Monday, November 7, 2016

"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.