Skip to main content

"What Did I Just Do?!?!?"

Over the weekend I did two rather strange things. First off, I bought a dress.

Yep, I went into a store, that wasn't a fabric store or a thrift store, found a dress on the rack, tried it on, and bought it. This was strange because I don't buy dresses (unless I'm going to refashion them), I make dresses. This dress though, it was cute (those sleeves, that lace yoke. . .), it fit well, it was clearanced at a great price, and I kind of needed a little black dress to add to my wardrobe. So, yes, I bought a dress.

So, that dress came home with me and then the second strange thing happened, you may have already noticed it. That's right, I dyed my hair! 

I've kind of wanted red hair for a few years now. I've been halfway considering dying my hair red for a couple months. Finally last week I decided "why not?" So, not wanting to chemically dye (and damage) my hair, I bought some henna and used it to dye my hair Saturday night.

The results are taking some getting used to, but the overall verdict is I like it! I look in the mirror, and after a quick double take (it's only been about 2 days after all), I get excited again! I'm a redhead now! Just like my mom, my grandma, and one of my favorite book heroines, Anne of Green Gables. 

My red hair makes quite the contrast with that store-bought black dress. Of course, after I bought the dress I needed to add a couple of things to make it mine. First it needed a belt or sash, the dress was a little shapeless without one, and I don't like shapeless.

I brought the dress home and started considering my options for making this belt. I knew I wanted it to be a color (no white, black, ivory, grey, tan, etc.), and I knew I wanted lace on it. Then I took into account my new red hair, and what color nearly always looks good on redheads? Green. Thus, green my belt will be.

From my stash I pulled a scrap of green taffeta and some pastel green lace. I cut the taffeta into 3 bias strips, each 5 inches wide.

I then sewed the 3 strips together with tiny french seams to make one long strip. Down the middle of the strip I sewed two rows of lace, leaving long tails of lace at either end, with 5 rows of stitching. A zigzag stitch between the two rows, a straight stitch down the middle of each row, and a straight stitch on the outer edge of each row.

Next I carefully cut only the taffeta, not the lace, right between those outer two rows of stitching.

Then I folded over the taffeta and stitched it down so that it was no longer visible through the lace in those two places. I also hemmed the outer edges of the taffeta so that they would be finished.

Finally I folded the very long lace and taffeta strip in half and sewed it straight down the middle again, starting about 2 inches from the folded end and ending about 5 inches from the other end with the tails of lace. This effectively hid the not as pretty wrong side of the belt, and it served a practical purpose as well.

Now the belt can be tied by threading the end with the tails through the loop the folded end made.

Belt finished, shape and color added to the dress, it was time to address the other issue this dress had. For some strange, infuriating, reason, clothing companies can't seem to grasp the fact that pockets are required in all -ALL- skirts, dresses, and pants. What am I supposed to do with my pocket knife, cell phone, keys, and spare change if I have no pockets?!?!? Yep, this dress had no pockets. I refuse to wear a dress with no pockets. So, I fixed that problem. (I really wish I hadn't needed to. Darned clothing companies.)

I cut two pockets from a scrap of black knit left over from a previous refashion.

Black and black does not make for an easily decipherable picture, sorry!
Next, I sewed the pockets in. The main fabric of the dress is chiffon, not very sturdy, thus not ideal to hang pockets from. So, I attached the pockets as patch pockets at the side seams of the sturdier lining.

White fabric added for a clearer picture, it's not actually part of the dress.
Finally I opened up the side seams about 6 inches so that my pockets would be accessible.

Pockets finished, belt added, and my store bought dress was officially wearable!  I'm pretty pleased with both it and my newly colored red hair!


  1. Red looks good on you, as does the dress.

  2. I loooovvvee your hair . I was looking at your picture like something is way different , then I was like she dyed her hair ( which I yelled out loud ......) I hope to try henna in the far off future.....

    1. Thanks! It's been really fun to see people's reactions too my hair :) You should definitely try henna in a few years if you have any desire to be a redhead.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Completely Handsewn 1840's Dress - Done!

It's finished, it's actually completely, 100% done! It took hours upon hours, countless stitches, and lots of patience, but my completely handsewn, 1840's fan front, made from a sheet, dress is done!

The pattern was a combination of two of the patterns from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1. I sized up the 1840's dress pattern and the 1850's fan front bodice pattern. After multiple mock ups, I had my pattern and was ready to sew the actual dress!

Whilst it was being sewn this dress came everywhere with me, the Heritage Festival, two different camping trips, to work, to friends houses, yep, literally everywhere. Heck, I even worked on it while sitting in traffic on couple different occasions. It was actually rather fun to have a sewing project I could work on any time any place. Hand sewing can be rather convenient!

When I first blogged about this dress I mentioned the plan was to have it done for October's Historical Sew Monthly challenge, unfortunately…

A Jeanius 50's Wrap Crop Top

I wear jeans a lot. At least 4 out of the 7 days of the week. (though over the summer I got that down to 3 or even only 2 days some weeks thanks to all the shorts and skirts I made myself) Jeans are just the most practical garment for my day to day life.

With the beginning of The Refashioner's 2016, theme Jeanius, I've been really tempted by all the amazing inspiration posts to make a shirt out of a pair of jeans, but double denim isn't really my style. So what's the point of a shirt if I won't wear it with jeans? Thus, I'd initially decided there was no possible way I would be making a shirt out of a pair of blue jeans. Then I saw this dark denim shirt one participant made, and it looked good, even great with light jeans. I was hooked. I just had to make myself a shirt out of a pair of dark jeans. Enter: the least jean-like jeans in my stash.

A pair of Docker's trouser-style jeans that used to be my mom's. Then she gave them to me, but I prefer my jea…

A Jeanius Dress For My Sister

So, I've made a third item for The Refashioners 2016, yep, you knew I would. My record shows that when I get into sewing for a theme, refashioned shirts, shorts, even historical dresses, I can't stop at just one or two. Also, I have a heck of a lot of old jeans to do something with. Thus, I definitely had to make my sister something.

Three pair of jeans makes one fun swingy wrap dress. I started with Simplicity 1133, two medium colored pairs of jeans, and one darker pair. All were about the same weight of denim. 

Now, Simplicity 1133 is a reprint of a 70's (I think) pattern. It's rather straight, not swingy at all. Also, it's a miss sized pattern, not a girl sized pattern. However it's a wrap dress that buttons at the shoulders and that's exactly what I wanted for this project, it just required some adjustments for my  girl's size 12 sister. 

First, I traced off the pattern in the smallest size, a 6. Next, I cut the traced pattern up from the bottom to …

I Finally Made It! A Regency Wrap Corset

A regency era dress. Something from the era of Jane Austen. A gown to make me look like I belong in the same room as the Bennett sisters. That's what I've wanted to make for at least the past year, but I keep putting it off.

 Why? The undergarments. Before I could make a regency dress I needed to make regency stays, and for some reason those have not been at the top of my to-do list. I love to sew dresses, but corsets and stays,ugghh! all the mock-ups and fittings that must go into a properly fitting corset. It's a little tedious and I have a hard time convincing myself to make more than one a year. (Strangely though, once I finish a corset I really want to make another. After about a month however, nope, not happening.)
Then Historical Sew Monthly's 2016 challenge schedule came out. January's Challenge, procrastination. Finish a garment you've been putting off. Perfect! I was going to make my regency stays happen!

I decided I wanted front lacing short stays, …

Paisley and Denim Jeanius Dress

The Refashioners is back! Remember all those shirts I refashioned during contest last year? That was great fun! This year's theme? Jeanius. Yep, the goal is to refashion old jeans, luckily I have no shortage of those around here.

Months ago, I looked at my two bins of worn out jeans and decided that this year I needed to do something with them. I can't bear to throw away potentially usable fabric, which is what I classify old jeans as, so over the past several years my stash of old jeans has really built up.

 I started looking up jeans refashions, but there were very few I was actually inspired by. I started thinking how awesome it would be if The Refashioners this year was all about jeans. More inspirational jeans refashions were definitely needed! Even without many jeans refashions on the internet I did come up with a few ideas of things I could use old jeans for.

On Pinterest I found this Anthropologie dress and decided it would be just the thing to recreate from my stash o…