Saturday, 26 September 2015

A Fishy Dress

I think this might be my favourite of the week's refashions. Although I'm not sure I should call it a 'refashion', this one was made from a tablecloth, so probably it should just be labelled 'repurposing' instead.

It's another one in a peasant dress style, very similar to the Blackberry Dress earlier in the week. But with the addition of a 'wave' border at the bottom.

I cut a long, wave shaped strip just slightly longer than the bottom of the dress and sewed its ends right sides together to make a 'circle', which then was the same size as the bottom of the dress. Then I sewed it on to the reverse of the bottom of the dress.

If you want a decorative border of some kind and plan it a bit better than I did, then you could just add it in a similar way, but in 2 straight pieces before you sew the sides of the dress, rather than having to make a circle the exact size! But if you're doing a wave, or something else that's shaped, then be sure to have the shape matching on the joins, otherwise it'll look a mess.

So here it is from the right side, you can just see the row of stitching.

The fabric I used frayed like crazy, it was a bit of a pain to work with, but was just the colour I wanted.
 And here is the join in my 'circle', lined up with one of the side seams.

Then I ironed it up and over the dress like this:

You might notice that in this photo there is no paler 'sashing' across the chest to split the blue fabric. I had planned on making this dress just plain blue down to the 'wave', but when Maria tried it on at this point she was not impressed with the comfort of the fit - apparently it was too tight across her chest.  It really didn't look too tight to me, but she is after all the 'Goldilocks' of the comfortable clothes world and there seemed to be no point making her a dress which she wouldn't wear. So I chopped off the bottom, dismantled the sleeves and luckily had just enough table cloth left to cut out a larger bodice section, which I then joined to the bottom with a strip of paler sashing in too, as you can see in the finished photos. 

And then I sewed it down, raw edge style, but with several rows of white stitching to give a spray foam effect to the top of my wave - and to be sure the pesky fabric didn't do any more fraying on the finished garment!

Then I wanted to add some fish to the bottom border. I used some of the stripey fish I'd made the other week from my very narrow scraps.

Sewing them down on to some foundation fabric.

And then cutting my fish shapes out from this.

These were the ones I used on my fishy patchwork oblongs, but the ones for Maria's dress were made in just the same way only slightly smaller.

There's one spotty fish too, just because I like an odd, individual character who wants to be a bit different from the rest of the shoal!

I added a contrasting casing for the neck elastic again, just as I did with the Blackberry Dress, and also this time cut a small slit for some decorative ties.

Then it was time for lots of posing again!

With a little bit of photo bombing too!


This is the kind of dress making I like most - something quick and easy (quick even with the alterations I had to make), which I can then 'prettify' in an individual way. Better still with this one, the peasant style dress is one that lasts well as they grow, turning into a top very naturally, the fabrics were either repurposed or scraps and there's a patchwork element too. Kind of my perfect dress to make all round.

And happily Maria is now very satisfied with the comfort of the fit and loves wearing it.

Linking up with 'Finish it up Friday' over at Crazy Mom Quilts.



  1. I think that the addition at the waist really pulls the whole dress together, and hooray that she likes the fit of it well as it is so lovely on her! :)

  2. So individual, so sweet, and it looms so comfortable! X

  3. What fabulous photos for the photo shoot, Sally. I agree with Yvonne above, the light blue at the waist ties the whole dress together. And the wavy sea border with the patchwork fish is BRILLIANT!!!

  4. I think this is my favourite too.

  5. Oh I think this is my favourite too - I love the fish and the wave border and you've definitely found the most appropriate spot for a photo shoot!

  6. Oh, how you will enjoy these photos in years to come!!! Maria's expressions are priceless. :-)

  7. OKay, this is GORGEOUS! And Maria is just huggable. :)

  8. Cute especially all those pics :)

  9. What a clever design. Looks great. The little girl is such a cutie too!


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