Refashion Project: Dress #2

The second dress didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. Here’s the before picture. It’s a size L Laura Ashley. I would describe it as “rather conservative.” As in, “I am Sister Mary Catherine Elizabeth and you will do all of the long division problems before you go out for recess,” conservative. This is a Laura Ashley size L brown cotton knit dress.


Inspired by a top from my closet, I decided to try a twist front design. Here is a Youtube video explaining how to make a twist front shirt out of a T-shirt.

I practiced first on an old T-shirt I’d used for painting. I only pinned it together to make sure I got the geometry right. If I stitch it together, I will have the fanciest painting shirt ever.

Here is the choppage. I cut the length off and also trimmed the sleeves to a more fashionable length.


And here it is with the twist added:


So far, so good. I stitched it up, and eagerly tried it on. I will tell you now that it was actually pretty cute on me. However, it was also about two sizes too small. The dress was already fitted. It had princess seams. And even though it is a very nice stretchy cotton fabric, adding that twist really pulled it in. It also pulled the sleeves out of alignment, so it seemed like my arms would need to stick out the front of my body to fit them right.

Also, because the fit was snug, the bunched part in the middle stuck out, making it look like I had an overgrown spleen or something.

I opted to photograph it on the hanger. I am losing some weight, so I think I might be able to try it again next summer, when I might actually be two sizes smaller. At that point, I’ll know better whether something needs to be done about the sleeves, or if they’ll lay down once the dress has some ease in it.

Next time:

  • No princess seams
  • Start with a much larger dress
  • Possibly use some stretchy thread for the seam across the bustline
It’s all good. The dress only cost me about $5, and I might still get some use out of it. Instead of a wreck of a failed project, it has become a GOAL wreck of a failed project. I still have another dress that I bought earlier this week, plus I went back to the thrift shop with Brent today (pants emergency), and couldn’t resist picking up just one more dress to experiment with.