Hot! Dirty Chartreuse Chanteuse Dress

Fabric: chartreuse silk dress; black man-made slippery something

Pattern: Simplicity 2724

Year: 2008

Notions: necktie remnant; vintage belt kit, 5¢

Time to complete: okay, I’m not gonna pretend… I don’t keep track because I’m shamefully slooooow

First worn: February, 2012

Wear again: Yes, please. The silk feels fragile, especially with the heavier bottom, so not too often.

Total price: 5¢

I may have mentioned over on my blog that I was going to sit out the next couple of challenges. Just to, you know, get some personal stuff done, and continue on with fitting issues (Clover!). Crazy, huh?! Cuz here I am. It is the upcycle challenge, after all :) And this upcycle was an evolving part of my fall/winter sewing palette. After a few false starts, mostly involving yardage once the dress was unpicked & pressed, I finally figured out what it wanted to be. And am marking that challenge done as I move on to spring/summer sewing. Though we haven’t had much of a winter, the temps dropped this weekend, evident in my lack of desire to get gussied up for an outside photo shoot. This was more of a massive cooking weekend, anyway. Also, the dress is quite flimsy for winter. Silly me.

But what a dress it is! Seriously ladies. Why didn’t you tell me? Maybe someone, somewhere tried to, and I listened, but then went on a little hiatus. But really, this dress does wonders for me. Okay, so maybe in viewing the photos, I could stand to take the skirt in a nip or two… But overall, there was very little fitting to be done. Unheard of for me.

Princess seams make me feel like a princess, and the pea colored silk is so soft I could curl up for a nap. I just love chartreuse to no end, though it’s not for everyone. Maybe not even for my coloring. But I don’t care. Possibly because it’s the color of my birthstone, I’ve always been a sucker for it. Knowing this upcycle would play into my palette challenge, I even made my own little color called “dirty chartreuse” on ColourLovers. Chanteuse – it just sounded nice, unlike my actual singing. The Dirty Three print in my kitchen really ties the whole thing together. Like that rug, dude.

The poor dress was given to me several years ago by a colleague, who was loath to donate it to the thrift store. She knew the gaping hole in the arm would send it straight to the bin. That’s when I swoop in! The black whatever-it-is man-made has been in my stash since early college, I reckon. It drapes nicely, and has a subtle sheen to it. But the cling! I might invest in some static guard or dryer sheets, items I generally shy away from. I love old neckties, and the huge collection I had were made into a radiating starburst quilt for my sister about a decade ago. I still have all of the skinny ends, and love to use them as bias binding. This specimen probably wouldn’t go with much else, but is a great compliment to the muted greens of the silk.

I did something novel with the belt (a vintage kit picked up for a nickel two summers past). Have you heard of Stitch-Witchery? Of course you have. Me, I scoff at anything that makes my sewing life easy. Here’s where I shyly admit that I finally caved, bought some to try out, along with Fray Check. It is so far from the hand sewing techniques I love to employ, but boy oh boy! I was able to keep the slippery silk tacked in place on the belting, then went along with some hand stitching to make it pretty. It’s our dirty little secret, k?

Now I can move on to spring. Safe bet – a variation of this pattern will be moving on with me. There is quite a bit of silk left over, though not in big chunks. I’m sure it will make it’s way into my wardrobe at some point in the future.




Lavender has sewing in her blood. Raised by a working seamstress, she was always surrounded by the craft, but defiant when it came to learning the proper way to do anything. After years of hacking up t-shirts, jeans, vintage finds and selling tie satchels (gasp!) in a local shop, she packed up her machine. A few years ago, she dusted it off, determined to learn the right way 'round a machine & pattern.


Comments are closed.

  1. Fan-friggin-tastic save! What a chic new life for that sad dress! I love it!

  2. Gorgeous! Love Chartreuse, the neckline on the top is so pretty and the tie as bias-binding looks amazing! What a great up cycle!

    • Kindred spirit! I suppose in the high-fashion world, that neckline is so over. But it flatters everyone, and is an easy detail!

  3. Brilliant transformation! You’re still the Queen, Lavender. I love that you broke your previous vow to abstain and pulled this out of your creative recycling rear to share with us ;-) Your thrifty innovation is something to aspire to.

  4. Awesome! This dress looks lovely on you.

  5. Nice. Save!!! That original dress looks so sad, and you turned it right around! Awesome!

  6. That color and print is so frigtastic!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the pictures too!

  7. I love chartreuse also – a much better outcome for that dress. Great use of the ties also. I would never have thought of such a thing.

    • A third! Maybe there needs to be a chartreuse blog party?! Love using the ties… no need to cut bias strips, as it’s already done for you :)

      • number, like, twenty six here, and that dress is a knockout! how did i miss this PR pattern? you must buy ALL of them. hardly any tweaks needed, they’re like magic.

  8. That dress is fantastic on you! Such a flattering cut! I think we have rather similar figures, so I’m going to have to give it a try on you. And beautiful job with the sewing too ;-)

  9. Love the photos and that’s a great color on you. It looks amazing on you and what a great transformation.

  10. You are on fire, lady!

  11. Fabulous! A touch of inspiration adding that navy blue.

  12. So glad you didn’t give this week a miss. That top and skirt and your photos are adorable. Gorgeous colours and wonderful makeover of a frumpy dress. Especially love that belt. I’ve never even thought about making a matching belt….will have to add that idea to the to-do list!

  13. I love that top photo of you next to your Dirty Three print, Warren Ellis would be impressed too. MOST EXCELLENT! I’m so glad you didn’t sit this one out, that neck line is killer, a brilliant refashion, You are on a sewing roll, Love Love Love what you are doing. So stealing that necktie idea. AWESOMESAUCE!

    • I wish they would tour here, and soon :( You should make an entire necktie dress!!! I’ve toyed with the idea, but always scrap it. I think Blossom wore one once, if you got that 90s sitcom.

  14. you dirty dirty girl!!!! hahaha– so awesome!!! you look great! As always!

  15. This looks lovely! The skirt and top combo that is actually a dress is fabulous!

  16. Delightful. DELIGHTFUL. And I love the use of silk ties as bias binding, I will be stealing that, thanks. Just swiping it and using it forever.

  17. LOVE the color on you, and love the idea of using silk ties! Absolutely brilliant outfit, I think!

  18. Hey Lavender! I loOove this look, brilliant!