Blushing Bookworm Dress

Since fall is a comin’—albeit, slowly—it’s now time for me to start creating season appropriate attire.

So, remember this “Princess Leia” dress from last Tuesday? Let’s revisit it…

You may be asking, is a pastel (especially pastel pink) OK for fall?

Of course, particularly when paired with a neutral, like brown. For today’s dress, I created the skirt from my own design, and added the bodice from the vintage “Princess Leia” dress.

The materials - Man, do I adore the pink and brown color combo.

First, I removed the lining behind the lace, because it took away from the effect.

I cut the lining behind the lace out, because if I had used the seam ripper I would’ve had to sew everything back together. Plus, it was good to have that extra fabric at the seam for reinforcement.

In order to make it possible to re-shape the bodice and create a new elastic casing, the elastic casing along the bottom of the bodice needed to be removed.

Removing the elastic casing

Elastic casing removed

The bodice was too big. I measured, cut and sewed up the new bodice.

Creating the new bodice with pins and tailor’s chalk

To complete the look of this dress, I wanted a flowing a-line shaped skirt. Using one of my patterns, I created a paneled skirt.

Sewing the panels together

I attached the skirt to the bodice with a 1.25” seam allowance.

Large seam allowance to allow for the elastic casing

Next, I ironed the seam allowance up towards the bodice.

I then sewed another seam 1” above the skirt-bodice seam (attaching the skirt-bodice seam allowance to the bodice, and creating the elastic casing). I made sure to allow an entrance for the elastic on the side of the dress.

Inserting the elastic into the casing, with the help of a safety pin. To ensure that the elastic wouldn’t be seen from the outside, I inserted the elastic in between the pink and brown (creating a double pink layer between the outside of the dress and the elastic).

Once the elastic was through, I tightened it to the desired length, sewed the ends together and sewed up the hole.

Here's what the elastic casing looks like on the inside...

...and on the outside

I used one of my slight puff sleeve patterns that fit the armhole to cut out sleeves from the brown fabric.

Cutting sleeves out

I used what was left from the original, pink sleeves to create accent trim for the sleeves.

The sleeves were originally going to have banded trim

But…the sleeves looked much better, flowing freely like the skirt. So, I decided against the banded sleeves.

This dress has a Victorian feel on the top, due to the lace. Overall though, I’d say it has a definite 40s look. Perhaps part of the 40s vibe comes from the muted colors?

The blushing bookworm

It could be paired with some brown boots and/or with a belt

My husband took me to the textiles area of the L.A. Garment District this weekend, as part of my birthday present (Yee!).

Here are some of the goodies I found:


On the way home, we went to dinner at PF Changs (our favorite) in Burbank. I know this doesn’t relate to the post in the least, but I had to share what we saw while driving down a street in Burbank.

It’s THE Back to the Future Delorean. OK, so it was more than likely a replica, but it was still a pretty unusual sight. (Sorry for the inexcusably dirty windshield. Haha!)

It was in front of the Cartoon Network building, along with the Ghostbusters car (harder to see, but it’s in front of the Delorean).

About Becca

I am a self-taught seamstress, and I love to create unique women’s clothing. This blog is a record of the hodgepodge of sewing projects that occupy my time. Reconstruction projects are my favorite, but I also create clothing from my own designs using both recycled and new materials.
This entry was posted in clothing, diy, dress, fabric, indie, ooak, recycled, repurposed, retro, sewing, thrifted, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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