So ages ago I was approached by Boohoo.com to see if I wanted to embellish/ refashion one of their dresses & share my approach on my blog. Always one to give most things sewing related a go, & only generally limited (as you know) by my personal capacity & time I agreed & quite a bit later than perhaps they expected (apologies!) here it is. Now you need to know that I was sent this as a freebie, disclaimers, standards & all that.
Choosing a dress was not easy: there must be hundreds on their website! I needed to not only choose one that suited my style (I am not a bodycon kind of girl, being quite far away now from the “girl” description!) & the dress had to be plain enough to support some embellishing. There are some pretty dresses on the site that are already pimped up with lace, multi fabric, yokes etc which would have looked frankly, ridiculous, or even grotesque if I let loose any more haberdashery on them. So, I picked this “Polly Wrap detail sleeveless dress“.
I see that since I embarked upon this adventure that the TV presenter Lorraine has also featured it – is that a good sign? !! I guess it says that it’s a more, ahem, mature choice BUT would look lovely on any age I reckon. It comes in a few colours, but comes with a black self belt & the hem is edged in black too. The skirt has simulated permanent pleats – something I know would be very hard to sew!
But once I got my hands on it, here is the finished article on me.
So, shall I take you through what I did? It’s not rocket science, & very wearable – I hope you don’t think I look like I’ve raided the craft shop. A trip to your haberdashery & a sewing machine is all it took. I bought several metres of ric rac (in this case velvet ric rac) & some fancy ribbon to swap around as different belts- a day look & a going out look.
You could even get nice & fancy with organza ribbon & a pretty brooch.
I also bought 2 metres of grosgrain ribbon for the daytime look, tying it like we used to tie our coloured belts at school (do they even do that anymore? Do you even know what I’m talking about?)
So, here are some pictures to explain this super simple trick to vamp up (but not too much) a plain dress “with potential”.So assuming you have bought your supplies and have several metres of ric rac, a sewing maching, pins, thread etc let’s go.
5. Start to attach the ric rac to the sleeve edges the same way with pins, but leave enough ric rac unattached by the dress’s underarm seam to join the ric rac to make a circle the size of the whole sleeve. You’ll need to play around with trial & error to get the ric rac seam so that it forms the right size to go around the sleeve without any pulling or gaping. Pin the ric rac in a seam.
6. Sew the ric rac seam and then attach the ric rac to the rest of the sleeve. Now sew around the sleeve, from the right side of the dress, as close to the edge as you did for the neck edge. Repeat for the other sleeve.