Sunday, June 26, 2016

Remaking A RTW Dress

I've honestly forgotten how long and involved it is to sew a wardrobe. I've been sewing for so long that I've grown accustomed to my almost totally made by me wardrobe. I'm also spoiled. I've sewn so much in the past that I had many outfits to chose from on any given day. That is no longer true...

So while I continue to sew more garments, I caught a sale at Jessica London and thought I would add a dress or two to my closet. They were really reduced and so inexpensive that I thought even if I need to make some adjustments to them, it would be worth it.

Two dresses arrived this week. After trying them on I realized that neither fit particularly well and so I decided to make some changes.

Black cotton lace with black gauzy like body

The first one I fixed is the black cotton lace and silky like fabric which was not that in real life. The bodice was made from the black cotton lace but the skirt was too short and made with a really cheap cotton broadcloth that stuck out at the sides ~ totally unappealing and not worth the $26 I paid for it. 

Here is my finished maxi dress ~

Construction ~
Since I was really only interested in the black cotton lace bodice I cut it off of the skirt bottom and set the bottom aside. Then I also took the sides in a little to snug it up against my body because it had the requisite RTW ease.



I added this knit that I recently purchased from Fabric Mart to the bottom of the top to make a new maxidress.


  • To get the skirt bottom I cut a piece 45" long and left the full width.
  • Then I sewed up the back seam.
  • There are gathers in the front to make it fit a little softer and tucks in the back to make the fit better over my backside. 
  • I serged the hemline of the skirt piece and then stitched it to the bodice top.
  • Sewed the skirt to the bodice using a 5/8" seam allowance.
  • Pressed the seam up.
  • Pressed a 1" hem on the bottom of the skirt.
  • Added stitch witchery to the hem and pressed flat.
  • Stitched the hem down and pressed it.

A Couple of Photos ~



Conclusion ~
I made this in about two hours. The total cost of my new and improved dress is $29.60. For the cost of my finished dress, I'm using the full price of the dress for the bodice plus $3.60 for a yard of fabric. If I were to make this from scratch, I think it would have cost about the same amount of money. So in the end this was a good investment and well worth the time to transform it.

The second dress I bought won't be altered as much. The changes are more simple and it will show up here soon. I wanted this maxi dress to wear to an afternoon barbecue yesterday. Since my daughter and the grandkids were going with me, we snapped a few quick pictures while we waited for the rest of the family to join us.

Finally I don't know if I'm on the tail end of this trend or not...however...I can tell you that I love wearing maxi dresses and will probably be wearing them for many more seasons. They are so comfortable to wear and give me that casual yet well put together look I'm striving to achieve. There will be more variations of maxidresses here on the blog sooner rather than later!

...as always more later!





21 comments:

  1. Super cute. What a great RTW save.

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  2. Nice remake--I like the combo!

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  3. Much more flattering shape and style on the remake - you might just start a new trend - half'n'half.

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  4. A wonderful remake. I hope that maxi dresses are here to stay for a good long time.

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  5. Do you have any thoughts on what to do with the skirt portion of the original dress?

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    1. I saved it to use as lining fabric for granddaughter's dresses. It's pretty flimsy.

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  6. I absolutely love the knit fabric you used. I also like maxi skirts and dresses. Yet have way to few in my closet.

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  7. Great save! I hope maxis are around for a long time! They are so comfy! And, you don't have to worry about if you shaved your legs or not! ;)

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  8. I agree and that this was a great save, aren't we lucky we can do things like this? Sewing ROCKS. I have a few maxi's cut out for myself and to your surprise they may show up o my blog.

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    1. Oooohhhh Michelle I can't wait to see them! You have such an interesting & creative take on things that they are probably going to be awesome!

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  9. You did a great job with this one! I love everything about it! What a great "save" and way to make the RTW into something wonderful.

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  10. Love your maxi dress remix. The best thing about the rtw dress was the bodice. I do that myself sometimes--salvage the great part of rtw items (especially if they are a good clearance price) and work them into my own creation. Maxi dresses are my warm weather go to also.

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  11. You did a nice job with the dress Carolyn.

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  12. Great job, love your remake. Maxi dresses are a summer staple. You look lovely (as usual).

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  13. I love what you've done! I am not into alterations or refashioning myself, but I admire that you made it work.

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  14. From Creative Hormone Rush: Oh, I love this! The vertical lines on the skirt are very flattering, and the intricatly patterned stripes beautifully capture this season's hippie/boho spirit. Congratulations on yet another great make!

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  15. I like the changes you made! The finished dress looks great on you!

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  16. Carolyn your blog is one of my favorites! I have lost (and gained) plenty of weight. I was 225 at 5'2", and although its been several years, I still notice strange changes (where did my "attributes" go?!?). Your pictures and words show a woman of grace, kindness and courage. I may never have your talent, but I will strive my best for the rest :)

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  17. Super cute Maxi! Great alteration.

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  18. Love it! I've always said, sewing is a life skill and this is the exact situation where it comes in very handy. You have the ability to alter a store-bought item to fit you perfectly, and make it into an item that you will get lots of wear out of. Great job.

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