Sunday, November 26, 2017

Noel Dress - Holiday version with Reindeer applique

For those of you who do not already know me, I'm Michelle Paganini and I run an upcycled fashion design company, Paganoonoo.  This post is about a upcycled dress design under development.
Continuing from the first "Noel" post, here is prototype #2. 

This time I decided I wanted a cheery red dress.  

After combing through my dress shirt stash and several trips to the thrift store I had 5 shirts in matching reds.

I love the pattern and color combinations and it certainly looks cheery.

This is the finished dress.  I was all dolled up as we went to a winery and then out to lunch.

Here is the in-process version.  Test pinning the placement of various patterns / colors helps to maintain balance in the design.  I also tried out a couple hemline lengths and choose knee length again.  

Because the bottom of the dress retains original shirt hems it is curvy, dipping at the shirt tails and rising at the side seams.  In the first picture you can see I chose to wear a petticoat for full knee coverage.
  I made mistakes galore even though I had the original dress in the room for reference. I cut all the way through the front placket, forgetting that on the original dress it stops shy.  After having carefully matching the colors on 5 dress shirts there was no giving up.  Pressing onward, a quick zig-zag and the two pieces were back together.  As always, I stuck myself and bled, marking the garment with a bit of DNA.  BTW your own spit will remove your bloodstain. On to major mistake number two.
I accidentally cut a huge hole in the back panel, darn!  Because the cut is in a single layer of fabric it needed backing before using a multi-step zig zag closure.  The backing prevents strain on the top fabric which would pull apart during use and laundering. There was red thread in the top and yellow in the bobbin making the repair stitching quite visible on the backside. 

Shhh, the repair still looks like this but no one has noticed.
Back to that accidental cut across the placket... I'm always looking for a way to make mistakes into features.  I had purchased reindeer made from a cutter quilt (one too badly damaged to use as a quilt) and was planning to add them to scarves, however they made the perfect (festive) mistake cover-up and add so much charm to the dress. Sewn on by hand, they can be removed at the end of the season and sewn back on next holiday season.

Last but not least these upcycled shoes were painted red following the method.  With new red shoelaces they are the perfect accent.

Look for release of "Noel" dress upcycling instructions in the new year.  In the meantime I will be making a few more examples (before starting in on illustrations and writing instructions) and will post them on the blog and Facebook. Follow Paganoonoo on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, and Michelle on Facebook.

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Start upcycle sewing today!  Join the Paganoonoo Upcycle Sewing Group on Facebook.  Released Instructions (PDF and hard copy) are for sale in the Etsy Store.

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