The “It Was A Dress, Right?” Top


The Facts
Fabric: Possibly-not-organic cotton sack dress from H&M, on sale for $10
Pattern: None
Year: 2009?
Notions: Nothing but thread
Time to complete: ~3 hours (6 episodes of Party Down)
First worn: To work, last Tuesday
Wear again? Yes indeed
Total price: $10 as a dress, $0 as a top

My refashion is admittedly tame. I just don’t have that many things to re-do, nor a great imagination for refashioning. I used to be an H&M addict, but since learning to sew I’ve really kicked the habit. I stick to just shoes and under garments now. Anyway, I bought this dress on sale in 2009 (I think) and I’ve probably worn it a dozen times (including our engagement photos in July 2010, now that I think about it), but I was always self conscious about the length so I stopped wearing it.

I thought I could easily refashion this into a top instead. I had to unpick the pockets to keep enough of the length. I’m left wondering now if this was supposed to be a tunic and I was thick enough to think it was a dress all this time…but it would be a looonng tunic…right? This person describes it as a dress (second pic), but says she wore it as a tunic. Hmmm…H&M are sort of notorious for too-short dresses, right?

This was my first try at petal sleeves. I used the drafting tutorial from the blog My Sparkle, which I found on Pinterest sometime ago. Mine definitely look backwards. But I’m keeping them because the fabric will fall apart if I unpick it one more time…and also I wear cardigans over everything so no one will know!

Author

SullyLiz3

Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.

16 Comments

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  1. H&M does make things a little short sometimes. I like the top and glad your dress got a second chance at life-

  2. I agree – H&M dresses are often short. Regardless of whether it was once a dress or a long tunic, it looks great now as a top! Nice job!

  3. Haha – I always used to buy things that shops described as dresses, and which I thought of as tops.

    I do like your re-do as a top. Especially the sleeves. And thank you for the link to that article about (not exactly) organic cotton in India.

    • Thanks! And you’re quite welcome. I used to think H&M was an okay company, but there have been a lot of negative stories about them in the past couple of years. It’s disheartening.

  4. This is great. I like it much better as a top. I adore super simple refashions. Very cute!

  5. It looks great as a top, much more flattering.

  6. If you end up with a garment that you get a lot more use out of, it’s not lame. It works very well as a short top.

  7. Those petal leaves look sweet. It’s so much nicer as a top. And thank you so much for the link to the tutorial…I’m going to have to try that some time.

    • The tutorial uses it on a child’s dress but I think it works for adults too. I think mine turned out weird because the original sleeves were gathered A LOT and thus too large when eased in. If you use it on an existing pattern for plain sleeves it should work perfectly.

  8. Nice top, I like the sleeve detail and I would say it a success. If you’ll be wearing the top more often, that’s a win.

  9. Great make over! It looks great as a top. It’s hard to bend over with confidence when a dress is too short. I can relate to that.

    • Hahaha, I avoided bending over at all costs! And I always tried to sit with something over my lap – notebook, napkin, tablecloth etc. But no longer! Huzzah!

  10. I was looking at your refashioned top (which I think is adorable) when I noticed the details of your location!! Hey, I know those milk jug lamps. And I definitely know that ice cream! Yum. Felt kinda stalker-ish knowing where you’ve been. LOL! Glad to see someone from my neck of the woods is a Sew Weekly contributor. :)

    • Lol we were at the in-laws’ place for the weekend. I demand a Jeni’s stop every. single. time. My goal is to hit all of their shops in the C-bus area, I’m 4/9. :D

  11. I like this both ways! You definitely have the legs for the dress version :) But yeah… the decency issue Barbara mentioned!