DIY · purposeful · Style · Thrifts

Tea Dyed Dress – Part Two

Click here to read about Part One of this project.

So here’s where we left off yesterday. I tea dyed this dress, and I loved the resulting colors. I did not, however, love the shape of the dress. The neckline/shoulder-draping was just not right.


I thought I could cut the draping apart and create sleeves out of it. When I had the dress on, and I pinched the fabric around my arm to create a pseudo-sleeve, it looked cute. I cut and pinned the fabric to create a sleeve and sewed the seam closed.


Um, yeah. Didn’t work. Couldn’t get the “sleeve” over my shoulder, so I ripped it apart. Now the lace was cut, and I couldn’t figure out how to piece it back together.


So I just chopped the lace part off. You can see there’s still an opening from my sleeve attempt. I pinned and sewed the pieces together. Maybe I will add a flower or something later to cover it up.


I stared at the dress hanging on my armoire for a while. I was stumped.


So, like I learned back when I did The Thrift Project, I just started with what I knew I could do and figured it would just come to me along the way. I pinned the raw edges under the lace in the neckline/shoulder-draping and ironed it.

As I was doing this, I kept hearing strange “plunk” sounds. It took me a few minutes to realize it was fruit dropping onto my kitchen window. We have a “lovely” Bradford pear tree in front of our house. “Lovely” in quotation marks because the Bradford pears that were planted on our street are fruit bearing. This means that in the winter, hundreds, nay, thousands of little squishy cherry-sized pears drop down onto our driveway and car. This year must be a good Bradford pear year, because they are EVERYWHERE. You’ll know it’s me around town we you see a car covered in these little fruits. We wash our car AT LEAST once a week, but you couldn’t tell. It’s out of control. And now, apparently, our house is going to match.


When I finished pinning (and shaking my fists at the tree), I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to create a new hem of the neckline.


Then I used my good fabric scissors to cut the seam allowance really close to the zigzag stitches.


I tried it on. Better, but those shoulders are a little too poufy. And by poufy, I mean they stand straight up. Not finished yet.


I wondered if I could just tack that part of the neckline down, creating a sort of cap sleeve. I pinned each side to the front and back of the dress. Pinning just in front of my underarm while the garment is on my body proved to be a bit difficult. I definitely got a few pin pricks on this one.

I used a zigzag stitch again to just tack the fabric down – the length of the stitch is less than 1/2 inch.


Yes, much better.


This dress turned out better than I thought it would. The color is subtle and feminine, and now the shape of the dress is, too. Now, I’m ready for spring, and not just because spring means the bird will have returned, the rotten fruit will be eaten, and our car will be clean again.



This post is part of a 31 Day series about improving my days by being more PURPOSEFUL.

You can read more about it here. You can find all the posts in this series here.


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