Re-Creating a Ready to Wear Dress!

Hello lovelies, it’s been a while since I did a blogpost but we’ve been under strict lockdown here in SA for most of winter and I guess I also decided to just hibernate. Anyways, a friend of mine got married on the 12th of August, she did a civil ceremony at home affairs and a lunch. I wanted a simple dress to wear and I went to a fairly popular department store here in South Africa to look for a dress. I found something I really like but now that I make most of my clothes, I have no patience for ill fitting clothes. So literally on the 11th of August I decided to make myself a the very same dress. Here’s a look at the dress.

So even though I loved the colour and the design, just small things that I found annoying. To be upfront on a couple of thing: the dress was actually really well made, the fabric used was cotton poplin, it had waist and bust darts (which is rare for fast fashion) and an invisible zip. It was finished with bias binding in the neckline and armholes and the gathers were full and beautifully finished. The dress was R799 so not cheap but well priced because it was well made. So what was my problem? I tried a size 38 and felt a bit snug in the bust and waist areas, the waist was just too high for me as the gathers were just below my bust. Also because I’m on the short legs side, this midi dress looked like a maxi on me 🤦🏾‍♀️ which meant I’d have to hem it to achieve the intended look. When I tried the next size up, size 40, it was just too big and the gaping armholes where a straight no for me. It felt like wasn’t winning, I decided to just make the dress for myself.

So here’s me armed with a picture of the dress, I decided I should just draft the bodice. I added 2.5cm/1inch ease at the waist so the dress could easily zip up. I did the same as the RTW dress, I added bust and waist darts and added bias binding to the armholes. I created a facing for the neckline because I like the clean finish over bias binding. The ruffle is 2x my waist measuring and that seam to work out perfectly, my dress and the RTW dress both have in seam pockets that a hard to find amongst the gathers 😂. My dress, was drafted to my height measurements and therefore was a proper midi on me. I also used a cotton poplin fabric, I couldn’t find the olive green so dusty pink it was and I must say, I love pink, it’s my favourite colour. I also added an invisible zipper as my choice for a closure, even though I sew these offer, still gets me excited when my seams align and the zip is invisible 😂

So what did I learn from this experience. Shopping for clothes is depressing! 😂😂😂 I’m joking, actually what I learnt is that I shouldn’t take it so personally when RTW clothes doesn’t fit me just right or things seem to not suit my body. They were not designed for my body or my body measurements, some things will be a hit and fit me well and some things will not be for me but I should not feel bad about my body. Clothes should fit my body, I shouldn’t try fit my body to the clothes. I’m so lucky to have found sewing because I have an option to recreate something if I really like it and I know it will look good on my body because I’ve created it specifically for my body. I absolutely love this dress and I’m planning on using the bodice again and creating another dress. So how do you think I did re-creating this RTW dress, hit or a miss?

Be kind and keep sewing, keep smiling and keep sparkling!

Tino xoxo

12 thoughts on “Re-Creating a Ready to Wear Dress!

  1. Not sure that green is really a good color for you although it could be the super flattering fitting room lighting. 😉

    Your pink version is definitely a winner – it fits you perfectly and you absolutely glow – great job!


    1. Yeah I actually feel bad, the lighting in the fitting room makes it look like those bad “before” infomercial videos 🤣. I love pink so I’m happy with it too!


  2. Tino, you did this sis! 😍😍😍😍 Your version just shows why it is so important to know what works best for your body when it comes to clothing. The lowered waistline and the shortened skirt length are just perfect! And this colour is EVERYTHING 😍


  3. First of all, thank God you didn’t buy the olive green, the pink is amazing on you😅. Secondly, your version is a complete hit. Job extremely well done 🥳🥳🥳


    1. 😅😅😅 this place didn’t want my money, I was ready to buy instead I had to go to the fabric shop and they were more than happy to take my money 🥳😅 thank you friend, I absolutely love this dress.


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