(I’m going to go ahead and post this, but I feel the need to apologize for the photography. I’m a bit embarrassed. I had picture taking drama for this. My first try ended up with my new lens now getting repaired when I noticed how they were not focused. Second try was with a camera I’m not used to and , well, the colours are ridiculous for reasons you don’t really need to worry about. I sure can’t wait to get my camera back and I REALLY hope the surgery they are doing on it will be all it needs. For now you’re getting a mish-mash of pics that don’t quite flow.)
Exactly one year ago, I did a pattern test for a dress that never was released. I jumped at the test because I absolutely loved the girls’ version, but halfway through the test I realized that this was NOT going to suit me at all. I did finish the dress because I had made that commitment and I hung on to the pictures till eventually I’ve realized it’s just not going to release.
First of all, what is not to love about this picture, right? I’ve learned I rock the comb-over (check) and navy dresses bring out the blue on my shin that is a token to remember the time when I stopped myself from falling off the barn roof by lodging my leg against the edge of the tin (check).
The dress was not horrifying, to be fair, and some really love this style. I liked it from one angle only. Somehow there was a shape to it. But the moment I shifted and saw any other view, all I could see was a bag. Yes, bag. In any way you might interpret that! It comes down to wanting to feel good about yourself when you get dressed in the morning. This was never going to be a positive influence on my self-esteem.
So, what do I with this dress that I really don’t like?? I’ve worn it twice and that’s all it’s getting from me. I got a message one day from Cassy of Pearberry Lane fame. She was asking me if I was joining the Candace Ayala Worldwide Upcycling Challenge 2018. Although, I’m fairly certain she abbreviated that. She’s had a few upcycling projects and the before pictures of her girls are hilarious!! They are so cute. Check out her projects here and here.
Using the link (just clink on the title above) I signed up for more info and put it on my “maybe” list as I was pretty busy. Then the deadline came and wouldn’t you know it, they extended the deadline to June 30!!! A whole extra month. It was enough to motivate me to give this a go. Oh, and the prizes!!!! Whoever wins has a pretty sweet package coming their way! We’re talking Babylock serger!!!!! 😮 All the details to enter are in the email you get when you sign up using the link I provided above.
I happened to be wearing this particular dress (outing #2) right around the time when Cassy messaged me and was immediately inspired to recreate it into something other than a place holder in my closet. And since I’ve been on a bit of a self-inflicted fabric/pattern buying hold, I went through my pattern collection in search of something that would go with this. Enter the Lexi Strappy Back Dress (affiliate link) by Simple Life.
The last Lexi I made is now too small on my smallest and was re-homed to a cute little friend of my girls. So, since I know this dress already I felt that this bodice was one that would work well.
First thing to change was the ruffle. The thing that wasn’t quite right with the original skirt ruffle was that it wasn’t really ruffled enough for my taste. So after I seam ripped the skirt portion off of the dress bodice I then also removed the ruffle along the bottom. I added width to it and then using the leftover fabric that I had in my stash from the first make, I created a second ruffle about 3″ longer to hang just behind the shorter ruffle.
The bodice fabric was some winnings from Cali Fabrics last summer. A beautiful, soft rayon chambray. It’s shifty! So I was sure to use a more stable cotton for the lining so I wouldn’t end up with wonky straps.
The original dress was cut on a hi lo so that was easily adapted into this pattern. I just needed to insert a placket in the back and find a lone button that needed a home. I had some idea for lace around the waist but when I showed my daughter she wasn’t a fan. She said, “I think maybe just a bow.” And she was right. That’s what it needed. A simple yellow band and bow.
And I think that’s about all of that. I’m pretty happy for that extended deadline that motivated me to finish this project. One less thing on the pile. Now I wait on pins and needles to see who might win.
The pictures of my daughter were taken by me and we’ve already covered how I feel about these (again, sorry), but the ones of me were taken by a very talented Sasha Conway who has been overly kind to me as I blunder my way through the ins and outs of photography. It was she who suggested I bring my antique machine with me to the photo shoot! She has such great prop ideas. You can find her on FB or IG.