For quite some time I have been saving old clothing that was too nice to either toss or donate. Periodically I will take things out of the closet and think about how I could rejuvenate these tired old garments. This is one of my first pieces of repurposed clothing, and I had so much fun creating this piece that I can't wait to make more.
I started with a very drab, dowdy looking brown dress that was made in a cotton lycra knit. After dyeing the dress a darker shade of chocolate brown, I chopped off the bottom of the dress. Next I took the side seams apart so that the dress would lie fairly flat .
I had enough fabric left to cut small godets, triangular shaped pieces, to insert in each seam to give the skirt a little more flare. I printed these with my stencil in a coral color.
Next I used my Fuchsia Stencil on the front and back center panels of the dress. I mixed an orchid pink and a coral rose color for the flowers, and I used a taupe colored metallic paint for the leaves and the scrolls.
This is the beginning of the stencil process on the front and the back of the dress.
After the stenciling was finished, I heat set all of the painted areas with a hot iron for 3 minutes. Then the garment is washable in cold water.
I sewed the godets into the princess seams of the dress and then sewed up the side seams.
The last step was to finish the sleeves and the hem. This is a technique called lettucing. I once worked with a designer in Canada who was very fond of this technique, so it is probably one of the techniques that I will never forget how to do. You simply use a zig-zag stitch close to the edge of the fabric, and then continue going around the hem stretching it a little more each time so that it stretches out. I went around mine three times. It works beautifully on either knits or bias cut fabric.
This project took me a total of eight hours to complete. Instead of using that old brown dress cut up as cleanign rags or some equally mundane purpose, I have a new piece of clothing that is fun, colorful, and clearly represents my personal creative style. Now maybe it is time for you to go rummage through your own closet and see what forgotten treasures await you there.