Mar 19, 2017

Pastel Hell ~ DIY Mermaid Dress (Upcycled Barbie Bedsheets)


I've done it! I've finished my first ever dress made from scratch (including the pattern). This project is actually a couple of months in the making now. I started last October when I was making my Star Wars skirt for the Comic Con in Berlin. The plan was to wear this dress on the second day of the Con, but it ended up on the failed projects pile... Until the girls from #naehdirwas (diyyourcloset) published the new topic for their monthly sewing challenge: pastel hell (Pastell Hölle). I knew I had to get out this project, but let's start at the beginning.
I actually found the fabric at the thrift store and as with my Tie Fighter Skirt fabric it was originally a bedsheet. Here's how it looked before the transformation:
        


Sorry about the crinkles, one of the least favorite things to do while sewing (and in general) is ironing.
When I saw this bedsheet I knew instantly that I wanted to turn it into a skaterdress. And one of my favorite Youtubers Annika Victoria has a really simple tutorial for making a Circle Skirt Dress (aka Skater Dress). So I used this tutorial to make my pattern for the top part of the dress:

I used this pattern to cut out the front and back pieces of the top, one piece for the front and two for the back.
        
As you can see here I didn't iron the fabric until I really had to, which is when you start sewing. I guess some people would say you should iron before cutting out your pieces, but who does that ;)
I sewed in dart in the front and cut out pieces from the leftover fabric to make the seams look nice (instead of using a lining), just sew, turn around and top stitch to make it look like the top has a lining.

The easiest part of this dress is making the circle skirt, because all you need to do is take your waist measures and divide them by 6,28 (Pi*2). Fold your fabric over twice and measure that number from the center as such:


The you cut out the center hole and measure down from there the desired lenght of your skirt. As I was dealing with a rectagular shape I had to use the measure from the shortest side. After cutting that you're left with something that looks like this:

After lining all the raw edges and sewing the top together things were looking pretty good:

Unfortunately everything went terribly wrong from here. It was pretty late by this point and I was eager to finish the dress, so things got sloppy... the top did not fit at all, turns out I was a little too generous with the measurements and even after taking it in on the sides and sewing in a few more darts it was just so lumpy. On top of that I completely screwed up the zipper in the back. Apart from it being uneven on the top it was way too long and for some reason it curved to the right on the bottom:
        
So that's when I almost scrapped it and threw it in the ever growing fix-it pile in my craft room.

I didn't get it out until two weeks ago where I completely took it apart again, undoing pretty much all of the stitches and most importantly removing the zipper.

Thankfully the new motivation through the #naehdirwas challenge motivated me to take my time with the remake of the dress and I was able to use all of the existing pieces to make a beautiful dress. Turns out even if you have made a pattern you have to constantly try on your garment and get help from others to pin everything in place while wearing it. Fortunately I have a husband who's willing to help out every now and then.

To complete the outfit I made a last minute tote bag out of the spare fabric. I really like the big butterfly seahorse which I stitched on top of my bag.
        
        

I really like how the bag turned out and I'm glad I used interfacing to strengthen the lining fabric.

Now for the awkward outfit pictures, luckily my work is right at the river Spree and the Warschauer bridge which makes for a nice backdrop:

        
        
Yeah.. I love having my picture taken.. not. It didn't help that there were a couple of my colleagues sitting outside for a smoke cheering me on.

Oh well, here's a couple more picture that we took after a diy workshop that was taking place at the Dawanda Snuggery later that evening. They got a tiny movie theatre in the back :D

        



Silly pictures ;) K bye!

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