Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ruffled Dress #2

I can't explain my obsession with ruffles this summer.  I'm not even a ruffle kind of person, but I can't seem to keep myself from thinking that adding a ruffle to a dress will make it all right.

First, there was the red dress that I'd had for 100 years.  I decided to update it by shortening it and used the leftover part to make a ruffle.  I wasn't in love with that ruffle and it was suggested that if I did two shorter ruffles, I might like it better because it would show off my waist and probably not let me look like a 36 DDD.

Back in the spring, I found this dress at Old Navy and it was on clearance, so I couldn't resist.  Plus, it was XS, which is not a size I wear very often, so how could I walk away from that?

As I bought it, I knew it was way too long (you can tell by the look of doubt on my face that I was not going to pull this off) and that I would probably just cut that bottom row of dress right off.  In fact, I wouldn't even need to sew anything after I did it, because the top ruffle would cover any mishap that might take place.  I mentioned this to the girl and she was like "oh, yeah, that's a hi-lo dress.  It's meant to be cut off." 

Yeah right.  I sincerely doubt that Old Navy made dresses with a whole extra length of material that is meant to be cut off by short people like me.  The trend right now is the maxi dress which is just a super long dress that everyone looks silly wearing.  I see women tromping around- and really, that's all you can do is just tromp- in these very long dresses and it looks like everyone is playing dressup in a giant's wardrobe.

But, I suppose too long is better than the dreaded belly shirts 5 years ago, so I suppose this is an improvement.

So, I cut off the bottom row and discovered it was long enough to make a skirt out of!  Wow, 2 pieces of clothing from a clearance dress!  YIPPEE!!

I wasn't thrilled with the top  because there's an elastic where there shouldn't be and it's sewn right in, so I can't even remove it.   I was determined not to wear a bra with this because that would just be awful.

Ruffles to the rescue!

Rather than make my own, I cut part of the bottom of the skirt piece to use as a ruffle.  This left enough of the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt to just serge it and then make a channel at the top to run an elastic through it.

Sadly, the skirt had an accident and is no longer viable as a skirt.  I won't get into it, but it would have been obscene to wear it in public.  It's super slippery fabric, I had a few issues while making the channel for the elastic.....

Basically, I need to stop trying to make clothing when it's 80+ degrees and 95% humidity.  It's a deadly combination.

Anyway, back to the dress itself.  I made the ruffles slightly shorter and layered as the commenters on my red dress post suggested.  And I sewed these on a little differently.  They don't go as far across the top line of the dress as the red one did.

And as someone suggested, I think the shorter ruffles do allow my "skinny waist" some visibility and no DDDs here.

And, I rarely dance in public, but let's pretend this is what it would look like:

This is the result of trying to run back into position for the self timer, after I realized it was pointed the wrong way. 

I was trying to model some shoes with it, but I couldn't get it right and totally lost patience.  I'll just have to wing the shoes and hope for the best. 

I don't know how much I like the actual color of the dress and my skin is probably not the best color for it, but it will just have to do.  We're going to an outdoor wedding in the middle of the day, in the middle of August. I could probably wear my bathing suit and no one would even whisper.

Linking up here and here  and here and here and here and here and here and here and here


  1. I like the double ruffle. I have two long long teacher dresses I used to wear that need some revamping. You're giving my ideas.... Now what to do with the corduroy apple jumper...

  2. I love this post. And, you know, I don't say that a lot. I identified with the whole thing.

    I'm almost 5'4" and pretty small in general except for an ass that won't quit. (I'm saying in a bad way.) I hate maxi dresses. I'm short and I think they make me look like a two-year-old in 1974. (Not that I was 2 that year.)

    You rocked the reinvention of the dress. It is SO much cuter than when you started. Can you make one for me, too? Also, I'm probably free for the wedding. We could be twins! I know you're very excited about this idea. Just let me know where they're registered and I'll pick up a gift that we can split. How much do you want to spend?

    I can't wait.

    (Seriously, the dress is AWESOME!)

    1. sure, you can wear my red one and i'll wear that one. i knew i added ruffles to two dresses for a reason! i'll even shorten the ruffle a little on the red one because my sister says it makes my boobolas look gigundous. i think it's an optical illusion. unless you want that optical illusion. it would save me the trouble of rehemming the ruffle. i already made a quilt for the wedding so you can just pay for the gas it takes to get there. k-ster is the best man so i could use a friend to bring along, especially if you can make me laugh.

      when i was in college in the mid 90s, those long dresses, we might have called them prarie (prairie?? how the f is that spelled?) dresses were all the rage. flowy, small flowery prints, very feminine. i still have a lot of them. but the difference was that they were a) flowy and b) they stopped at or above the ankle and on taller people, probably more like mid calf. these friggin maxi dresses are meant to go to the toes of even the average height and they dont' really flow. it makes me laugh to see women sort of shuffling the dress around when they're out and about. and i don't think they look cute. and maxi dress sounds like maxi pad, so that's about where i rate it on my scale of enjoyment.


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