Consciously creating a beautiful life.

Friday 18 November 2011

DIY Dress

It is Friday evening. My man is in South Africa, my daughter is at a sleep-over, and I?

Am I out and about, dancing, drinking, and being merry?

I guess you know the answer to that already.

No, I am at home (scary, old age?), and it is so wonderful to have the place to myself (well, apart from 3 dogs and 3 cats,
all trying to lie as close to me as possible). If I write weird stuff, Georgia (cat), has walked over the keyboard again.

I am getting to the topic of this post in a round-about way, but please bear with me.
Last week a friend told me about a wonderful concept. Instead of always making to-do lists, we should make ta-da! lists every now and then.

And this is what I have been doing today. So the washing is still dirty, the plants haven't been watered, there is no food in the house, but


I have been sewing my very first dress.

The inspiration for it came from a German magazine called 'Handmade Kultur', the gorgeous dresses published there are made by Eni from Mein Morgenstern.

It was pretty simple to do and it would have been relatively quick too if I would have managed to sew the right sides together straight away, but, as they say, learning by doing (also very good for those of us wanting to become more patient...).

I made it out of three old shirts from my man and one old t-shirt of mine. Unfortunately, using old shirts here is quite different from doing the same for example in Europe. There are so many people here that would love even an old shirt, so I was under pressure to make something nice if I dare and cut up valuable items.

Not sure if it is nice, but I am extremly fond of my little dress.

Here is how to do it:

The materials I used: 3 shirts, 1 t-shirt and two fabric scraps

Here is the template. I made it 10 cm at the top and 20 cm at the bottom. The length is 55 cm. Round the edges slightly

Cut out 12 pieces (note to self, sometimes ironing is a good thing, even if one does not like it at all)

Start sewing the pieces together (putting the right sides on top of each other :-) )

 Here are the 12 pieces sewn together

Now you have to sew around the top of the skirt, using the biggest stitch possible, and then gently gather the fabric until the width of the skirt is the same as the width of your t-shirt. Sew it on, again putting the right sides together

 Turn your dress around and use zigzag on the right side

 Using different sized glasses and cups, cut out some circles

I used fabric glue to fix them and then sewed them on, again in zig zag

Here is the (nearly) finished dress. I will get some lacey stuff tomorrow and sew it on at the bottom

And here is my little dress dancing in the breeze. It is still cloudy but it STILL has not rained, maybe I should invite lots of people over for a braai (the african version of the barbecue), that normally gets the clouds going...


  1. Thank you dear Esther :-). What happened to your blog, I can't access it anymore? Hope you are having the most wonderful evening!

  2. This came out really cute! I might just have to try this. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  3. Hi Jutta, stopping by from What We Wore and Made Wednesdays, that dress look great! I can't sew but it doesn't seem too difficult!
    I'm your newest follower, it would be great if you could stop by my blo:
    Greetings from Spain

  4. Hi there - I found you from Sew Woodsy - really like the dress!!! Im a new follower all the way from New Zealand, but originally from South Africa . Nat

  5. What a cute dress!! Thank you for the tutorial. -Marci

  6. So cute! LOVE how you put it together!

    I am having a Feature Friday Linky Party and would love for you to link this up.

  7. Great job! You should be very proud. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love it and will have to make one. Great job.

  9. Saw you link at It's a Keeper. That is the cutest top ever.

  10. what a sweet and fun
    little dress you concocted

    i love the idea
    of a ta-da! list
    to bolster me on those
    blah days

    thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


  11. Fun dress!! Love the colors.

  12. Found you through At the Picket Fence. I love this dress! What a clever way to repurpose!
    Ann @ Suburban Prairie Homemaker

  13. So cute!! I would rather be crafting any day!!! great job!!!

    I have a project party every weekend if you want to join here..
    Have a great day!

  14. I'm back! A few blog friends and I are collectively presenting a new challenge idea and I thought of this dress project. It would be so fun to have you join. If you have a second, check in at on Monday, and feel free to email me if you have any questions!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  15. I like your dress! It's a great variation on the tee dresses that everyone is making. (I like yours better!)I found it funny when you mentioned a
    TA DAA! list. I just last night sent my daughter an email entitled 'TA DAA!' listing my latest projects. Great minds...

  16. That's a fantastic idea. I'm gonna try that. Thank you.

  17. Really cute! It's so interesting to see how people learn to sew on their own...with no pattern in sight! I'd love for you to stop by Etcetorize and share this at my Make it Great Monday linky party. It's on now: ~

  18. Clever idea!! I am a new follower! Found you on Sumo's Sweet Stuff, hope you have a great week!

  19. Hi Jutta - sah den Link auf der It's so very Cheri-Link Party und finde dein DIY-Kleid super gelungen. Und beim Stöbern stelle ich fest, dass du Deutsche sein musst, gleich neben meinem Traumland Namibia lebst und ein superinteressantes Blog schreibst (abonniert). Beim weiteren Stöbern auf deiner Webseite stelle ich dann fest, dass du sogar auf eines meiner Projekte verlinkst. Cool, dein Blog gefunden zu haben. Ex-Pat-Grüße aus Irland! S.

  20. Really cute dress! I would love for you to link up with my party at

    Have a great day!

  21. What a cute dress and great way to upcycle old clothes! Definitely put that on your "ta-da" list!

  22. super :)) Pozdrawiam z Polski :))

  23. Super Cute!!! Thanks for linking up to Strut Your Stuff Saturday. Come back next Saturday and share more of your ideas! -The Sisters

  24. Great job on your dress! I love when I can make "faux" dresses using an existing top.

  25. Adorable! I love that you used fabric scraps and clothes that you already have to make it. I should make something like this for my daughter.

  26. Wow. Very good for your first dress. Clever to recycle old things. Love it.

  27. Woow, it`s great....and a wonderful dress! Thanks for tutorial.

    Greatings Klaudia


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