Red and blue striped dress with chevron

This reconstruction is one of my favorites so far. The dress started out as the dress below, which was likely from the 80s.

My first step was to remove the shoulder pads and sleeves.

I then, removed the top and bottom portions of the dress.

The next step was to shorten the waist, and adjust the length of the skirt. I cut a bit off the top of the skirt, and shortened the bodice as well.

I then decided that the skirt was too full (and the pockets weren’t helping). So to fix that problem, I took the front and back seams in, and cut and prepped the new side seams.

It was important that I pay close attention to the chevrons in the front and the back of the skirt when taking the seams in.

The bodice had to be taken in on the sides as well, and no armholes fashioned. Since I shortened the bodice portion of the dress, the pockets had to be shortened proportionally. I kept the same pocket shape, but just moved the bottom of the pockets up about an inch.

I added little lace strips at the inside of each of the pockets at the top. It gives a little more of a feminine feel to it. I like the contrast between the lace and the stripes.

Since I wanted to have a nice fit, a zipper had to be added. I decided to add an invisible zipper at one side of the dress. When I took the skirt in, I left one of the adjusted side seams open to accommodate the side zipper.

Before I could sew in the zipper, I had to attach the back bodice and skirt, and the front bodice and skirt.

The skirt pieces had to be gathered slightly to match up with the bodice pieces.

I serged the skirt-bodice seams for durability.

With the top and bottom pieces sewn together, I sewed up one side of the dress. Then, I added the invisible zipper to the other side.

I love invisible zippers, and the best part: this one was recycled from another garment.

All that remained were the finishing touches. I finished the hem and armholes.

With all the threads tucked and tied off , I sat back and admired my favorite new creation.

I had a lot of fun reconstructing this dress. My goal was to modernize it, while retaining some of the design elements and the vintage feel. I think I accomplished exactly that.

The belt is the perfect addition to this dress. It’s one of the reasons the dress stood out to me at the thrift store.  I believe I paid about $2 for this dress, and honestly, I probably would’ve paid that just for the belt.

This dress is lightweight and airy. I can’t wait until the spring weather allows me to wear this dress without a cardigan.


I also wanted to share this cute little lace number that I found at the thrift store last week.

I really had some ideas for things to do with it, but I don’t have the heart to cut it up.


By the way, we accepted a counter offer on the house last week, and are waiting for the seller to sign all of the papers and make the contract official. We’re dealing with a bank because the house is a foreclosure, so everything is moving even slower than usual. I will share a picture and some information about the house with you all once I know we’ve actually got it.

I will also start sharing some of our ideas for the house, and things from my inspiration book. Hopefully once we move in and start the renovation process, I’ll have a new blog set up with a section just for that topic.

I hope you all have had a great week. Mine started out with a nice bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day.

I love getting flowers!

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, fashion, ooak, recycled, redo, repurposed, retro, sewing, thrifted, Uncategorized, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Red and blue striped dress with chevron

  1. Like the dresses — and the new curly hair.

  2. Very cute makeover, and I love the lace dress. I can see why you don’t want to cut it up. And, love your new hairdo! So cute.

  3. K2 says:

    Very cute makeover on the dress. And I love the curly hair. Did you set it? or is it a perm?

    • Thanks! Sadly, no, it isn’t a perm. Though, I wish I could get a perm like that. I curled my hair with my Enzo Milano reverse conico curling iron (it’s got a reverse cone shape). I’ve had the curling iron for over six years, and it’s wonderful!

  4. Sølvi says:

    Came here from sewretro, your refashioning is so cute! Love it! 🙂

  5. K-Line says:

    The dress refashion is excellent. Goes from being blah to very chic!

  6. Michelle says:

    Love it! You are very talented. I have a vintage dress that I bought in a thrift store years ago and have never had the nerve to reconstruct it. I just didn’t know where to begin. You’ve given me some good ideas. Any recommended books?

    • I hope you go for that reconstruction, and I would really love to see the dress when you do. 🙂

      I don’t really have any book recommendations. Most of what I’ve learned has been through taking things apart, and trial-and-error. As far as inspiration goes, I have an inspiration file where I keep pictures of styles and other random things that inspire me to create. Many times when I do reconstructions, I’ll just stand and look at the dress until something comes to me. Haha!

      I’m sorry that I’m not much help about recommending any books. Although, one idea is to get books about designing clothing and pattern-making. Make sure that they have pictures and examples of the concepts that are referred to in writing. I have read several of these books, and they can give you a pretty good understanding of garment construction, etc. Having different designs ingrained in your head can help you see the potential in items to be reconstructed.

      Wow, sorry for babbling on and on. I hope that helped a bit though. 🙂

  7. Rebecca says:

    Wow! I love the dress, and your hair, and those shoes. And I think that lace dress is perfect as-is…I love the look of the lined bodice with the unlined sleeves.

  8. Marie says:

    Saw your post on Sew Retro and had to drop by to say ‘wow’! What an incredible re-working of the striped dress…love it, especially the delicate lace detail!

  9. Debi says:

    FABULOUS refashion! Great job…I adore the chevron dress!

  10. Rebecca says:

    I just found your blog through SewRetro. I absolutely love your refashion! You did such an amazing job. The fit is perfect!

  11. Laurie says:

    I LOVE this dress. I can’t even explain how much I love it! Very nice job!

  12. Vanessa says:

    Came over from burdastyle. I’m on a new year’s resolution to consume less (re-use, re-fashion, finally use up my fabric stash!) and this was really inspiring. Love the dress!

  13. ams says:

    Love love love this dress – well done!

  14. kerilynn says:

    just saw this on sewretro—what an amazing restyle!! beautiful dress! i am in awe:)

  15. Trudy Callan says:

    This is my favorite thing that you’ve made. You look gorgeous. And I love your hair in curls.

  16. Fashion, Sewing & Life Adventures says:

    What a beautiful dress and also lovely pictures!

  17. Christine says:

    Wow, that reconstruction is fantastic! Great job!

  18. Kelly says:

    I just looooove this material pattern reminds me of the old coveralls that gas attendants use to wear when there was still full service at a gas station, but so much cheerful and girly, way to rock it with the beautiful curls!!!

    • Haha! Yeah, I can see how it reminded you of those coveralls, and that definitely fits with the contrast I was going for. I like the contrast between the seemingly “masculine” colors, and the “feminine” lace and shape of the dress. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and your lovely compliment. I wish the curls were a little bit easier to procure, but it sure is fun to have them once and a while. 🙂

  19. ginger in georgia says:

    braVO! i’ve been following your blog for several months (found it through newdressaday blog) but this is the first time i’ve commented. this redo is one of my favorites–super cute AND super flattering fit, as well. love the curly tresses, too, you look great.

  20. kerri says:

    Saw your refashion at sewretro; LOVE the dress and I have hair just like yours! Great job refashioning.

    • Thank you for your sweet comments. If your hair is naturally like that, then you are a lucky girl. I’m jealous. ;P I unfortunately have to set it. I appreciate you stopping by my blog!

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