Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lilly: Refashioned

Enter stage left: oversized, wide-legged, unbecoming pants with adorable alligator pattern.  They are a Lilly Pulizter thrift store find.  I believe it is against state law in Florida to pass up Lilly on clearance.  Not wanting to be arrested, my mom bought them, with hopes that they might morph into a wearable pair of pants after an unspecified period of hibernation at the bottom of the dresser.

Thankfully for me, no natural metamorphosis took place, and I was able to exact my "reckless" sewing skills on them (her words, not mine).  I did what nature couldn't; that is, transform the pants into a very wearable dress.  But I definitely couldn't have done it alone.  I owe a lot of the finished product to my mom's sewing prowess and patience.  (She has a gift!) I (we) made darts! I (we) serged! I (we) used a gather stitch! All new techniques for me.

Here's the process: 


1. Rip out the crotch and both inseams.  Sounds a lot more painful than it is.  Switch the seams, and resew, to make a cylinder. Sew the pockets closed and rip off the back pocket.

2. I turned it around, so that the button and zipper were in the back.  I guess I could have stopped here, but it was a little too muumu-esque for my tastes.  But comfort and mobility it did offer. 

3. To mitigate the potato sack qualities of the dress, I took off the waistband and used a gather stitch to give the dress some fullness at the bust.  My mom also attached a cord with a bar tack stitch to give the dress some security and an artsy detail.


4. I chopped the hem off.  (Goodbye, Reformkleider.)  But it was still very sack-like.


5. This is where we (she) got serious.  We (she) added four darts, two straight up and down on the back side and two diagonally on the front side.
back darts
front darts, seen from inside out
6. Final steps.  Serge the bottom to prevent fraying and hand sew a hem.  Make a simple sash in a complementary color to cinch the waist.


7. Ta da! Heidi Klum isn't going to say Auf Wiedersehen to me any time soon.



8. For the kids, and for pinterest: