I came across this glorious muumuu at goodwill and knew it needed to be mine - but I am ashamed to admit that it has been sitting in my "refashion" bin (actually, I must also confess that I have like 3 large rubbermaid totes of stuff to refashion...ahem), for more than three years. I know I wasn't pregnant with Hazel yet, so it's been a LONG time coming. I figured it had been waiting long enough to shine, and I thought it would be the perfect candidate for a (faux) wrap dress! It is so hard to express how flowy this thing is...I honestly don't know who would own such a luxuriously flowy muumuu with a zipper...if you have any ideas send them my way, haha I'm all ears. I have done my best to portray the dress as genuinely as possible...as viewed below:
You're welcome, by the way, that this picture exists and I'm sharing it with you, hahaha. Anyways... I thought it would be fun to do a refashion for my Easter dress, and after polling followers on instagram, this dress was the winner! It was a fun one to work on because there is just SO much material to work with! I made this dress with an extra flowy skirt and there's still at least a yard left. Here are the steps I followed to make it wearable in public! lol.
Firstly, I couldn't even come close to getting this whole thing in one shot, so I'm just picturing the part I worked on at the time. Did you forget how much fabric this thing has? It's seriously a circle with sleeves in the middle and like a 12 foot diameter. I wish I would have taken a picture of it laid out like that. Here's an extra look at its full range of movement and flapping capabilities:
Okay I'm sorry, I just HAD to do that hahaha...moving on...
So the very first ting I did is remove the zipper. You can cut through zippers in between the teeth, but a perfectly good zipper can be seam-ripped and reused! I like repurposing zippers in little pouches so they can live a second life:)
In the first of MANY try-ons to attempt to determine the fit and where/how to cut into this thing, I figured out where my natural waist was (where I wanted the finished waistline to hit), added an inch or so for seam allowance and such, and cut it across in a straight line.
Next I removed the collar and reshaped the front into a deep, narrow V shape.
After I cut one half of the V, I lined up the cut part with the other side so that I could cut them out in the exact same shape.
Front looked like this! Now on to the sleeves/tailoring the bodice.
I folded the bodice in half and lined everything up nicely, then trimmed the sleeves to a more normal length (I just gauged this from trying it on and seeing how much shorter I thought they should be), and trimmed the sides of the bodice to be a straighter shape, and a couple inches wider than me on each side.
I sewed the newly cut sides, right sides together, to create side seams, and hemmed the neckline.
I cut the back of the bodice at a slight angle to make the whole thing slightly longer in the front than in the back. This gave me a little more room in the front for the "wrap" part of the bodice.
I tried on the bodice and figured out where i wanted the front to overlap. Because I'm gathering the bodice and the skirt, I wrapped the front slightly less than I would if the bodice was going to be form fitting and not gathered.
Once I figured out how I wanted it, I sewed the overlapped bits together so that the bodice is one solid piece. Much easier to put the dress together than if it were just pinned and could move around.
On to the skirt!
Apologies again for not really being able to put this entire thing in a frame, but I laid the skirt out (folded in half!) on the floor to figure out where to cut the new skirt.
I figured out how long I wanted the skirt to be, keeping in mind the front will end up slightly shorter, and measured up from the hem to that length, where the fold is (the longest point of the skirt). I also made the top of the skirt about 2 times my waist measurement, to make it pretty flowy when it's gathered.
I cut the open edges of the skirt (where it will wrap, the non-folded edge of fabric) into a gentle curve up from the hem to the waistline, so that the part that overlaps on the skirt will have a curved edge instead of a straight, blunt one.
I hemmed the curved edges of the new skirt next.
Okay, next I sewed a gathering stitch along the entire top edge of the skirt fabric, and gathered it so that when it was overlapped how far I wanted it, the waistline of the bodice and the skirt ended up the same size. Hopefully that isn't too confusing and you can tell what's going on in the picture!
Just like with the bodice overlap, I sewed the skirt overlap together so it didn't move around on me.
I flipped the bodice inside out and upside down and stuck the skirt inside of it, so that the raw edges of each are right side together, then pinned all the way around. Careful to line up the front overlapping sections on the bodice and the skirt so they will be in the right places when the dress is finished!
I cut a piece of 1/4 inch elastic to my waist measurement, plus about an inch, and zigzag stitched the edges together to make a circle of elastic.
Next, I pinned the circle of elastic, spaced evenly, to the outside of the waistline I already pinned together.
Time to sew the elastic on and the bodice to the skirt, all at the same time! On projects like this, stretch the elastic to the same size as the fabric while you sew, to gather the fabric. It should look similar to this unstretched...
...and like this as you stretch the elastic and sew! Hold on to your next pin while you stretch, and pause at that point to hold the next pin and stretch the next section.
At this point, I unpicked the first gathering stitches from the top of the skirt. This is what the finished seam and elastic looks like inside!
Just about done!
Hemmed the sleeves, and the dress is finished! Except for the quick sash I made for the waist:)
To make the sash, I cut a long rectangle about 3.5 inches "tall" and as long as I needed for it to wrap around my waist and tie a bow. I had a piece of fabric this long to use, but if not, I would have sewn a rectangle or two together to get this length.
I folded the long rectangle in half, right sides together, and sewed all along the long edge. I turned the long tube inside out, tucked in the raw short ends, and sewed them up. Voila! Simple sash. And the refashion is complete!
P.S. Here's the mock-up drawing I created before I started the refashion, as my design idea for the finished dress. I'm pretty proud of how similar the result is to the original design!
And that's it! Let me know what you think below, and as always, if you have any questions!
Thanks for reading! -Kirstie
Hey there! My name is Kirstie. I'm here to jot down what it's like for us to make our way in the world - having fun on a budget, refashioning and DIY-ing our hearts out, pursuing business ventures, and raising a sweet babe in this crazy world. Join me for a slightly haphazard journaling of my little family and our pursuits and adventures!