The Oceanside Dress-Coverup Thingy: An illustrated story

Once upon a time, there were two and a half T-shirts of identical color that lived in a bin. One day, these T-shirts met a pair of capris that had been banished to the refashion pile because they made the author’s legs look as if they were covered in upholstery. The shirts and the capris realized they looked surprisingly good together, and decided to work together to make something that might actually get worn.

The first of these T-shirts lost its sleeves and neck ribbing, but realized it was making a noble sacrifice to the cause. Even after it got slit down the center front all the way to the nearly-invisible pin. And then got cut off at the waist, and slit up the sides, after this picture was taken.
The half-T-shirt was the perfect size to cut a hood out of. Fortunately, since it was totally winged, it ended up being the perfect width from front to back to accomodate the neckline.

The second of the full T-shirts got cut off just under the sleeves to make the skirt. Some leftover pieces were used to make some patch pockets.

The hood was sewn together first….

…and then attached to the rest of the shirt. Then the shirt was happily reunited with its neck ribbing, because it was the perfect amount of stretch to hide the black serger thread.
The capris leg was the perfect length to cut half the trim for the hood from, and the author was quite happy to find that sergers make sewing stretch wovens onto knit quite painless.
Not wanting the trim on the hood to be lonely, more strips were cut from the leg, this time on the bias so they’d go around the curve of the pocket easier.
And so, the pocket edges were trimmed, and then the long straight edges were folded under and pressed to make this lovely patch pocket.
About this time, it was realized that the top and skirt as is would be too short for comfort. To that end, strips were cut from the remaining T-shirts to add to the waist. Four of these strips became ties, while the other two were added to the front and back. However, not being content to leave it plain, reverse appliques were added to the front waistband….

…and then cut out.

The pockets were then added to the skirt. Ties for the back were also made.

The next step was to sew the waistband and skirt onto the top. After this picture was taken, the ties were basted onto the front waistband, and the side seams were sewn in.

The sleeves from the first T-shirt went back to its original home, but in a shorter and more fitted condition.

And so, after a small incident involving an inside-out sleeve….

Ta-da! (Just ignore the blurry background– I photoshopped it to hide how messy my sewing area is.)
And a few more pics…
The end!
(Also on the agenda today besides fixing my sleeve mistake: made a muslin bodice for my next project.)

15 thoughts on “The Oceanside Dress-Coverup Thingy: An illustrated story

  1. A-MA-ZING!!! I love this new dress you created! I am envious of your comfort and proficiency with knits. Plus, what a wonderful use of pre-existing garments! Good job. I hope to refashion this well in a few months, with a few more projects under my belt, so to speak…


  2. Well done job..! I really like that awesome < HREF="" REL="nofollow">dress<>. Great work.. 🙂


  3. I love both your story and your creation. The creation a bit more, though, because it’s something very real, something you can wear and something that looks wonderful.


  4. Anonymous

    I can only heartily endorse everything that has already been written about this project. Truly creative and well executed; you have an innate ability that is inspiring.


  5. Hey Becky! Love this story & cover-up! Could I use a couple of pictures from this post on my blog (with credit and a link back to you, of course)? I thought I'd do this Friday's Confession on repurposing, and I would like to make a nice before->after collage from this project, if you don't mind. Either way is fine – just let me know. Thanks! 🙂


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