Thursday, June 16, 2016

Refashioned Kimono Dress

The last month of pregnancy is weird. It's this strange combination of nervous energy and complete exhaustion. Sometimes you find yourself going a mile a minute and then the next day you crash out on the couch. I have a to-do list, and I'm methodically working through it, but I've been getting sidetracked into the most random projects (the day I went into labor with my oldest, I HAD to hang this crazy photo collage and change the vent covers in our bathrooms). Earlier this week I saw a cute nightgown while I was out shopping and right then and there I NEEDED one. I have never owned a nightgown in my life. But it suddenly seemed like the perfect item to have with me at the hospital after delivery. Y'know, when people are visiting you but you can't really wear pants.

I considered buying one, then making one, then forgetting the whole idea. Then I decided to check my closet and see if I already had something that would work (sadly this happens to me a lot). It turned out I DID have something, this chartreuse kimono dress that I made a gazillion years ago, back when I first started sewing.

The biggest flaw in this garment is the size, it's too big. But the fabric is nice (a cotton/spandex knit) and the style lines are interesting. In other words, it could be hacked up and made new. I especially like the crossover front (yay for nursing access!) and the kimono sleeves. Plus, cotton. I went ahead and cut off the skirt portion, which allowed me to redo the front wrap. I basically just wore it and fiddled with it and basted it until I had it where I wanted it.

You can see the chalk marks under the bust.

Then I reattached the skirt under the bust. This shortened the torso and moved the waistline up, but that was what I wanted. I need the skirt portion to skim over my middle rather than hitting at my natural waist. Luckily the skirt was long enough. The skirt was apparently just a rectangle the width of the fabric, because it only had a center back seam. I kept the back with a 1:1 ratio and then gathered the front. With the gathering I can actually wear this now! I did add elastic under the bust between the princess seams for extra stability. This isn't intended to replace a bra or anything, I plan to wear a nursing bra underneath, so it's not a full shelf bra.

I also tightened up the back neckline as some of the previous gathering there had come undone. Overall, not too shabby for an afternoon of work. Maybe I'll even hem the sleeves this time! (No, I won't...I ran out of my chartreuse thread.)


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