Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to make a dress from a recycled tank and skirt inspired by one in the book Built By Wendy Dresses

To continue my thought of "build it, it will come" regarding spring, I made another little dress out of a short tank top with pretty embroidery, a way too big but awesome madras plaid skirt and some recycled lace trim using a design from the book Built by Wendy Dresses (a wonderful collection of dress designs and patterns) as my inspiration.
And yes, that is "not my cat" Pumpkin that just seems to know when I am out in the yard getting my picture taken in one of the outfits that I made. I think this is the 4th or 5th shot he has insisted on being in!

So here is the tank and skirt before it went under the knife and the inspiration dress-"capri sundress" from Built by Wendy Dresses.
First I cut the hem loose to give me that extra inch of fabric.
Then I cut two strips as big as I could between the bottom edge of the skirt to just under the pockets and front zipper.
I then pieced them together in one long loop and serged the edges.
I gathered one side and sewed it to the tank.
All that was left to do was sew the lace to the plaid section.

If you are craving making yourself some cute little dresses for the season you will have tones of great styles and patterns to choose from in:

Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl's Best Frock
Wendy Mullin

From the Publisher Potter Craft:

Product Description Want a fast and easy way to look completely put together? Throw on a dress! Now, with the help of Wendy Mullin of BUILT BY WENDY, sew your own custom-fit creations—25 in all. Dresses are as useful—and as crucial—to your wardrobe as your most beloved pair of jeans. You can throw one on in summer or winter, for a night out in heels or a day in beaten-up boots: It’s maximum style for minimum effort. That’s why Wendy Mullin, designer of Built by Wendy—label of choice for fashion-forward actors, musicians, and artists—has created a book of DIY dress designs that are simple to sew but pack plenty of fashion punch.

All of the featured dress styles are based on three basic dress shapes: the sheath, the shift, and the dirndl. These three full-size patterns are included in the book, complete with step-by-step instructions for how to use them. From those basic dress shapes, Wendy offers multiple customizations, giving a total of 25 different dress options.

Beginner sewers will find all the basic information they need to get started. More advanced sewers will see precisely how slight pattern adjustments, such as changing a collar or sleeve or switching fabric, can create limitless possibilities for unique looks. Built by Wendy Dresses covers the basics and beyond—and proves that dresses are a girl’s best friend.
About the

WENDY MULLIN founded Built by Wendy, a NYC-based line of women's and men's clothing and accessories in 1991. In addition, Wendy authored Sew U and Sew U: Home Stretch and designed a line of sewing patterns for Simplicity. For more information visit
And just because he is so darn cute, another cat picture, he was ready for his close-up.


CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on in the Handcraft category today [25 Mar 05:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Lydia said...

I love the outfit you made, especially the blue on white colors. I might have to check out this book myself. Oh - and love the cat.

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

"Everything old is new again!" and it looks adorable on you, Stef.

My dogs do the same thing whenever we try to get a photo of me for my blog. Lol.

dining table said...

I like the outfit that you made. This is perfect for people that has loads of clothes in closets. They can remake it and make new clothes out of it.

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [04 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

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