Friday, May 6, 2011

Make Do and Mend Challenge: The "Blue Moon" Dress

This dress started life as a voluminous 80s dress with huge sleeves and a pleated skirt. I wish I could show you the 'before' picture, but annoyingly I seem to have lost it. I bought it months and months ago - probably over a year now in fact - because the Art Deco colour and print appealed to me and I thought I could Do Something With It. So it's been languishing in my stock room ever since, but this week I decided to set myself a challenge, and make a concerted effort to deal with all the pieces in my ever-growing "make do and mend" pile.

To start with I unpicked the entire thing, and ironed out the pleats in the skirt and the gathers in the bodice. I was left with two rectangles from the skirt, the sleeves, and two bodice pieces about two foot wide (even though it was only designed for a 36" bust - this was a proper "Dynasty" 80s dress).

I used the same pattern as my Spring Blossom dress, arranging the pattern pieces to fit on the available fabric. In the making up, I made a few minor changes to the original pattern: I gathered the sleeves instead of darting them; I just stitched the bodice pieces together normally rather than topstitching as the pattern instructed; I also omitted the sleeve cuffs as I didn't have enough fabric.

As much as I love this dress, it's actually intended for selling. I'm opening it up to blog readers first, before listing on ebay/etsy. The pattern is sized 34-28-36, but there's room for a little extra in the bust because of the tucks and gathers in the bodice. Price £60 or best offer (don't be afraid to put in an offer!), contact me by email or by leaving a comment below.

I'm also extending the Make Do and Mend challenge to the world at large - have you got a mending pile to tackle? Or like me have you more ambitious re-making projects planned? Let's make May "Make Do and Mend" month, and work on them together. Do let me know if you decide to take part!


  1. Oh so sad it's not my size! That fabric is beautiful. Very much admiring your make do and mend skills.

  2. This is really beautiful! Good work!

  3. Wow its beautiful, just wish I was skinny enough to fit it!!!
    I would love to join in your Make Do and Mend Challenge, I have a huge pile of dresses that need revamping , I have made a start and this should give me the motivation to keep going!!

  4. Bravo!!! What a gorgeous revamp--I just love that you took the original dress apart and made it something so adorable. :) I have to admit that lately I've been hitting the thrift shops with an eye for pieces I can completely pick apart and reuse the fabric--in some ways it can be so much easier than refashioning.

    - Casey

  5. 28" waist? I haven't been that tiny since my teens!!! Ack!!! I do so admire all your projects. I can't believe you are a beginner sewer! I've been sewing for a very long time, and have never picked apart a dress before and resewn it!!! I just love your blog. It's becoming one of my all time favourites. I wish I knew how to get my waist back...any hints?


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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