Added Sep 30, 2010
New York, New Yo...
For this challenge I took an old pair of pants and transformed them into a smashing 50’s style sheath dress. As you can tell I’ve been really inspired by “Mad Men” lately and decided on a silhouette similar to something I could see “Joan” wearing. My goal was to limit myself to only the material of the pants and re-purpose some of the elements if possible.
My first step was to completely disassemble the pants, remove the back pockets, waistline, and fly front. I used my iron, not only to remove any wrinkles, but to steam out the holes left by the former stitching. Once I had my fabric pieces all laid out I used the front two pant legs to construct the front of the skirt. I repurposed the original pockets so they could be incorporated in the new design.
The additional challenge was to lay out the pieces in a way so that the lines would run vertically. I had just enough fabric to create the skirt front using the pant fronts so I draped the front of the skirt on a dress form and then fitted the skirt to my body by making two pleats out of the excess fabric in the front. The top of the pant backs were slightly curved so I used the bottoms of the back pant legs for the back of the dress.
For the top of the dress I used a pattern I made previously to create a fitted bodice. I laid the pattern pieces on the remaining fabric carefully so that the lines would create a V shape in the front, adding the illusion of dimension. Laying out the pattern pieces on an angle made the best use of the remaining fabric since everything did not have to be on the straight grain.
After cutting and assembling all the pieces of the bodice, I used my iron carefully to press open the seams, and then top-stitched for added detail. I used the former drawstring to create straps that tie behind the neck. The last steps included sewing the top to the bottom, finishing the dress off with a 1” hem and adding an invisible zipper. And… voila! Transformation complete!
53% linen, 47% cotton
Behind the seams with Marina von Koenig Part 2
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