Friday, March 23, 2012

Refashioned Linen Gown

At the beginning of the year a dear blog reader sent me several lovely dresses she thought I might like to remake for myself after seeing my post about my renovated pink 1920's dress. I set them aside for spring but with it being warm out, and with my needing baby-friendly clothes, and with Blake not being able to make it out last night to get his sleeves fitted. . .well. . .I dove in and redid one of the dresses.

This one was a lovely heavy linen sprigged gown. Here it is in its original state. I am a sucker for anything linen and this print is just so sweet. After trying it on it was obvious where I would have to take it in - and up! - so I got my scissors and started snipping away.
Sorry for the extremely unflattering hair-do (David call it the "shitz-tu" look) and the wrinkly gown. I didn't iron it before I took this pic.

I removed the sleeves and raised the shoulders by almost four inches, to bring the bottom of the armhole right up under my arm. (Do this with set in sleeves. Always. You have SO much more range of motion with your arms!) This brought the waistline of the dress up to underbust level. The waist was too big so I shirred the center front and back sections by stitching some elastic to the waistline seam. Voila! Fitted waist but with plenty of room to grow. This left the sides of the skirt smooth, which is more slimming than having a dress gathered all the way around. (Especially if you are using bulky elastic.)

I cut down the neckline into a V. I had to lightly gather it to fit (it gaped otherwise) and bound it with some off white cotton bias tape:

Finally, I reset the sleeves after cutting them down to be short cap sleeves. I toyed with the idea of leaving it sleeveless but decided in the end that a dress with sleeves looks much more finished. At least this particular one.

I love it. It is so comfortably and roomy.

The back neckline was fitted with two long darts from the neck to the waist to prevent gaposis, but there is still plenty of room due to the shirring.

Here is Baby and I at 20 weeks. In a few more weeks we will find out if Little One is a man-child or a woman-child. I personally like not knowing, at least at this point. I feel so much more pleasantly excited that way. In this dress, Baby will have plenty of room to grow!

Thanks to Tiff for this fabulous gown!



  1. Wow, it turned out just lovely! Cute style, very pretty fabric.

  2. Oh that's Lovely!

    You could always *gasp* wait until Baby M is born to find out ;) We always wait and I just love the surprise at the end :)

  3. Rachel, I'd be content to wait but everyone else is dying to know, so, since we are doing the ultrasound anyway, I am willing that we find out. (unless of course Baby is uncooperative at showing off its parts!) Plus if it IS a girl it will be nice to know beforehand to make little gowns and such. :) Garage sale season is coming up and I pretty much need all new baby clothes. . .and mostly everything is either boy or girl these days and not gender neutral. : /

  4. When I grow up, I want to be you! :) It never ceases to amaze me the way you transform clothing so beautifully! And I say, who cares about everyone else, let them hang in suspense and wait until Baby M is born! But that's just me ;)

  5. Lovely transformation! You look beautiful in your dress. It's hard to believe we're only ten weeks apart! Fun, fun... :-D

  6. You have a gift with clothing!
    It is lovely!

  7. Yayy! I wanted to make something like this as the little one needs more room, thank you so much for all the practical tips on construction :)


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!