Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eco DIY: Reversible Maxi Dress (made with left over fabric)

I love reversible clothing, but it's a rare gem to find something made like this - but how eco would it be to have one dress actually be two? And to make it from scrap fabric, organic fabric, or maybe some leftover fabric your local seamstress has extra that she would love to pass on to you!
This Reversible Maxi Dress is a pattern born of my mind, but I think it's not too hard to understand how to make it with simple shapes and the following directions::: (ask me questions in the comments if something is confusing)... :)
I had some left over fabric that my mom gave me a few years ago - it happen to be a stretchy crushed velvet in multiple colors (ooh la la & groovy too!) To make the dress really vibrant I chose two equally bright and hued colors that looked good together - because the inner color will show on the outside in some places (like the reverse side of the tie around the back of the neck, and in the area where the drawstring will pull it to fit in the back.)
Step One: put the two pieces of fabric facing inward, facing each other and cut a big square the length from under your breasts to the ankle (or however long you want your dress.)
Step Two: sew together the outside edges (right and left, but NOT top and bottom.)
**If your fabric has a specific side which is supposed to show on the outside, make sure the sew the fabric inside out just like if you are sewing together a pillow.**
The seam created by sewing it inside out, will look like this below when you turn it back to the right side ( the side you will be wearing it).....
Step Three: cut a band of fabric whatever width you prefer (mine was about 4 inches or so) from the top of your sewn square. Cut it evenly across the entire piece from the top part of the fabric which was not sewn shut. (NOT from the right of left that you just seamed.)
Step Four: flip the band over to make a contrasting color band that will be sewn under the breasts, in an empire style....
Sew the band right back wear you cut it from, except now in the reverse color... red on the blue side, blue on the red side.
Step Five: cut two triangular shapes for the top of the maxi dress, but with the two pieces of fabric facing each other (just like above with the big square!) You can decide on the shape and size of the triangle buy measuring against a top, bra, bikini, etc that you already have in your size - just make sure it's wide enough to cover your whole boob. Make sure above your triangle you cut longer strips of fabric going upward for the ties which will go around your neck.
Step Six: sew them together on the edges just like a pillow - but leave the bottom open so that you can turn then right side in after your are done with the seams.

Step Seven: take a tape measure and find the EXACT center of the square - this is where the two triangle top pieces will meet in the middle.
Step Eight: because the band is open on the top, you can insert the two triangles inside and sew a tight zig zag seam over them - connecting both color sides of the dress at once.
Then sew a seam across the entire band closing the top up.
Step Nine: you will want to add in one more stitch across the band leaving enough room to run a drawstring through directly under the breasts. Then cut little holes at the edges to run it through - use a safety pin to pull the drawstring through easier. This drawstring will help give chest support, but will also be how you pull the swag of fabric together in the back to whatever size you need.
AKA- you can gain and lose weight all year long and still fit in your reversible maxi dress!!!
LAST Step: carefully sew a seam up the back if the dress till it reaches the band, leaving some extra leg room at the bottom too by leaving the first bottom 5-6 inches open. Everyone likes a 'sexy slit' to show off your calves!
To check out bunches of pics of the end result(s) watch the video here ...



Gratuitous said...

That's a mighty formal dress ya got there in a mighty informal setting y'all. Makes a feller wanna ask a gal out to a ball or somethin'. Can you upload a DIY sorta tux kit?

Oh, and I think it's time you went live video. The musical slide-show rocks, but there's always room for more personal flavor. Wanna reach the voyeurs? Be the exhibitionist.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Thanks Gratuitious...

I know the slide shows are soooooooo old school, and not enough 'reality' pizzazz - know anyone who wants to donate a used video camera? My camera takes really nice photos but is not one of those digital cameras that come with a little extra video on the side. I have endless lists of 'real' videos I want to make, but so many other basic needs to spend money on first.

PS- i like to dress up, even if i am in the woods...maybe they'll have a dance at the community center - it's only a mile away.

Gretta said...

I can't believe you did that all out of your head, I could barely make a dog coat and it took me hours. Btw, I realized after we talked about the colors that they are awesomely wonder woman-ish. :)

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Gretta!

I totally realized after I was done and took pics that it was Wonder Woman style, and not so much July 4th GO USA -- even with the specs of white thread on the red side.
Having matching or bright color contrast thread is what I like most though. :)
I think the only way I can make it from my head, is because i draw the sketch first. Without the sketch and about an hour or two of staring at it & thinking about how to construct it I would be a mess. And in the past I have made stuff like that... a big mess.
This though is like 98% hot mess. Yay!

Cosmic said...

Lovely dress(It suits you:)and setting an example with creativity; I'm lovin' your style!


Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Thanks Cosmic!!

Bort said...

end result,

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