I got this big shapeless dress for free! So I knew I could experiment with it. I learned how to make darts, install an invisible zipper, and just generally bring in a dress in places that are too loose! So much fun...
PART 1: TOP. Ripped out those shoulder pads and waist ties!
Cut the dress at my natural waist
Then I made darts! MINI TUTORIAL: DARTS. Not sure how you're supposed to make darts, but this is how I did it: measured my waist and divided in half (28/2=14). Measured the width of the top and figured the difference between it and my waist (20-14=6). Measured and marked at 1/4 and 3/4 of the width on the top (so I made marks at 5" and 15") then drew a dot directly 5 inches above each mark. Knowing the top had to be brought in 6", each dart would have to be 3" wide, so I measured 3", centered it on the bottom mark, and marked each side. So I basically drew 2 equilateral triangles with 3" bases, 5" height. You probably don't need to draw the sides, but I did because I was nervous
I pinched each triangle in half, and sewed along the "side"
They looked like this! I did darts on the front and back of the top. After this, I tried it on inside out, and brought in the sides, shoulders, and sleeves a little more to be more fitted.
WAISTBAND: Found some coordinating fabric
Measured it around my waist and cut it into a strip. Pinned and sewed it to the bottom of the top (right sides together)! Top is DONE!
PART 2: SKIRT. I cut the skirt at the knee and cut the remaining fabric into equal sized strips (ish)
I sewed & cut the skirt into a box shape that was the width of my hips
DARTS front and back of skirt!
Hemmed the bottom and sewed the outer edges to give the skirt more of a pencil shape. The skirt's done! All that's left is the peplum!
MINI TUTORIAL: PEPLUM. ok, this is lame, but this is the exact same thing I did for my paper bag skirt. Those strips from the bottom of the skirt? I opened them up, and sewed them, right sides together, on each side and that long left edge. Then I flipped it inside out.
So it's a looooong strip, and I just gathered it on that raw edge! You remember how to ruffle fabric, right?
Oh peplum, I love you already
I pinned it to the top of my skirt (right side facing out)
Then pinned my top/waistband to it and sewed it all down! Basically, it's a sandwich: skirt, peplum, and waistband, with the right sides facing in. You can't see in the pic, but the top is pinned and sewn on upside down
PART 3: FINISHING TOUCHES. I opened up the back and installed an invisible zipper. (super confusing! I had to youtube it, but pleased with how it came out )
Added an opening thing at the bottom (what is that called?) oh, and that cut's to show you how much I tapered the skirt in
And now I have a new peplum dress! The BEST thing is that when I sit down, the peplum covers my belly! So this dress is cute/fitted AND I can eat in it! YAY!