Flower power

The beauty of thrifting is that you never know what you’ll find. A few months ago I spied this beauty on a rack of what was otherwise a sad-sack row of outdated dresses.

2017-04-06-flowerfabric

I mean, that print (swoon)! It turned out to be a jumpsuit.

I can’t show you a picture of me in the before jumpsuit: not only was the cut unflattering to any but the most slender, but the front bodice was cut down to the waist. I suspect it was worn once and discarded after it shrunk in the wash. It’s one of my fast fashion pet peeves—materials that aren’t prewashed before sewing. The lining was hanging more than an inch past the end of the pant legs, and the pockets were weirdly scrunched up.

But the waist and back fit when I tried it on, so home it went with me.

To convert the party-time jumpsuit into a workaday dress, I started with Annika Victoria’s YouTube tutorial. (Try her YouTube channel for her adorable and often hilarious Make Thrift Buy series on creating fast fashion lookalikes from thrifted and altered pieces. She kinda made me want to make light-up shoes…)

After converting pants to skirt, I left the front seam open on the bottom and added a triangular gusset. I wanted the skirt to hit below the knee and yet also allow me to walk.

The bodice took more trouble to make right, and I had less of a plan for how to do it. There was a lot of room in the shoulders, not so much in the bust. By the end of some serious fiddling around, I had taken two small darts at the shoulder, sewed the front up about two inches, then inserted another triangle of Japanese dotted chambray into the front. It took a few tries to get the triangle right and hand-stitched in. But in the end:

 

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