Recycled shirt dress

altered dress
Remixed posh dress

I haven’t updated the blog on my sewing adventures for a while now, so here’s what I’m wearing today.

I’ve always liked those casual artist smock-type tunics that you can just throw on at the weekend, and do whatever you want with.  Toast do a lovely line in very expensive pin-tucked linen or chambray shirts modelled by gloomy young women who know that there is more to life than being lovely, like going for a walk, or pottery.

However, I don’t care how much spare cash I’ve got, I’m not spending 70 quid plus postage on a t-shirt.

I have to admit to having a few Toast pieces in my wardrobe, and one of them was a shirt dress in a gorgeous russet needlecord. Trouble is, the dress was just wrong on me. The elasticated waist emphasised my dumpiness,  and the skirt ended  mid-footballer’s calf. Actually, even the model looked a bit…short…in the catalogue.

I’ve had a few incidents like that with Toast dresses: it’s all down to the boobs. I mean, you don’t see gloomy Toast models with boobs. And I know I should take that as a warning, but the clothes are pretty and appeal to my fantasy of being an aloof, angular artist, wandering the clifftops of my Greek island retreat. Trouble is, when you’re short and dumpy with big boobs, it’s not really feasible. Still…

So, I took another look at The Dress, and chopped off about 10 inches from the bottom.  The waist was elasticated in a French seam, so I removed the elastic and remade the seam so that it sat nicely on my hips instead of bunching at the waist. Then came what was left of the skirt. I’ve kept a bit of a flare because I liked the way it kicked when I walked.  I used some of the excess fabric to make a couple of patch pockets that I’m still not sure about. I might take them off and make a pouch pocket instead. That’ll make it more artisty.

When I first tried it on, my ever-supportive husband started singing: “Robin Hooood…Robin Hoood…riding through the glen..”, but I think  if I wear it with jeans and my shiny plimsolls, or ballet flats, and stay away from the Lincoln Green accessories, it’ll look less Merrie.


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