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Friday, May 9, 2014

Upcycle: A retro dress from a thrift store curtain - V8789

This dress was a curtain in a former life.  Now it is Vogue 8789.
Lately,  I've been reading blog posts about upcycling and refashioning.  These are creative people who take a horrible dresses and make something great.  A great example is Nout from Sandpaper Kisses.  She says she doesn't sew, but I don't think the evidence supports her claim.  This is her amazing dress transformation.
Picture from
She is completely adorable and this dress is so cute!  (Check out her blog) It made me want to run out and do the same thing.

So I went to the thrift store and tried to find something to remake.  I had a hard time. Don't get me wrong, I found lots of horrible clothes, but I must lack the ability to see the diamond in the rough.  I found myself in the curtain section and saw a panel with pretty stripes for only $3.99.  I bought it and made a dress. Which I am not sure even counts towards my refashion goal since essentially all I did was buy fabric and make clothes, which is exactly what I usually do and didn't require any great vision.  I'm baby stepping into this whole refashion thing.

I sewed view A of Vogue 8789 with one modification.
Gathered skirts never look good on me. Ever.  They just end up looking bulky and hide my waist.  Since my hips are wide and my booty expansive, that ends up being all you can see.  No bueno.

Instead, I used the Dirndl skirt pattern from Burda (the same one I used for the Bombshell dress) and I can't seem to find it on the Burda site any more or I would include a link.  However, it is a 3/4 skirt that is not gathered or pleated at all.

Using the limited amount of fabric (one curtain panel) and matching the stripes was a challenge.
 Here is the back of the dress.
For the belt, I covered a bit of elastic with fabric and used eyehooks for closures.  The dress is fully lined in a white cotton fabric because the curtain material is quite thin and made of polyester and the cotton is nice next to my skin.  The zipper is an invisible zipper with the lining hand-sewn onto it on the inside.

Final Details:
Dress Fabric: 3.99
Cotton Muslin Lining: 12.00
Zipper: $3.00
Elastic from another project -0-
Eyehooks from another project -0-
Total: About $19.00 USD


  1. What a great refashion! Seriously! You took a curtain and made an awesomely cute dress! Counts as a refashion in my book.

  2. That's a beautiful dress!
    I have to say, I have this pattern and keep muttering to myself about that gathered skirt. They make me look barrel-ish. But a 3/4 circle skirt is the perfect modification. I shall take my inspiration from you.

  3. Thanks so much for the shoutout! I love what you've done with that dress!


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