Dresses, Fabrics, Sewing, sewing patterns, Tops, Vintage patterns

Salvage operations…

After sewing my Motor City Express jacket for possibly the whole of last month, I decided to tackle the small projects lying around next.  Mending, shortening Mr. G.T.’s shirt sleeves from long to elbow length, and salvaging a few garments that I have made but don’t wear.  Like many I have had a few Me Mades that turned out perfectly fine, BUT were not perfectly fine on me.

Perhaps you remember this dress, blogged about here, a vintage pattern, Butterick B4598, which I made last August 2014.  I love colour blocking and this is a really nice vintage pattern.  Unfortunately, when I wear this dress I feel short, really short!  It’s too long and I think I need some waist line definition.  It has been hanging in the closet, unloved, ever since. 


Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Or there is this more recent dress I blogged about here.  It’s McCall’s 7238, another vintage pattern.  I loved the print on this fabric, but the fabric was very light, as light as a tee shirt fabric.  


I know that if it looks good on the model or the mannequin or on the pattern envelope or on someone else – it might not necessarily be the style for me.  

I know that just because the fabric has a pretty design or the perfect colour – the design or colour might not be suitable for me.

I know that I should consider the drape and weight of the fabric – as they might not be suitable for what I have planned.

But hey!  You know, sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees.

To salvage these two garments, I re-made them into tops.  

With my black and white one, I cut it to a comfortable waist length and finished the hem off with self made bias tape.  (Please click the first photo to start the slide show.)


My flowered print dress was even easier to salvage.  I took out the elastic waist band, shortened it and re-hemmed it.


(I just noticed the two hair colours in these photos, which reminds me, there will be no head shots this week.  I have, again, changed my hair colour and my sisters have not seen it yet!)

So come on!  We all have them.  I know I’m not the only one!  What was your last garment that turned out perfectly, but actually didn’t?

Well, back to cutting.  I am cutting out the fabrics for My Sister Project.  Boy, am I anxious to start on her garments!

Happy Sewing!

44 thoughts on “Salvage operations…”

  1. Fab idea! I think most dresses are destined to be tops after a few wears. I have some that I like but don’t have an occasion to wear them but would with trousers if they were tops. 🙂

  2. I have a lovely Burda that came really nicely, and I used the fabulous heather purple lace that is flocked. It’s soft and beautiful, but not flattering to wear at all! Have been pondering making it a top. I’m glad to not be the only one with failed successes!!

  3. Lovely revisions on these – congratulations! Had a couple of dresses I cut down to skirts earlier this summer, and currently have an op shop top I’m fitting a bit for cooler weather… if that ever comes!

  4. I loved the black colour blocking dress. 😢 I didn’t think it made you look short. I get your point though. The times I’ve bought something at the store, thought I’d wear it, only to have it hang in the closet with the tags still on. It’s that quote from the author Boss Lady, it doesn’t matter if it’s fashion, if you don’t feel a million bucks in it, it’s not worth it. But hey, you salvaged both, and will be wearing them. 😊

  5. Nicely rescued! A far better woman than me …… My stuff gets buried away and eventually goes down the charity shop. Guess it’s the brat only child in me, I just get the huff when I look at the makes that are fine, but not fine on me….. 😊

  6. Love your refashions. I have a couple of me-mades in my wardrobe, crying out for something to be done about them. It’s so easy to move onto the next thing, but sometimes we just need to made good use of the clothes we’ve already got.

  7. Brilliant remakes! I love the black and white top on you, not to mention the color blocking is outstanding! I have several ‘makes’ hanging in my closet too that are just not right. Your post makes me wonder how I can ‘save’ them. If the fabric is great, it’s hard to give them to charity….

  8. Thank you for posting this. Someone suggested this to me recently with an unflattering dress and I haven’t been brave enough. Cutting a dress into two is a hard decision, but it has worked out really well.

    1. Thank you. If it had been something that I made that turned out perfectly fine, except maybe it didn’t fit me or the colour was not mine after all. I would have happily given it to a charity shop for someone to use. But then again, when I don’t like what I have made for whatever reason AND I just can’t part with it for some reason, I just have to cut into it and see what I can do to make it wearable for me. So now I still have my lovely colour block and my flowers and I have learned something while making those dresses too!

  9. I applaud you all because I HATE picking things out. I have had great looking outfits that belong in someone else’s closet but have never worked up the oomph to pick apart and rebuild. Once again, good on you all for your patience and creativity.

  10. Hi, I found you in the comments at Pretty Grievances. It just so happens that I blogged about a “salvage operation” a couple of days ago. I have several more that I need to do.

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