Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dress ---> jacket

My grandmother was an avid dressmaker.  She made this silk dress in 1967, to wear to my Aunt Roberta's wedding.  It was fairly typical of a 60's shift dress--knee-length, A-line shape--but decorated with a dupion silk ruffle detail on the neckline and centre front.

Grandma gifted the dress to me a number of years ago, but unfortunately it was a fraction too small for me to wear.  It therefore spent most of its time hanging in my wardrobe, only ever coming out for me to examine it's construction or show to friends...

...until Brisbane Roar reached the A-league grand final for the second year running.  I wanted to wear something special to the game, so decided to re-work Grandma's dress into a jacket.  It is, after all, a beautiful shade of orange!

Grandma wasn't a football fan, but I like to think that she'd appreciate my re-making the dress into something I can use and enjoy.  I removed the back zip, and then shortened the dress to the new jacket length.  I then unpicked and removed the sleeves.  The original sleeves and armhole were a bit narrow for me, so deepened the armhole, and using the original sleeve as a guide, drafted a wider and longer sleeve pattern.

tracing and adjusting the sleeve pattern

I cut the new sleeves from the fabric salvaged from the lower half of the dress.  There was only room enough to cut across the grain, but it worked nonetheless.  After re-joining the sleeves to the bodice,  I then joined the two back panels together (making a seam where the zip used to be).  To make the jacket opening, I cut down the decorative panel on the centre front.  The raw edges on the centre front were then folded, pinned and neatly whip-stitched.

pinning the centre front, ready for whip stitching

There are no fastenings on the jacket, as allowing it to hang open gives me a bit more room to move.

Roar won, of course :)

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