIGHT CHALLENGE

I went back and forth a lot on the night look. I couldn’t decide what to do, but finally settled on a vest. I knew I wanted faux fur and beyond simple. I have a vest pattern in my collection but I needed something with zero design features. Therefore, I went to JoAnn’s and purchased Butterick 5359 (when patterns were not on sale)—-Breathe in—Breathe out!!! You KNOW we don’t do that! It was EXACTLY what I was looking for though, so I didn’t feel too bad. I sewed View E with only 2 pattern pieces. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Can’t get any easier than that.

I purchased the faux fur from Joann’s about a year ago, and lined the vest with a jet set knit from my collection.

After completing the vest and trying it on with the dress, it wasn’t enough. I needed something to give it that “PUNCH” and the first thing that came to mind was a clutch bag.

What a GREAT idea, right? Yes, BUT, what I didn’t tell you is that this was my first time sewing with faux fur. I learned what NOT to do. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE FUR!!! Cut the backing only. What do I do? It was taking too long cutting that backing with scissors, so I decided it wouldn’t be that bad cutting the fur since the pile is low. BIG MISTAKE!!! Honey, I had fur all over my face, in my hair, up my nose, on my lips—just EVERYWHERE!

Therefore, I knew that if I was going to make another faux fur anything, I needed to do it properly. I pulled out my box cutter and OMGosh, quick, easy and NO FUR EVERYWHERE!

I didn’t have a pattern for the bag, so I just drafted one of my own, making it up along the way. Hahaha!

I styled the look with my black high-heel boots, a belt that I received in a Swag Bag from the Fierce 50 Weekend in 2017. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the sponsor who provided it. I didn’t like the belt and never had any intentions of wearing it. It’s gold and just not my style–I thought. In fact, it’s been sitting in my giveaway pile that I haven’t removed from the house yet. The vest needed something extra to elevate the look. I don’t wear belts, so I didn’t have ANYTHING to wrap around my waist. Then I remembered this gift and decided to give it a try. Honey CHILE!!! I LOVE it! OMGosh!

The vest is another versatile piece that I look forward to mixing into my wardrobe. I can’t wait to wear it with a turtleneck t-shirt, skinny jeans and a pair of boots. I can also envision it with a short-sleeve maxi dress. I don’t wear mini skirts but someone can totally rock that look with a long-sleeve crew neck t-shirt and a pair of booties or sneakers. Yes, yes, yes, honey!

JOIN THE CHALLENGE

Would you like to join the challenge for a chance to win some amazing prizes that are being offered from a lot of awesome sponsors? Check out Elizabeth Made This for all the details plus check out all the inspiration posts. You have until March 17th to complete your looks.

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  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: