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The Owl dress that was too small…

December 26, 2013

A few years back, a friend of mine introduced me to Fever Designs, and I went through a brief period of buying their dresses.  This was before I could sew, and when I had a lot more disposable income!

One of the dresses was made by Fever’s sister company – Ruby Belle – and it had this fantastic owl print skirt that I loved.  It has been folded up in the attic for the past few years, but I recently rediscovered it and tried it on, and this is what it looked like:

Ruby Belle - Size 10

Ruby Belle – Size 10

The original dress

The original dress – tried on over my skirt!

Too tight on the midriff/waist band, and across the bust.  This was after I had hacked off the sleeve bands that were so tight I couldn’t even get my arms in to try the damn thing on!  I remember the arms being tight at the time, actually – Fever never were any good at accommodating arms or boobs, even when I did mainly fit into their dresses.

Anyway, this owl dress was too good to leave hanging around in the loft, so I detached it from the original dress and made a new bodice using none other than the By Hand London Anna dress pattern.  Surprisingly, once I had detached the skirt, the waist actually measured 34″ and so I didn’t need to alter it at all.  It fit straight onto the Size 12 Anna bodice (which claims to be  smaller than it actually is, as it says the finished waist measurement is 32.5″ whereas it is in fact 34″ excluding seam allowance).

Ruby Belle Skirt with By Hand London Anna bodice

Ruby Belle Skirt with By Hand London Anna bodice

Ruby Belle panelled circle skirt

Ruby Belle panelled circle skirt

I used black poplin from Boyes, which I’ve used for many sewing projects before and I’ve always been pleased with the quality of it – it washes and wears really well and is under £3 per metre.  As I was only making the bodice, I bought 1m of fabric and a zip, so it didn’t cost much to get this dress back into my wearable wardrobe.

The Anna Owl dress

The Anna Owl dress

Outfit shot - and a little photo-bomber!  The lighting is pretty bad in this photo, but it was the best of a bad bunch - sorry!

Outfit shot – and a little photo-bomber! The lighting is pretty bad in this photo, but it was the best of a bad bunch – sorry!

And one more photo of me twirling in the park:

Wheeeeeee!!!

Wheeeeeee!!!

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2013 8:14 pm

    This is such a great print! I’m so glad you were able to salvage it, it looks super cute

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 9:30 pm

      I’m glad too. I might have a rummage through my other smaller dresses and see what I can do with them!

  2. December 26, 2013 8:30 pm

    Oh my gosh, there’s so much of Little Tweedie in that last photo! I love the dress. I’m always too scared to cut into my ready made clothes – daft, I know! Well done, it looks great xxx

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 9:32 pm

      Haha! Once you take the plunge, it’s empowering! xxx

  3. December 26, 2013 9:32 pm

    What a great rescue, and a great dress! I love your little photo bomber, and very excitingly I think we may be oven twins! Red rangemaster?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 9:35 pm

      Yes! Oh my goodness, I’ve always wanted to meet my identical oven twin! People would pay good money to see us together with our ovens ;-)

  4. December 26, 2013 10:20 pm

    I do not blame you for wanting to save such amazing fabric – it was wasted on the original dress but has found its true purpose with your refashion – well done :D

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 10:40 pm

      Thanks Hannah :-)

  5. December 26, 2013 10:21 pm

    Fabulous print on that dress and a great way to save it! Looks fab. And yay Boyes!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 10:42 pm

      Yay indeed! :-)

  6. anne carter permalink
    December 26, 2013 11:07 pm

    Great rescue job and super cute Little Tweedie!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 11:14 pm

      Thank you. Baba Tweedie is the cutest! :-)

  7. December 26, 2013 11:32 pm

    Nice save! I love this bodice and it works great with your skirt!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 11:35 pm

      Thanks Fiona. It’s good to be able to wear it again!

  8. December 27, 2013 10:48 am

    Great save! It would have been a shame for those beautiful owls not to get a new lease of life. I may have to dig into my unworn items to see if I can save them.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 27, 2013 11:02 am

      Good plan!

  9. December 27, 2013 5:45 pm

    This is gorgeous! What a great refashion. The owls are brilliant, and it would have been a shame to lose them. And I think the Anna bodice looks nicer than the original.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 27, 2013 9:01 pm

      Thank you. The owls are fab!

  10. January 2, 2014 4:52 am

    I love it! Your success with the Anna dress has really driven home to me the importance of having a couple of TNT patterns that Just. Work. So useful for so many things!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 2, 2014 9:37 am

      Definitely. It’s going to be my most used pattern, I reckon. Definitely not tired of it yet!

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