Tulip dress makeover

During the last year, my lovely daughter had a growth spurt that prevented her from wearing many of her dresses, virtually overnight. These clothes, though, were just a problem in one particular area and otherwise fit her. It drove me crazy looking at these new clothes and wondering how I could save them to somehow be worn again.

I had a few ideas, but the conditions of my life conspired to keep those articles of clothing in a pile near my sewing machine.

While she was in the hospital in mid-June, I spent many hours perusing Pinterest. It required no thought and didn’t make me hate so many friends the way my other social media feeds were doing. Nice, mindless browsing of a pretty pictures. That’s all I needed between my reading of outdated People magazines and sleeping on a waiting room floor.

One day, a pin-meme (peme?) blew through with photos of a very funny lady in crazy clothes. Eventually, the fetching blue print in the center of this picture, along with that face, convinced me to follow the link to her blog at Fashionista.net. It was a totally fabulous blog about taking thrift store finds (really, beyond thrift store – many of her finds are $1 or $1 per pound, which means less than $1 per outfit) and turning them into something she could actually wear in public — with photographic proof.

I was instantly hooked. A week and a half later, I had read her entire blog from the beginning. I laughed. I cried. I said, “I can totally do that!” at least 300 times. My eyes landed on pile of kid clothes needed help, pulled out the seam ripper and started making mom history.

This sweet pink tulip number was first on my list.

I loved the gauzy top layer of this dress. What I didn’t love was this:

Yep, that puppy was a good 6 inches from zipping.

But look at that waistline! I was sure I could make an easy chop, add some elastic and she would have a skirt she could wear for at least another year, maybe two.

I set about to do just that, but on my way, she asked if it could be a halter top. I wasn’t entirely in love with the idea, but we experimented with a few things. I thought maybe we could snip the zipper out, stitch and have a halter top. Unfortunately, she hated the look. I tried adding the side strings as a sort of “fake back,” like so:

It was a bit too sexy for my preference and when she saw the photo, she said, “MOM!! IT LOOKS LIKE MY BACK IS EXPLODING OUT OF MY SHIRT!!!!” Ok, teenager-in-training, get over yourself. You know, THERE ARE CHILDREN IN CHINA WHO PROBABLY WISH THEY HAD THIS DRESS FOR THEIR BACKS TO EXPLODE OUT OF.


We scrapped that plan, sliced off that bodice, added the elastic of my original plan and reused the straps to do this:

And the result was this:

I did make her wear this as a top – with pants under it – but it’s also sized to fit her waist. So, when she gets tired of wearing it like this, she can pull it down and she has that skirt I had envisioned all along.

I was estatically happy about the results of this, until I learned this wasn’t actually a dress I had purchased for her and maybe, just maybe, it really belonged at her dad’s house this whole time. OOPS! Like, OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?! oops. Fortunately, her step-mom was very nice about it and didn’t have me put it back together, even though I offered. I will, however, be extra, extra careful about this in the future.

What do you think for my very first refashion?

Author: rosie

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