Summer Refashion Midi Dress

Me Made May is long over, but it really got me thinking about what was working in my wardrobe-and what wasn’t. Last summer I made a gorgeous Ice Blue Twill Burda Midi Skirt but it didn’t get as much wear as I imagined it would. I thought long and hard about what I could do to make it more wearable and decided turning it into a dress might be my best bet.

I actually haven’t sewn many dresses the last few years. I’ve been on a bit of a utilitarian sewing kick to get a fully handmade closet. I feel like my wardrobe and style has been transitioning quite a bit over the last few years and finding what I like to sew vs. what I want to wear has been tricky. Now that my closet has almost all the basics I feel like I can play around a bit more. Hoping to add a few more touches of whimsy to my closet.

One big problem with the original skirt, the twill I used is quite heavy and while I loved how pretty the interior was it was just adding too much bulk. Another problem- it’s at once too dressy and too casual. The bulk was an easy fix. I removed all the hong kong finished seams and then serged them to keep it light. Not as pretty but infinitely lighter. The style issue was solved once it morphed into a dress. Because it doesn’t need to mix and match with my wardrobe it’s much easier to just wear by itself.

I found inspiration on pinterest in this black and white check sundress (board linked below-images under SUMMER). The lines of the flared skirt match really well with my burda pattern- I just needed a structured bodice with simple seamlines and a button front. I lucked out that I had a good sized chunk of leftover fabric from the skirt so cutting the bodice out was a breeze. Bonus- now I’ve used up all the remnants!

Before + After

I went with my trusty Holly Bodice. I’ve made it before so it only needed a few tweaks. I skipped the sleeves and drafted a lining instead of facings. I also sewed everything together and then turned it inside out at the shoulder seam to keep everything pretty. The back was cut as two pieces so I could adjust as needed. My upper back is a bit narrow so I often end up taking a dart there. Much easier to alter with the seam. I really love all the darts on this pattern, it makes it fit like a glove. And with the stiffness of the twill it acts a bit like a corset. I purposely wanted the top very fitted for the silhouette I was going for.

All the Details:

Holly Bodice, By Hand London (holly review here)

Burda Flared Skirt 05/2012 #106 A (full review here)

Fabrics + Notions

I had a bit of an odd plaid that has a line of blue that perfectly matches my twill. It’s a print that I wouldn’t normally wear but makes a really fun lining. Having a seamless interior really makes this dress extra comfortable. I also changed out the buttons since I didn’t have enough of the coconut one’s (and I wanted to wear it immediately). I actually was a bit short on the ones I chose but had some in a slightly larger size that I used on the bottom of the skirt. Not noticeable unless you are scrutinizing my hem.

I wore this dress for our 13th anniversary last month and it felt like a dream. I really need a few more slightly more casual dresses like this. It’s a perfect afternoon out/brunch look. Not too fussy, oh so comfortable and pretty.

10 Comments

  1. Masha R

    It’s beautiful. I bet you will wear it more often now. I have also found myself getting into a rut of sewing too many basic and simple things, and when I want to get a little more dressed up, I don’t have much to work with.

  2. Chloe

    It’s so great that you got to use all your scraps to give this skirt new life! The dress is lovely, and the story of it’s evolution was a treat. Happy dress wearing!

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