This week’s Sewing-It-Forward project was transforming a violet chiffon D’Allaird’s dress into updated and fashionable pieces. I used the bottom portion of the dress to create an elastic waist pencil skirt and a cardigan blouse from the top portion.
D’Allaird’s was a Canadian clothing store, a subsidiary of Marks and Spencer, founded in the mid-70s and closed in 1996. I have to admit the original number wasn’t terrible. I know Vie Domestique would second that notion and even went as far and said she liked it. And I quote, “J’aime un peu ça. Shame on me”, she wrote after I had I texted her the before photo. Haha- busted! The truth is, the dress was beautifully constructed- it accentuated the waistline properly and draped nicely, but it was dated and had been sitting in the donation boutique at the women’s shelter for too long.
I stitched ripped the bottom skirt from the top blouse. I measured my hip circumference and added a couple of inches. I cut the bottom fabric into a large square using the measurements. I sewed the two pieces of chiffon in place. Chiffon moves and shifts too easily and I can honestly say I don’t enjoy sewing it. I managed to sew the side seams of the skirt while keeping the original back bottom hem slit in it’s proper place- the middle. I created an elastic casing with the top hem and slipped in an inch wide elastic.
Refashioning the top portion into a cardigan style blouse was far more simple to create however it did require a lot of carefully executed stitch ripping. I separated the blouse portion from both the skirt and from what I’ve been calling the waistline-skirt, that extra bit of flowy gathered fabric (see before photo). I stitch ripped the blouse open, separating the left and right fronts and then double hemmed the bottom so it wouldn’t fray. The double hemming also provided more weight for nice draping. And voilà, two lovely wearable pieces for some new owners!