Herein Texas, we’re serious about our Southwestern wear. It’s just as stereotyped as you might think – everyone wears cowboy boots, hats, and pearl snaps. I still have very little that fits into this wardrobe, but I am working on it. I ran across a whole rack of these sundresses at a boutique on sundress for $55 apiece, but it looked so simple I figured I could pull it off myself. I found a Men’s Large pearl snap shirt at a thrift store for $8. I wasn’t wild about the design, but I figured if I couldn’t get the project to work, I wouldn’t be too heartbroken over it.
The first step was taking off the pockets. I didn’t know where I wanted to put them, but I knew they’d be in the wrong spot where they were.
After that, I cut off the collar (upper and under) and the sleeves. This gives you the perfect scoop you’ll need in the front. I also sewed down the front with the snaps. (You won’t use them, and you won’t have to worry about the snaps weakening and popping open, or between‐button gap.)
I wanted the collar to hit me about where a v‐neck shirt was. I cut the collar in half and added some fabric to the middle. I used one of the sleeve cuffs since it was about the same height and weight with the interfacing. Keep in mind, it has to fit over your head.
After that, I had to cut the shirt back down to a straight line for the halter back. This was easy since it’s a striped pattern.
The next step is to sew up the side seams – former arm holes and all. You’ll want to flare the skirt out, so take advantage of as much seam allowance as you can.
Cut 2 pieces of elastic – one to fit just under the bustline, the other just above (with some space in the middle for the collar). Apply the shorter piece to the top hem.
Once the elastic was sewn down, I was ready to sew the collar down in the handy dandy scoop in the front and hide the raw edges. I also removed the collar button so I could have a little more room when shimmying it over my head.
After that, I was ready to apply the last piece of elastic. Conveniently, it fit between two snaps and at
the bottom of the point in the back. I used a simple zigzag stitch.
The shirt didn’t have a roll hem, so I added one, and I wanted a pocket I could slip (not snap) things into, so I sewed up the pockets and put them on the thigh area of the dress.
And voila… the finished product.
… and wearing the finished product.
Next, I’ll be trying one that matches my cowboy boots, since I can make about 5 of these for the price the boutique wanted for one…
Kelly I. Hitchcock is a master seamstress in her spare time, as a much needed sanity break from writing, editing, writing, and editing. THE REDHEADED STEPCHILD is her first book, and she’s working on a second… when she’s not sewing to distract herself. www.KellyHitchcock.com