Yes, folks, the Hibiscus want to rule the world, and they started by taking over this dress.
The hibiscus pattern isn't so bad, but whoa-doggies -- that is way too much of a good thing. This number needs to go under the knife -- or scissors...
I decided I wanted to do a bit of asymmetrical side gathering, so first I snipped off the side seams, so I could maneuver the fabric. There is so much extra fabric here that there was no need to waste time ripping seams. Snip, snip.
Then I pinned the gathers on one side.
Notice how gathering one side pulled the side seam out of whack on the other side and on the bottom hemline. This won't be a problem for 2 reasons. One, I need to hack a great deal off the sides anyway, and two, I need to hack a great deal off the length if I want to stop the Hibiscus Takeover.
Whew. The Hibiscus Takeover has been stopped by my sewing scissors. Mission accomplished.
By the way, you may notice that my sewing buddy, The Dress Form, is missing in these posts. That's because she doesn't exist. Since I don't own a dress form, I make my fitting decisions by finding a top that fits well and is in a similar fabric (i.e. knit or woven, because that little detail greatly affects the fit). That gives me a basic idea of size. I lay the top over the refashion project and cut around the top, leaving generous seam allowances. Then I do several fittings as I sew, to tweak the fit as I go. Basically, if you own a shirt that fits, a sewing machine, and you know how to sew a straight line, you can refashion. The hard work (sleeve-setting, zippers, buttons, etc.) is already done for you. And at $0.71 (the price I paid for each item in my most recent thrift-store run), it doesn't really matter if you mess it up, so there is no pressure.
Once I finished cutting away all the excess fabric that was holding this top back, I turned it inside out and sent it to the machine.
After I sewed the side seams, I went for a fitting. There was a little problem. Those side gathers didn't work out so well on this fabric. This is made in a semi-stiff cotton and the side gathers poofed out. That may look cute on a 16-something stick figure, but it wasn't doing my 40-something body any favors. I was going to have to tack those babies down. No worries. I turned it into a design element. I sewed slightly curved lines down the length of the dress where the gathers were, sort of like ripples radiate out when you throw a pebble in a pond. It held the gathers in check and looked cool in the process.
Then I rolled the hem (twice, so there are no raw edges), pressed and sewed.
All done and ready to rock the world.
And now we know why my modeling career never took off... I'm sure I was saying something fascinating to my photographers, aka the teenagers.
Uh-oh. My naked shoulders need to go under cover...