Re-worked Linen Dress – Make It Fit #1

On the to-do pile for 2+ years, it’s about time I pulled my finger out and got on with this. I’ve used this ready to wear dress for a few years previously and much as I loved it there were also niggles. The pleats all faced in the same direction which means that it looked odd, different on each side:

The colour wasn’t the perfect pink, just a couple of shades deeper would steer it out of Pepto Bismol territory. It was too short (most things are) and had no pockets. Boo. Also I need an extra couple of inches chest room these days so I could perhaps pinch some ease by shortening the pleats (they came to high waist length initially) So I set about merrily unpicking, removing the neck binding first and then all the pleats:

Once complete, I rearranged the pleats so that both the right and left side pleats faced outwards and the centre pleat both ways, like a inverted box pleat.

Any humps produced from reorientation were removed afterwards. You can see that when the garment was constructed in white linen it was overdyed in the intended colour and that’s why you can see white patches and was another reason for me to re-dye afterwards.

After the pleating was complete on the front and back I re-established the shoulder seams and the neck band:

A few days passed and I returned to the project to tackle it’s shortness and pocketlessness. I had made some pink linen dungarees last year (pictured) and had a few scraps:

So I decided to put a couple of darts in the skirt hem and add an 8cm band which started off 18cm wide and I folded it and sewed with a 1cm seam allowance. I slit the sides by 30cm and inserted in-seam pockets checking carefully that I’d got them located correctly. I also shortened the sleeves by 3cm because they had been just a tad too long. All that was needed to do now was to use Dylon Machine Dye in Flamingo pink to even out the blotches and deepen the tone.

I’m quite happy to be able to get wearing this dress after so long. It’s wasteful having something that can be easily tweaked and making things afresh all the time. It fits far better now and the pockets add something that I always felt was missing. I’ll mostly wear it in a layered way with other things over it.

Thanks for stopping by.