This dress was so sweet it made my teeth hurt. I mean, just look at me. I spouted a halo by just putting it on. Pink is definitely not my thing. Every time I try to wear it I start having flashbacks involving my childhood and Pepto-bismol. Blech.
I know what you're thinking. If I hated it, why did I buy it? Well, it's couture (which translates to high-end and well-made, for those of you who aren't in the know), it's linen and it has this awesome shadow-work:
Linen is a natural fiber, so I felt 10,000% sure it would take dye beautifully. I figured I would dye it brown and turn it into some sort of bo-ho peasant top. I sent it for an overnight swim in some Rit dye.
You know how your mother always told you that everything goes wrong when you're 10,000% sure it will go right? No? She didn't say that to you? Mine, either. But she should have.
This dress stayed absolutely, utterly pink. All except the shadow-work threads.
How can linen NOT take dye? I'm convinced it's a thrift-store conspiracy against me. They've mounted an all out effort to force me to wear pink.
But I am smarter than that. They can't get me. Just you wait and see...
I laid the pink dress on the floor. That's always a good place to start. That way you can stand over it and feel superior. Try it. It's great for the ego.
My first order of business was to do something about that neckline. It was way too big for what I had in mind. (Check out that tag. Couture, baby. Every single stitch in this dress was hand sewn. Until I got hold of it, that is...)
First, I opened up the neckline casing just a bit.
Then I ran some thin elastic through the casing to gather the neckline. I used a safety pin to give me something to work through the casing.
When I was done I had this:
I hand tacked the elastic securely to the ends of the casing, then hand-stitched the casings back in place.
Now it was time to do some chopping.
I chopped the dress off at the waist just above the elastic.
Do you see where I'm going here? No? Just wait...
Then I chopped the elastic off the skirt part.
Don't go anywhere, waist elastic. I have plans for you...
Then I took one of Pickle-Mickle's dresses (surely you see where I'm going now, don't you?)
I laid it over the top part of the dress to give me an idea how much I needed to take this in.
Then I stitched (by machine, because I am way too lazy to sew couture) from the wrist, all the way up to the armpit and down to the waist.
Then I chopped the top (which will become the bodice of a girl's dress, if you haven't figured this out yet) about 1.5 inches below the armpit. I turned it inside out and tacked the button placket shut at the bottom.
Next, I cut off the top of the skirt to make this the right length. I didn't want to chop from the bottom or I would lose the hemline and the awesome shadow-work. I also didn't take this skirt in at all. I wanted all that fullness.
I made a running stitch along the top of the skirt. Then I pulled the threads to gather the skirt.
Next I turned the skirt wrong side out and the bodice right side out. I dropped the bodice into the skirt so that the bottom edge of the bodice lined up with the top edge of the skirt. If you do this correctly, the right sides of the bodice and skirt should be facing each other.
Adjust the gathers and pin together. Rev up the machine and sew this thing together.
That's it. I used the belt as is. I just wrapped it around Pickle-Mickle a couple times and tied a bow.
What was too sweet for me makes a perfect dress for a 4 year old. Take that, thift-store-conspiracy!
Oh, and remember that sad waist elastic?
It was just the thing to make a fabric flower to put in Pickle-Mickle's hair.
And here she is, trying hard to pose perfectly.
Ah, that's better. Now she's acting normal:
She gets lots more "after" pictures because she's way cuter than me:
And here's the side-by-side. Quite the transformation, don't you think?
Have a great day!
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