The Reversible and The Remnant Dress

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Not too long ago I said that I would do a post on using remnant fabric. One of my favourite summer dresses is made of some colourful remnant pieces. I found this beautiful citrus print cotton at Spotlight in the quilting section while passing through and when I had made the dress that I intended to, there were still some small bits left over. I loved the colours and print so much, that I thought I would use every scrap of it for some other garment.

I had seen a reversible dress somewhere and thought I had to make one for myself. Two in one – what a great idea! Especially when travelling with limited space for clothes. For the one side, I used the citrus print combined with white linen from Lincraft for a summer tent dress. I used the same pattern that I had reworked for the French themed dress by copying it, cutting the front and the back into three pieces and adding the seams. Both front and back have the same cut.

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Then for the other side, I wanted a geometric colour blocked pattern, so I used a beautiful orange linen I found at Lincraft for an extremely good price (!) and the same white linen that was used with the citrus print to make an off-centre pattern on the dress. Again, the same pattern was cut up and fiddled around with. The back of the orange and white dress hasn’t got the white linen going down vertically on it because I wanted the front to be different to the back. Like I said, I have used this one pattern for at least 6 dresses! Each one has a very different look due to the use of fabric and/or cut.

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When each side was complete, sewing them together was easy because there is no zip and the dress is wide enough to simply slip on over your head. I love wearing this dress because it is made of natural fabric and is very accommodating, especially when I have had too much to eat! DSC_1561

The idea for the remnant dress came from a picture I saw in a fashion magazine. Unfortunately I can’t recall who it was by. I bought some thick cotton lace from one of my favourite fabric stores in Mentone that no longer exists😦. Then I got a dress out of my wardrobe in a non-stretch fabric that fits me well and traced around it, leaving enough of an edge for seams and keeping the front and back in one piece each, including the sleeves. I cut the dress out so that the bottom edge would not need to be hemmed (and hoping it would not be too short), as it was the edge of the lace fabric. The whole project was pretty risky without using a real pattern, as I had no idea whether the fit would be good or bad, but sometimes I do crazy things!

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I used a white cotton sateen to line the dress front and back, making the front higher than the back to distinguish them from eachother and cover up a strapless bra. I didn’t want to put a zip in, so it had to be wide enough to slip on over my head. For the neck part, I decided to go with a boat neck cut.

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The orange linen and the citrus print cotton were cut into strips of varying width and sewn onto the lace, while keeping them in straight lines on the lace pattern. I don’t know why, but despite doing all that, it was not easy to match up the strips on each side when putting the dress together. To finish it off, I edged the sleeves in the orange linen because the edges were raw and I couldn’t hem them any other way.

I would have liked the dress to be a little longer, but on the whole, it turned out well and I love it. However, it does take a bit of wriggling around to take off without a zip!

If you have some beautiful fabric remnants there is always something you can use them for, no matter how small they are. Maybe you can challenge yourself to make a garment using remnant fabric and see what you come up with!

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Styling: gold ring: Lovisa, emerald and silver ring: Lovisa, white and silver sandals: Nine West, orange and green stone thongs: Nine West, green thongs: Apart (German fashion label), sunglasses: Margot by Tom Ford

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4 thoughts on “The Reversible and The Remnant Dress

  1. OMG sis I lov it! Reversable dress is amazing what a killer item to have especially when travelling around Europe like u will be next year😃 The remnant dress is gorgeous too and not sure which is my favourite, well done my talented sis👏 So proud!😘

    1. Thank you Sally! My former art teacher who I am still in touch with said that she thought the remnant dress was also very environmentally friendly. I never thought of it in that particular way, but she was absolutely right. I think you can make some very interesting and creative garments using remnant pieces of fabric, real one-off creations and at the same time put less into landfill. xx

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