Sabra from Sew a Straight Line issued the kind of challenge I like best: take something old and unfashionable and make it wearable. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous, take an old, ugly pattern and use it to make something wearable. The trick is, in both cases, you have to keep elements of the original. Fun! She has a Flickr group so you can see what everyone else is making, and there are super excellent prizes!
Here is what I started with. This was my dress when I was 4 and yes, I use the term 'dress' loosely. I know every toddler girl was flaunting her booty that year, but the thought makes me shudder.
Here is the finished product. It is now a tunic rather than a dress. I didn't actually take anything off the length, I just hemmed it where the hem had fallen out. I know. Can you believe my mother let me walk around in that?
It had some redeeming qualities, though. I really love the smocking. It's real smocking, not elasticized. And while I am not crazy about those ruffle wings, ruffles are back in style.
I cut off the ghastly polyester sleeves, collar and bow, then squared and bound the neckline, which was nowhere as easy as I thought it should be. When I cut off the sleeves, I left an inch or so of the red dots, turned them up twice and hand stitched it in place. It's not perfect, but no one will notice. Oh, I also folded over and blind stitched about 2 inches of the ruffle wings so they won't whack her in the face when she's running.
When it was all done, I thought it looked a little plain, so I made this little gossamer ribbon dragonfly from this tutorial and tacked it on. It instantly bounded up the popularity scale.
The only thing I am unhappy with is the fact that I should have gathered the neck just a little bit when I bound it. Can you tell that it gapes a little? It's not so bothersome that I'll rip out the binding from hell that took me 3 hours to sew, though. Besides, the kids has so many clothes I wouldn't be surprised if she only wears it on Independence Day. Because I make her.
I wasn't going to do any more, but I got this pattern at the thrift store today. Something for me. Maybe I can eeek it out before the deadline. We'll see.
I'll leave you with a picture in which my older sister says Ivy looks just like I did when I was a kid. Honestly? I still have that expression on my face quite a bit.