How to make 3 garments from 1 dress

3 from 1 dress

I brought this dress last year in the sale for about £14 or so.  I loved the ditsy flower pattern, but hated the dress.  In fact it wasn’t a dress on me, more like an elongated top, a very unflattering shape.  But having been inspired by Gok Wan, I fetched my sewing kit, and set to work.

Above are close ups of the dress. As you can see, the bottom of the dress has a wide gathered hem. Attached are 2 ties which you may just be able to see, tied at the back.

So, there is the 1 dress.  Now, how I managed to make this one unflattering shaped dress into 3 garments.

1) Using a seam ripper, remove the bottom hem of the dress, so that you are left with a long strip of fabric.  Give the fabric a good iron, then fold the fabric , right sides together, widthways. Sew along the sides, leaving a 3 inch gap in the middle of the long side.  Steam iron the seams, and then turn the fabric inside out.  Hand slip stitch the opening and then give the item a final good iron.  Voila, you have a skinny scarf.

2) Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the ties from the top as close to the seams as possible.  With luck you will not need to do anything else to the top. However, if there is a little of the tie still sticking out, carefully sew these ends into the top, to make them look tidy.

Take both the ties and thread them through a thin elastic hair band halfway. The idea is that you end up with the elastic band in the middle, with 4 ends of the tie. Attach a second a hair band to the first elastic hair band, and tape the hair band on top of your work table.

Plait the 4 ends of the ties to make 1 braid. Sew the end of the braid to the second elastic hair band.  You should end up with a hair band looking like this…

3) Finally, just hem the bottom of the top!

So there you have it, 3 new items from 1 £14 dress.  My top looks great with jeans, or linen trousers.  The skinny scarf is lovely way to jazz up a classic white t-shirt and jeans combo, or a little black dress.  It can also double up as a head scarf or a band for a wide-brimmed floppy hat.  Plus I have a hair band for every day use.  Literally a summer wardrobe made from one garment.  Thanks for the inspiration Gok! 🙂


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