Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Boring Brown Dress

Hello Readers. What do you do when you are faced with a super boring dress? Well, if you are me you leave it in a basket for months until you can figure out what to do with this thing. This dress is so bland in color and it is completely shapeless. I might be able to deal with one of those facts but not both. This dress is depressing.

My daughter tried to refashion this dress last year. She decided to add some subtle details to the bottom hem with her sewing machine. It does some embroidery stitches. She used a matching thread color and went all the way around the bottom of the dress. It was nice but it didn't change the shapelessness or the overall color. She wasn't sure what to do so she gave up and put in in my sewing stash. It sat there for months.

Then I found this cute little top at a thrift store. It was such a pretty lace. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but I thought I could do something. I waited for an idea to work itself out in my head. Sometimes that can take quite a while.

Look at these beautiful lace sleeves. It has a nice elastic waistband. My first thought was to just wear it over the brown dress. That would be simple right?

That looks like a lot of sleeve doesn't it?

I couldn't do that because there was a red ink stain on the back of the dress. It is hard to see in the picture but it was very visible in real life. It was just below the waistband of the shirt. I didn't want a weird spot on my dress.

I discussed my ideas with the dog here and we cut the dress in half. We tossed the top half with the stain away and used the bottom half as the bottom of our dress. 

I used a basic zigzag stitch to attach the skirt to the elastic waistband of the top. (Wow, is that a picture of actual sewing? Yes, it is!)

I love how this dress turned out. The buttons play off the brown so nicely. The simple brown skirt is a neutral classic color. It works really well with the top because the top has so much detail with all that lace and the loose flowing sleeves. The top and the skirt just play so well together now. It has a nicely defined waist  too.

When I was finished putting this dress together I gave it back to my daughter, it was a great fit for her. She wasn't sure how she felt about the big sleeves so I may alter them later.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself. Or your daughter.

***   UPDATE   ***

My daughter asked for more narrow sleeves, so here they are.


  1. Beautiful save, Chickie! Your daughter looks lovely in the dress. You have turned a boring shapeless brown sack dress into an elegant subtle neutral dress. If you do decide to trim the sleeves down, perhaps you could use the offcuts to add a neck or waist sash. I am thinking that combining the trimmed lace with a bit of floral fabric in coral tones for a sash would add a color accent at either the dropped waist (a romantic 20's vibe) or at the neck.

    1. Great ideas KD. Thanks for the comment, I am not sure what she wants yet. We'll see..... :)