Friday, May 27, 2016

The Not-So-Great Wave

What's the good of a dress if you're always wearing it with pants? Especially a dress with a graphic print on it that's really too casual for most occasions that call for a dress!

That's what I thought about the Great Wave of Kanagawa dress that I've had for two years and worn only sparingly.

So I decided to turn it into a tank top. I've converted many dresses in this way, usually just lopping a few inches off the bottom and sewing a new hem. But, much like my top-down T-shirt trim last summer, the best part of this dress was on the bottom and I didn't want to cut it off.

So here's a top-down tank-top trim!
My first step was to carefully pick off all the binding tape that lined the armholes and collar. I was going to re-use it to line the new armholes and new neckline.

Once it was time for refashioning, I began by holding it up to my body so I could decide on an appropriate length.
Then I marked and cut new armholes at my chosen height. 
I sewed new seams where I wanted the tops of the straps to be.
Then I tried it on to see how I liked the fit. Oops, still too long.
After the addition of many incrementally lower shoulder seams, I finally had a length I could live with.

Then I marked and cut a new neckline.
Reattaching the edge binding was difficult. I ended up with a very wavery-looking edge. But fortunately when it's stretched, you can't see the imperfections!
The last step was to create new side seams. The original dress' hip area was now at waist height, so this entailed quite a bit of taking in. You can see it took a few tries before I had it narrow enough.
I wore my newly created tank top for the first time, very appropriately I thought, for a day of beach-hopping in Hawaii!

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