Tag Archives: freestyle fashion

A Tale of Two Dresses

5 Jan

Brown Print DressOlive Green Dress

I found these two dresses at a local goodwill for $5 each. Judging from the construction details, these dresses were homemade in the 1960s. They are very similar and approximately a modern size 14 or 16. I couldn’t resist trying to make them into something wearable.


Cutting triangular sections from the dresses

Cutting triangular sections from the dresses



I started by cutting large, triangular sections from the bottom of both dresses.  Then I sewed the opposite print triangles into each dress.


Sewing the opposite print triangle into each dress.

Sewing the opposite print triangles into each dress.


Next, I cut a small triangle out the front neckline of each dress and reversing prints, sewed the opposite triangle into each dress.



Since I added seams, which took in the material, I had to compensate by adding a seam up the front of the dress, connecting the two triangles. This prevented bunching.


Seam sewn up the front of the brown dress.

Inside view of the seam sewn up the front of the brown dress.







I cut open the seam and ironed it open so it laid flat. The back seam was more tricky, because it was near the zipper. I tucked a fold and tacked the inside as best as possible.  I could have redone the entire zipper, but honestly, I’m too lazy and this dress is still pretty ugly.

At this point, the dress is still way to big for me, so I tried it on and measured how many inches I needed to remove. I greatly exaggerated the existing darts at the back of the dress and made new darts in the front.


enlarged darts at the back

enlarged darts at the back



Finish darts by cutting out the excess material from the darts and ironing open the seams. To finish the dress, I cut 3.5 inches of length from the sleeves and added a 0.5 inch hem. The shorter sleeves lightened up and modernized the dress.


Finished dress

Finished dress










In true freestyle fashion, I made it up as I went a problem solved along the way. The finished dress is a vast improvement over the old one, but is still pretty funky/ugly. Stay tuned for my post on completing the other dress.
back of the finished dress

back of the finished dress



Old Freestyle Fashion

18 Oct

Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t given away all of my best work to birthdays, holidays, and weddings. Other times, I worry about small (or medium) imperfections in gifts. Yesterday, I was surprised at how much I liked an old gifted project. The case in point:


When I made this purse with a “pull through” closure, I wasn’t crazy about the look. It was too bulbous and unstructured, and the strap was a little unwieldy. The closure is a large knitted handle that passes through a small knitted handle. Is there a proper name for this type of clasp/handle? There should be.




On second look, the colors are great and the materials feel wonderfully soft in your hands. The inside is lined in soft purple corduroy.

Mom’s feedback confirmed the handle is too long and a little squishy. Also, the dark lining makes it hard to find items at he bottom. But several years later, she still loves it and uses it.

She is probably biased.

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