I was so inspired by all the inspiration posts Portia has collated. Her own creation finally pushed me over the edge. I made the decision to participate, my first time. The following weekend I went out at bought two pairs of jeans. I didn’t think I would get anything cheap enough or suitable, as I didn’t have much time and couldn’t go to the cheaper charity shops in town. But luck was with me and I found these two jeans on the $4 rack.
One is a fairly large men’s pair by Armani Exchange and the other a women’s Levis with bell bottoms. That one actually kind of fit me, but by this stage I really wanted to make this dress. I also found another pair of jeans in my own closet that I didn’t wear. I unpicked one leg and then found out I didn’t actually need it. Oh well, it’ll keep for the next project.
I’d been planning to make this 60s Courreges dress ever since my mom send me the Vintage Burda 60s edition some months ago. Somehow I thought it might lend itself to this challenge.
And I was right… 🙂 Lucky me.
Since I had read all the inspiration posts, I knew that many Jeans are sewn using a chain stitch, which is sooo easy to unravel, just find the right side, clip and take it to the end. The cheapie jeans I was going to contribute were not made using a chain stitch (hence I decide to see whether I needed them after one leg), but the rest was super easy.
According to the sizing in the magazine, I was a size 40 not 38. Struck me as strange at first, as I usually am a 38 or a bit smaller, but since the jeans had no stretch I thought I’d better go for the 40… More about that later…
I struggled a little bit to fit everything on the two pairs of jeans, hence decided to transform the back bodice piece into two pieces with a princess seam instead of two back darts. That worked out really well (apart from the princess seams not lining up with the darts of the skits, but oh well, it fits nicely and I doubt too many people would actually notice). The skirt and sleeves became a bit shorter than intended by the pattern. I played around with the placement of the pattern pieces on the jeans for a while and in the end decided to have the original side seam of the lighter jeans across the skirt piece, that used the least amount of fabric…
I sewed it all together fairly quickly and soon noticed the dress was waaaay too big, could have made a size 38 after all. I took in the side seams by about 1.5cm on each side, a good chunk, and the dress still leaves me room to eat plenty… But I loooove the fit, so nice.
I decided to use an exposed metal zip instead of the requested inseam zip and in the end put the Armani Exchange leather tab at the bottom. – Well, I have not yet stitched it yet, it requires hand stitching with a very solid needle and I can’t quite find mine…. So one with where the tab is meant to be (it won’t be wonky):
The length is just perfect for this kind of dress I think, I would not want it longer. Not quite sure for what height this is designed, I’m not short and this works for me (about 5cm shorter than the pattern).
The insides are just overlocked and pressed. I thought about topstitching with proper topstitching thread, but in the end liked the ordinary blue better. (There wasn’t enough fabric in the flared jeans to get the original side seam to be the centre front, but luckily the front application just covered it…)
I also decided not line the front detail, and instead just sewed it on top as is. The frayed look is kind of in at the moment… I was worried it was going to be too thick. Similarly, I just overlocked the front detail at the neck, cut the seam allowance of darker dress neckline off and turned over the detail piece. Less bulky and no fraying…
Not that the sleeves needed it, but after conferring with the other half, I decided to use the waistband of the lighter jeans as a feature on the hem of the sleeves… One with the button hole, the other with the button. 🙂
It’s been a real pleasure to sew this dress, and it came together surprisingly fast, a few hours over a weekend and an evening. Planning and agonising about what to do and how to go about it took so much longer. Thanks to Portia for getting me out of my comfort zone and getting me to try this! I love my new dress, it’s comfortable and wonderful to wear and all made of old jeans… I’m already thinking of making a “suit” jacket out of old jeans…
There’s so many gorgeous creations out there for this challenge. It’s amazing what everyone has come up with!!!! I still can’t get over Messy Essy’s dress…. that dress is simply stunning! I love art by Victor Vasarely and this could so be one of his creations! My parents used to own a wall hanging until after mane many years (a good 20) the moths got the better of it. Of course, my one being a sewist as well, could’ve let the pieces go ot waste and made a scarf for both of us… I love it! But this dress…
P.S.: When I came home tonight, my new Allbirds Sneakers were sitting on the doorstep, hence they have a starring role in these photos. Awesome shoes, they feel like socks with soles, oh so comfortable and good look ing too I think. Kiwi company making shoes with NZ superfine Merino. I’ve been coveting for a while, and finally bought them Sunday morning after seeing them on a friend last Friday. And today, they were outside my door 🙂
[NB I’ve got no affiliation with Allbirds, just really liked the shoes I received today]