Saturday, 10 July 2010
Dress to skirt
After mentioning that the skirt I wore in this post was actually a dress, many of you asked how I did that. I never thought of it as hard to do, but I felt I should honour your query with some illustrated instructions. And while I was at it, why not show a couple more cases?
Example 1: The woven A-line sundress
The dress that started it all. It's a tiered dress that flares into an A-line under the bust, made from light-weight poplin. All these qualities make it way easier to style into a skirt: You just slip the straps off your shoulders, pull it down until the part that used to sit under the bust now sits on the narrowest part of your waist, tuck the bust part in and belt it all into place. The fact that the under-the-bust seam is sewn with elastic makes it relatively stable.
Example 2: The strapless dress
Another easy one to style into a skirt. This particular one is also ruched in the back, which also helps. Again, just slip it down to your waist, tuck in the part that's supposed to cover your bust and secure into place with a belt.
Example 3: The t-shirt fabric loose dress
The last one is also the hardest to nail. Unlike the first two, this one's fabric is not woven but knit (what we refer to as "jersey" here in Greece) so it's not as stable. Plus, this dress isn't fitted at the bust, which would have helped. Fear not though, it still can be done! All you have to do is pay a little extra attention on how you arrange the extra fabric into makeshift pleats, after you slipped it down your waist and tucked it in. It has to resemble a paper-bag waist that won't be sewn, but held in place by your belt.
It's rather versatile having the option of wearing a single dress either as a beach cover-up in the morning or as part of an evening outfit (paired with a simple vest, a nice belt and some interesting accessories) all without any sewing needed and while being fully reversible. Nice thought to have in mind when packing for holidays.
As you can see, yanking the dress down to your waist makes the hem several inches longer.
I like that effect, since I'm on the tall side and like my hems knee-length, which are often hard to find. However, if your dress is already knee-length, the resulting skirt could be a little too long for your liking. You can embrace that new, retro-inspired length (it is in vogue after all, as Fashion Editor at Large has mentioned) or you can combat it by tucking in more fabric at the waist. Or just try again with a shorter dress.
Also keep in mind that simple and lightweight dresses work best for that cause. Heavier fabrics and structured designs like boned bodices or molded cups will inevitably add too much bulk.
Happy tucking and belting!