Dress Re-Make: From Scallops to Greece

I sewed my dress to wear to my step-sister’s wedding last year. The result was tolerable enough that I actually wore the dress, but it just didn’t come together in real life like it did in my head. (Side note: wasn’t my step-sister a beautiful bride!!)

blair oneill wedding photo

The color makes me look washed out. The scallops are uneven if you look too close. The length (just above the knee) seemed not right. And the slight gathers in the waist and the slightly-too-snug hips conspired to make my belly look very, very poochy.

ruched dress bodice and gather skirt

So, I cut it apart at the waist. I decided that the bottom of the dress was a lost cause and put it to scrap. I took a length of sage colored fabric from my stash (I believe they were once my mom’s curtains) to remake the skirt. The bodice of the dress ended up rather Grecian in my mind, so I decided to play off of that and add a flowing floor-length skirt.

scallops to greece dress in vineyard

I had three panels of 22″ wide fabric that were just the right length. I sewed the three panels together along their long seams (leaving a gap at the top of one seam so I could eventually fit in a new zipper). I gathered one panel across the front of the dress.

deep pleat in back of dress

For the back, I wanted it to have the feel of a train without an actual train. So, I centered the seam joining the remaining two panels at the center back of the dress. I created a deep inverted box pleat with the pleat extending 5″ on either side of the center back seam and basted it in place. Then, I gently gathered the back of the skirt into the back of the bodice, allowing the pleat to gather as well. I put in a new zipper and hand-sewed the bodice lining back in place.

whip stitch neckline inside

I had just enough fabric scraps that I could add a bit of the skirt fabric to the neckline of the bodice. I think it really helps to have the green against my skin instead of the rose. Unfortunately, I was NOT going to rip out the entire bodice and re-sew it with the green peeking out of the seam. So, I hand tacked it by sewing it only to the bottom layer of the bodice. I’m not a big fan of hand sewing, and it leaves a very ugly exposed seam on the inside, but it looks elegant from the outside and it certainly helps me look less washed out.

green heart pendant dress neckline