Originally I titled this post, "Remaking" but as I got into it I realized that Think Twice, Cut Once is way more appropriate. As you know fabric drives my creative spirit...and I've been looking for a fabric like this for awhile. It reminds me of some Dolce & Gabbana dresses from a few seasons ago.
Anywhoo, I found this RTW duster on HSN for sale. The fabric was everything I'd been looking for but hadn't found for an exorbitant price. So I purchased two of the largest sizes which were a 2x.
They arrived in a few days and I spent a couple of evenings ripping them apart. There was enough fabric to make a short sleeve maxi dress...the summer maxi dress of my dreams.
That was the easy part. Deciding exactly what pattern to use, making sure that there was indeed enough fabric for my hopes and dreams, and then pinning and laying everything out, going over it several times, before finally taking a deep breathe and making those first few cuts...
Here is what I ended up with...
Now how did I get here...
First the pattern:
I used my Christine Haynes Verano bodice for this dress. The skirt is made from the two back pieces of both dusters. They had the length and width I needed plus a bonus they were already hemmed.
This is the third time using the Verano pattern so I would say it's reached TNT status. The title of the post, Think Twice Cut Once, is because I had to cut the backs twice. I thought I had two different backs but ending up cutting two of the same side. Not good.
Using this fabric is like working with a border print, so I had to slow down the construction a little to think about how I wanted the finished dress to look. Also what I was willing to put up with since I had no extra fabric to pattern match!
To cut out the fronts, I used the already cut, interfaced and topstitched fronts...
The backs came out of two of the duster front pieces. I used the remaining front to cut facings. Yes, facings.
Piping & Buttons ~
In my mind's eye, I'd seen the bodice with piping and matching/coordinating orange buttons. I just KNEW I had both in my abundantly equipped notions stash. Well yes and no...
I did have an orange ribbon that had polka dots on one side and was solid on the other. I could make the coordinating piping using the ribbon and some purchased piping as the insert.
I did have a cache of orange buttons...but none worked. That meant I was going to resort to my favorite button matching method - covered buttons. Which I do have a stash of for moments like this. However, when I went through the plastic bin that holds my covered button making stash, I found a bunch of other buttons in the bottom.
While the buttons don't match, they do coordinate with the fabric and the piping that I'd inserted. So I used them because I'd been dragging my feet on making the covered buttons.
Next I used facings to cover the piping. Since my fronts were already sewn down I needed to move away from the instructions and figure out how to make it work. The facings solved my issues.
Once the bodice was complete adding it to the skirt was no problem...
Here are my remade RTW dusters...
I have no idea why I only have one earring on in these photos?
I thought this was going to be a quick one day project even with the piping. However, when I cut the backs out wrong, I set the dress aside and decided it could wait for my sewcation. BTW, RTW garments whether purchased new or thrifted are a great source of interesting fabric. And in this case solved a fabric desire and ended a chase.
I'm thrilled with the finished garment. While I wanted short sleeves, once I chose the Verona bodice, I decided I didn't want the "challenge" of making and fitting a short sleeve to the bodice. It was supposed to be a fun, easy sew and I'd already complicated it with the piping & possible covered button situation.
I finished this garment during my Summer Sewcation. As mentioned before, I didn't feel like taking pictures earlier this fall. So here I am - sharing them now before 2022 becomes a distant memory!
...as always more later!