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Pretty Pink Summer Dress

Yet another dress that was made for a much skinnier me! About two years ago I got a lovely maxi skirt as a hand-me-down from a friend, which sadly didn’t fit at all. It was a thin but soft cotton in a gorgeous print that was perfect for summer, and I felt something had to be done to make it fit. So instead of taking in the waist or something equally simple and sensible, of course I chose to revamp it entirely and make a dress!

The Design


Bust: slightly modified Contour Bust Dress by Miasu

Skirt: self-drafted

Fabric: printed polyester-cotton blend

At the time I was obsessed with browsing BurdaStyle’s member projects page, and I had saved Miasu’s bustier dress pattern and tutorial for later use. Remember the Exam Stress Dress? Same pattern here. This was my first go at the bust pattern, which Miasu made so easy with her fantastic tutorial.

The Construction Story

The skirt I did differently to both Miasu’s directions and my Exam Stress Dress. After cutting the bust pieces from the top of the skirt, I used the bottom hem of the skirt as the bottom hem of my dress. Measuring up from there I cut to make it equal lengths on both sides. I then cut panels from the skirt in roughly trapezoid shapes. The top sides of the panels (the narrower sides) added together made up my waist measurement, with seam allowance.

upcycle dress in South Africa

Since I was basically just restructuring the original skirt to make the skirt of my dress, the fabric print lined up naturally. The bust was cut so that the print was vertical instead of horizontal like the skirt, which I think broke the busy-ness of it quite well. I managed to get the front centre part of the bust to be symmetrical, but doing the same for the back would have meant sacrificing some of the skirt. I used every last scrap of that fabric – the halter ties are bits and pieces sewn into strips.

upcycle dress in South Africa

Ok, so I hate doing zips. Even with a zipper sewing machine foot, I always manage to go wonky somewhere, somehow. Case in point: this dress. The bottom of the zip is dead centre, but by the time it reaches the top its tilting to the left by more than 5cm! Eh, my hair is long enough to hide it from critical eyes.

I think this is a winning pattern. I’m going to keep using it with all the potential skirt variations forever. Thanks Miasu! And thank you to the lovely Lauren for being my model.

upcycle dress in South Africa

If you liked this Creation Chronicle, contact us to arrange your own Studio Brinnjal upcycle dress in South Africa.

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