As a frequent patron of the Goodwill, I fell in love with the fabric on this muu-muu a long time ago:
I have to say that it is a particularly muu muu-muu, I can’t even call it a caftan, it’s just not that stylish. But I LOVED the fabric, it’s super soft cotton and the colors are outtasight. This dress had a twin with a yellow background that I am still kicking myself for not buying. I bought The Muu with the intention of making it into a dress with a nipped waist and a side zip, and pulled it out of my stash a couple of times to make this happen. It went on Francie, it came off Francie. It went on Francie and got pinned up many ways, it came off Francie. I did this a dozen times, I swear, before I folded it up and stuck it back in the box it lived in. (Who the in the f*ck is Francie, you ask? She’s my dress form. I can’t decide if Francie is short for Francine or Francesca, I waiver back and forth when I’m angry at her. I mostly stick with Francie).
And then a few weeks ago, I was struck by a smashing idea. I was trying to divert some heinously negative energy pointed in my direction that day, and was digging around for a project in which to bury myself so as not to raise hell and kick some ass that fine morning (I was too pissed off to clean house, and I clean for sport when I’m mad. What does that tell you?). Anyway. I pulled out piece after piece of fabric, stared blankly at a couple of UFO’s I have kicking around, and then saw an edge of the muu-muu peeking out of the trunk my fabrics are in. The dress went back on Francie for a half a minute before I pulled out a pair of scissors. This is happening, now. I cut, and snipped, and shaped, and tried on and shaped and nipped and sewed and spent the whole day working on my sweet self-drafted skirt and crop top combination. Kids, I am damn proud of myself. The fit on the top couldn’t be better, the skirt is about perfect (a couple of darts are a wee bit crooked but I don’t really care).
(As a little housekeeping note, I’m working on getting photos of me, in my makes, so I can put them on the blog. This scares the ever loving hell out of me, because of all the reasons, but it’s coming in a few weeks. Stay tuned.)
I wanted to stick with the original shape of the V in the top, and use the existing straps as a halter, which I did. There were 4 plastic buttons that held the straps before, which I repurposed as the back button placket and the single button on the halter. I lined the whole top with some bright Red broadcloth that Nick’s mom gave me in a spectacular fabric stash purge a few years back. This fabric is Red with a capital R, because it’s that red!. I kinda wish I had interfaced the cups on the top to give them a bit more structure, but as it stands my girls are going NO WHERE.
The top is my masterpiece, I literally made it with no pattern, and just tried it on to make adjustments as I went: gathered the bottom, reshaped the top, refashioned the straps a bit, added a band, created a lining. I love these sweet little bubble buttons:
The skirt was the same story. I didn’t want to unpick the seams on the sides to create new seam lines, it was already serged and everything, why mess with it? I didn’t want to rip off the pockets and re-place them later as I’m sure it would have shown off some fading that I didn’t want to see. I didn’t have enough of the strawberry material create a waistband and didn’t want a contrasting one. I didn’t want a gathered skirt, either, I wanted something more A-line. Decisions decisions, picky girl! I ended up just creating darts all over the skirt, somewhat evenly placed. I dropped in 4, tried it on, dropped in 4 more, tried it on, etc. I placed a lot of them within the pockets, so they stick out a little like buckets, which I think is sort of fetching. It could still use one or two more skinny little darts (or just replace a few skinny ones with some larger ones), as I’d like the skirt to ride a bit higher and it stretches out a bit with wearing despite stay-stitching. This may (or may not) happen soon. The waist is finished with a nice piece of red single fold bias tape to keep all the darts in line. I kept the original hem and everything, which was also important to me.
I’m in luuurve with this little outfit! I seriously see myself wearing it all over on the weekends, farmer’s markets and barbecues and picnics, etc. I love that it’s got that sliver of skin with a crop top without being all ‘hey look at my not-so-svelte bod between here and here!’ It has a decent amount of coverage across my back bacon areas (judge not, we all have them). It’s a wee bit sexy and a wee bit cute, and definitely turns heads. I have a solid red skirt I made a while back too, so I can mix and match my skirts with my top. Smug up in here! What are your summer sewing plans?