I bought this dress for £1 at my favourite local charity shop. It was Laura Ashley, 100% linen, made in China.
Although I do like the style of the dress, it was too small, I could barely breathe. My plan was to make it bigger.
The construction was quite complicated. Both top and skirt parts of the dress were made of a number of panels.
I tried to make it bigger by adding extra panels in a contrast fabric to the back of the top part but it was too difficult.
I abandoned that plan and went for the simpler one of making the bottom half into a skirt.
Once I unpicked the skirt it was a good fit. I basically just need to finish it off.
Although in this case I was using a lower, wider part of the dress as the new waist for the skirt, it is often the case with too small items that once you remove the waistband and make a bigger one there is no need for any further alterations to make it fit. The fabric will accommodate a small amount of stretching, its like magic and very convenient.
I added a green cord pleated frill. The cord came from an old jacket, the frill was edged with the jacket lining. I also part lined the top half of the skirt with lining salvaged from a previous project.
On the underside I made the lining cover the whole of the cord frill, this was because the frill looked quite messy and when I sat down I didn’t want the mess to be on view.
The waist band was made from the cord jacket belt. I just used Velcro and a press stud to fasten it because the opening was quite small.
I couldn’t resist adding a few flowers.
I haven’t got a dress form so when I’m making something I just keep trying it on. This can be a bit of a nuisance but a dress form can’t sit down or walk so my opinion is it’s better to try on. By trying on, I could see how the folds of the skirt hung and site my flower accordingly.
I’ve made the length of this skirt long enough to wear with boots and tights for the autumn/winter.