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Refashionista: From Dress to Sorbetto Blouse

June 29, 2011

Last week’s challenge on the Sew Weekly was “Refashionista”.  Those of us participating were to find a neglected garment in our closet and transform it into something fabulous.

I was up for the challenge and pulled a dress I hadn’t worn since college out of the back of my closet.

The dress before the scissors.

I was optimistic I’d be able to quickly turn this blue floral dress into a Sorbetto top, a pattern I’d been wanting to try ever since it was announced during Grosgrain Fabulous’s month of free patterns.  (I first mentioned it here in my Gatsby Summer Afternoon post.) Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to figure out how to lay the pattern out on the dress. The pattern pieces were just a bit too wide to fit.  I put the project aside for a few days.

I came back to the project when I’d had an epiphany as to how to get the pattern pieces to fit on the dress – I narrowed the seam allowances to a quarter of an inch all around and cut the width of the center pleat in half, removing around four and a half inches from the width.  Even then I only barely managed to squeak out the pieces.

Since the blue floral fabric is a bit sheer, I cut the light blue lining of the dress into an under layer for the blouse (omitting the center pleat completely from the second layer).

I also decided to add little cap sleeves based on the sleeves from view B of the Pendrell blouse since I figure I’ll get more use out of a cute blouse than a tank top.  I thought they’d be nice sheer, so I cut them from the blue floral and then sewed them in between the sheer blue floral and the light blue under layer.

Since I wasn’t using bias binding on the sleeves, I decided not to use it on the neck either.  Instead, I just sewed the sheer blue floral directly to the light blue under layer.  Since I had long since deviated from the pattern, I found that I couldn’t stitch all the way around the neck.  There was no way to get to the few inches on the top of each shoulder since I’d already attached the sleeves.  I stitched as far as I could and then top stitched around the entire neck, which closed the gaps over the shoulders.

Once the blouse was together but not hemmed, I tried it on and found that it was way too boxy.  Not to be discouraged, I took the blouse back to the sewing machine and tapered the side seams through the middle a half inch or so.

Last but not least was the hem.  I hemmed each layer separately so that they would hang independently and not bunch and pull on each other.  For the under layer I folded up a quarter of an inch, then folded up another quarter of an inch, and then stitched along the seam.  For the sheer upper layer I had hoped to practice a hand-rolled hem as I’d seen Sherry of Pattern~Scissors~Cloth do a few weeks ago.  I never got the knack of it though and ended up just machine stitching along the same rolled hem I’d been trying to hand stitch.  I’m happy with how it turned out.  I like that the hem now matches the narrow top stitching around the neck.

Though it’s a few days late, I’m still going to enter this blouse into last week’s Sew Weekly challenge.  Here are the facts à la Sew Weekly.

Fabric: Blue floral synthetic from a ready-to-wear dress
Pattern: Colette Patterns Sorbetto
Year: 2011
Notions:  None

In other Sew Weekly news, I am excited that my Crescent skirt made it to the Community Highlights. It’s fun to see my project amidst those from other talented Sew Weekly seamsters.

This week’s challenge is “Return of the UFOs”, which means it’s time to finish up those baby blankets that have been sitting around in my project basket for weeks now.  I can’t wait to show you the cat blanket that I drafted myself!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2011 4:50 am

    I like your Sorbetto!

  2. SewOm permalink
    July 17, 2011 9:56 am

    I love that mix of color and pattern, and how you laid it out so that the pleat interrupts that diagonal line. Visually, its complicated, stimulating and fun!

    • July 17, 2011 1:07 pm

      I’ll have to give the credit to the original creators of the dress since the diagonal ran across the front of the dress. My pattern choice was based simply off of how to best lay the pattern pieces to fit on the dress. I do like that line, but it was unintentional! But, thank you anyway!

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