Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sew U Home Stretch dress: before and after Jane-ification

I have a bit of a velour fixation at the moment. I ordered some more online but when this arrived, had a bit of a 'what was I thinking?' moment because the colour was a bit too pinkish for any of the boys.

So, something for me then. I wouldn't normally pick this particular hue so I'm not really sure what came over me. Some sort of velour madness. Anyway, let's call it a challenge and get on with it, yes?

I pulled out my Sew U Home Stretch book, from which I've made a boatneck top that I wear a lot.
I used the Size L standard bodice pattern and added some width to the skirt so I could put in a few strategic gathers. I cut the skirt longer too 'just in case'.

Since this was quite experimental, I basted it all together with a large zigzag stitch and tried it on.
Fit: pretty good. 

Overall effect: something between Amish and a dress I would have topped off with a really awkward haircut, circa 1984.

Alterations I then made
- shorten bodice a few inches (see where I have pins in the photo above)
- create keyhole neckline and bind in colourful printed jersey
- chop sleeves to three-quarters and finish with same colourful jersey
- shorten skirt
- add pockets with same trim.


(I thought another bad light photo in the same crappy by-the-fridge location was only fair to truly compare the before and after.)

It feels kind of 'me' now. Jane-ificated.
Would it be more age appropriate for a four year old than a forty-one year old? Probably.
Do I care? Not a lot.
It's really, really comfy. And really comfy dresses with pockets are big winners in my wardrobe.
Besides, Clem whispered to me as I was finishing it off "I think you should never never wear t-shirts because you should always wear dresses because I like you wearing dresses".

And because I don't just want to post rubbish photos of me, here are some from a beautiful lunch we had today with Andy's sister and her family - a gift from them for Andy's 40th - at the ridiculously idyllic Kingsbrook Estate.

- Jane x


  1. I am glad you got to do some you sewing. I don`t think this dress is inappropriate ( and you don`t look 41 anyway ) - the colour is lovely and will be so soft and cuddly to wear with our cooler temps.

    1. aw, thanks about the age :) (no closeups please!)
      yes it did feel good to sew something for me, so I was determined to make it work!

  2. You made your dress look so much better! Love the pop of contrast colour too

  3. I love the before and after pictures, especially the after! :)
    Great pics of the kiddies too of course... ;-)

  4. Definately prefer the 'Janeified' version - it's cute! I'd be hesitant to make myself anything out of velour for fear that my somewhat tactile 10 year old would be constantly patting me! But i do like the sound of a velour tracksuit...hmmmmm ;-)

  5. Well done with the dress. I love the comparison photos. What an improvement! I laughed at the Amish suggestion. We stayed in an Amish community when travelling in the States last year and the top one could well have blended in- so long as you wore Nike sneakers with it, as they all seemed to and a bonnet of course. Cx

  6. Cute dress - the second one, not the first! What a great save. Just shows how creative you are.

  7. Thanks everyone - yes the 'before' is kind of dire isn't it, mind you, it was a bit of a mish-mash of several of the suggested styles in the book which may have been a bad start. I'm still not entirely sure about the gathers at the sleeve tops, which also give me bad 80s flashbacks. But not sure I can be bothered altering.

    1. I bought what I thought was a nice long sleeved button-up shirt from a second hand shop, thinking I had a bargain, then when I got home and tried it on I realised that the sleeves were not just gathered at the top, but puffy! I can't wear puffy sleeves (can anyone get away with that? Would anyone want to?), and I wouldn't bother altering either, so I'm going to have to repurpose the shirt.

      The gathered sleeves on your dress don't look too bad, but if they bother you, I think the dress would look fantastic sleeveless, with binding around the arm holes. I think you've done a great of altering it from your original version.

      BTW, I love the picture of your older boys with their arms around each other. It's nice to see affection between boys, especially at that age when it might not be so 'cool'.

  8. Oh, wow - I love your version of the dress! Clever you!

    I ordered some red knit for one of my boys - it's too pink too! However, it is now destined for Lucy instead....

  9. I love the Janeified version! And those photos of your boys are just great!

  10. Oh, the "after" is soooooo cute! And what a difference your little details make! I might have made the first version and just given up in despair, but you "made it work." Well done.

    (I have been eyeing that dress pattern and thinking maybe I could work it into a maternity dress ...)

    The photos of brotherly love just made my day. Thanks. :-)

  11. I totally think your dress is great for a 41 year old - the changes you made are fantastic - I could never do that - I can follow patterns no worries but have no imagination!
    Well done.

  12. The pre-Janeified version looks very much like clothes I remember seeing of myself as a small child. The Janeified version however is totally awesome! I admit I probably would have taken one glance in the mirror pre-modification and given up and turned it into something for my small one, but given she's a she thats easier than it would have been for you. And your boys are just gorgeous :)

  13. It's official- I will now be Jane-ifying all my clothes.


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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