Well I failed on my “I’m not buying any new sewing books” pledge. I’d previously vowed not to purchase any more sewing books until I made a project from each of the books I already own. Oops! I recently bought a LOT of new-to-me sewing titles. My favorite is “ReSew – turn thrift-store finds into fabulous designs” by Jenny Wilding Cardon. This book includes 20 easy-enough-for-beginners refashioning projects using thrift store finds. Easy, thrift-stores and sewing? Those are 3 of my favorite things, so this book is perfect for me!
The Diner Dress project on page 66 of the “ReSew” book was the inspiration for my 3 shirts to dress refashion above. I just made a few changes in construction from the original for a slightly different look. Jenny Wilding Cardon made her Diner Dress from 3 men’s shirts and a fitted woman’s top. My version is constructed from a fitted woman’s top and 2 men’s shirts instead of 3.
Using 3 men’s shirts made the skirt part of the dress too wide for the contemporary look I was going for. The additional material gave the dress more of a full-skirted 1950’s vibe. I also didn’t include the shirt yokes as part of the skirt as Jenny did with the ReSew original. I found the shirt yokes added bulk where I really didn’t need any. Because removing the shirt yokes made the skirt shorter, I sewed wide hem facing bias to the bottom of the skirt and turned under just a smidge of the skirt itself. And although I love the clever waistband on Jenny’s dress, I didn’t add the button placket around the waist – I wanted to style the dress with a black leather belt to add a modern edge.
All in all I think this dress turned out quite well! It’s something I’ll actually wear, although probably not until next spring or summer. It’s only 12 degrees outside with a foot of snow on the ground in Boulder, CO as I write this post. So even though it’s warmed up since yesterday, it’s far from warm enough to wear this dress anywhere outside my home!