Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Super-fast Skirt-to-Dress

Have you got a New Years Eve party to go to in 3 hours? I have. Got any idea what you're going to wear? Ahhh! Noooo! Help!! Here's a dress I made out of one of those beautiful but difficult (see impossible) to wear bias-cut silk skirts. The photo quality leaves a little to be desired because I wasn't kidding, it really is last minute! But it's easy to do in a flash, and updates something that you'd love to love but just can't make work.

  • One bias-cut silk skirt (this would probably work with any skirt whose material is light enough)
  • Ribbon for a belt and another 30cm approx. to go across the back
  • Ripper
  • Needle&thread
  • Scissors

Cut the waistband off the skirt and then rip arm holes in each side seam leaving about 3 inches at the top (these are the straps) Sew down the raw edges of the holes.

Your dress will then look something like this, a bit shapeless BUT adding a ribbon around the waist or a belt  gives it shape and helps it drape.

In order to keep the straps on your shoulders you then add a ribbon across the back because otherwise the dress would just fall off! Play around with lengths of ribbon - it will depend on the width of the former skirt and where you want the straps to sit on your shoulders.

Tip ; Sew the ribbon to the outside edges of the straps. Sewing it to the inside edges will make the rest of the strap hang down your shoulders.

It's hard to sew delicate silk like this, especially when it's on the bias. And even when you do manage to sew it, it often no longer drapes right...unless you put a lot of time and effort into hand sewing ..nah! So I only sewed down the arm-holes, for the rest of the raw edges I folded them under and then put in a stitch. Tucking the cowl neck down also gives it a lovely shape and is how commercial cowl necks are made, even when the edge has been hemmed.

Here's a view from the side, you can see that the arm holes are a bit crude; they aren't even around the arm, but it won't matter much in flowy material.



AND...Although the Great Gatsby film with Leonardo Di Caprio has been delayed A-GAIN and now won't be released until the summer, you can still channel the 1920s vibe if you drop the waist of the dress by simply tying the ribbon lower!