tutorial: DIY tank top summer dress

Let’s talk about the weather.

Ours is being its ol’ tropical self. In other words, it’s humid and I HATE IT. I cope by doing surgery on old DIY projects and making summer-appropriate things.

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The top of this dress used to be ONE OF THESE. And the bottom part is from THIS BOHO DRESS. The top, while the color agrees with my skin tone, is a tad short for “going out” wear. The dress, meanwhile, feels too young for my almost-30 brain. So I combined the two.  And drew a tutorial.


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to twee or not to twee?

What? Another dress, Meream? Yes. Because, as I implied in my last post, I have been slowly questioning my previous propensity for sewing short dresses and skirts.

This was the inspiration. Or Pinboard, if you will:

pretty fabrics from a local store | a Modcloth dress | dotted mint fabric I got on sale and a drawing of the dress I planned to sew

While the boyfriend entertained his guests (he had a PS3 party) last Saturday, I stayed holed up in my studio and started sewing the dress. The goal, if it’s not too obvious from my shoddy drawing, was to sew a dress with just the right amount of whimsy; to create a look that is 29-year-old-appropriate, if there is such a thing. While I LOVE the Modcloth dress above, I thought it looked too young for someone my age. I did, however, still wanted a few cute elements from it so I went for the shirred bottom.


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stresspiration or why scarlett o’hara rocks harder than posh spice

stresspiration, noun 1. mental, emotional, or physical strain brought about by inspiration

This was supposed to be a Wander|Wonder Wednesday post but I decided to wait until I could take a photo of me wearing the Sookie dress I made a year ago. You see, the boyfriend and I had our anniversary dinner (7 years WOOT!) last night and I planned on wearing the dress. And yes, this dress had bearing on the tone of the overdue Wander|Wonder Wednesday post.

But first, let me show you this:

I stated on my Facebook page that this hippo dress has a long story. Its inspiration, if you could believe me, was that dress to the left, a piece from the Victoria Beckham SS13 collection. Have you ever seen two dresses so dissimilar? In my defense, the first two dresses I made looked similar to that VB dress. They had the two-tone and zipper details down pat. Unfortunately, sewing them wasn’t as smooth as I expected. At one point, I posted this on Facebook:

More than ten hours and two ruined dresses later, I had a Scarlett O’Hara moment. “I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again,”  I said to myself. But minus the hungry part. Properly motivated, I set about making a dress with a side zipper, darts, and a collar — parts of dressmaking that I’ve been trying to avoid due to laziness, as you can see from this post.

The result: the hippo dress.

Which led me to wonder: Would I ever get the hang of this runway-inspired sewing thing?


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