Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sun dress to round off the summer

Hey everybody!

I owe you an apology, for disappearing without a trace for almost two months. I have been away, and prior to that preoccupied with planning to go away, and then after settling back into daily life. This year I have longed so badly for some hot weather and no alarm in the morning that my life for 1.5 months has revolved around this. So worth it, I had a great holiday, have lots of new energy and am ready to put on my most autumnal knitwear and plan some DIYs.

But first a DIY to round off the summer. Maybe somewhere it's still warm enough to be wearing sundresses. :)

I saw this sundress in a charity shop and absolutely fell for it. I love the amazing fruity colours, the light cotton fabric and the dip dye at the bottom. But the style was a bit boring. Oh, and it was a UK size 16 (Europe 44, US 14 to give you an idea).

So I deconstructed it to made the upper part a bit more form fitting, keep lots of fabric in the bottom part for a really full skirt, add something going on at the back, and finally add a little dipped hem effect.


  • Sundress
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread, but for this project that make take a while)

Using the method of your choice - scissors or seam ripper, separate the bodice and skirt.

Lay the bodice out flat, add a few pins so the fabric stays in place and mark how much fabric you want to remove (I did it by guessing, a better idea idea might be to lay out a top that fits like you like over and use it to measure).

Sew along your markings and cut off the excess fabric.

I wanted an open back in a V shape, so I cut open the back and made the two sides symmetrically diagonal.

If you dress has the same top as mine, before folding in about 1.5 cm of the edges and sewing in place, make sure to open up the fabric of the 'canal' that the string you use to tie goes through (wow, I absolutely have no vocabulary to describe this part of a garment) so you don't accidentally sew it shut and can't put the string through.

Next, the skirt part. I wanted to keep all the fabric to make it a really full skirt, but I wanted to lose some length in the front. However, I didn't want to touch the bottom of the skirt and lose any of the dip dye. easy way to make this dipped hem without removing any fabric at the bottom is to lay your skirt flat, bring up the top layer of the fabric until you've achieved the front length you want and then cut the top of the top fabric layer using the top of the bottom layer as the layout.

The bottom pic shows how the top of the skirt should look (well, ideally a bit more even) when the bottoms of the two layers are again aligned.

Sew together the top and bottom part (you will probably have to ruffle the skirt to make it fit with the bodice) and you are all done!

Ok, I admit that this probably wasn't my shortest DIY, even I'm tired after writing this post.

Regardless, hope you enjoy and see you for an autumnal post soon! :)

All photos of completed dress by Josh.