Back in October, I was out shopping for a Diwali saree for my maid and I wound up buying a few for myself as well. Not to wear as sarees...but to cut up and USE!! The first saree I did this to was turned into my "Think Pink" skirt, and the 2nd one has found a new life as a Simplicity 2638 Maxi dress.
The saree was cobalt blue print with an odd geometric/floral/stripe section for the front pleats on the saree. The blouse piece was a matching blue with a simple and more subtle wavy line print. This is
a terrible an atrocious job wrapping the saree, but it gives some idea of what it was meant to look like.
The first thing I did was cut the blouse piece off the end, and then I chopped out the funky printed "pleat section". I had plenty of the less crazy print to cut out the dress. I decided to use the blouse piece for the midriff section to highlight the waist of the dress. This was my initial trial to see how it'd look:
I started off great. Flying along even. I had some cobalt blue fabric on hand to use as the bodice lining, everything was good. When cutting out the pattern I made the bodice slightly larger than a size 14, just in case. Well, I shouldn't have. The armholes gaped, the backed gaped. Silly me, didn't check the fit before I sewed the bodice onto the midriff OR the midriff onto the skirt. (I will file that info in the: "don't do that again" folder of my brain) What a pain! I didn't want to completely take the midriff off, so I unpicked in pieces and took the bodice in under the arms and along the center back. Once I got that squared away, I had to take in the entire center back seam about 3/4" all the way down.
Rather than struggling with an invisible zipper, I used a center lapped regular zipper and I think it worked well. The color of the zipper was perfect so if it does peek out here and there, it's no big deal. I wound up hand stitching the bodice opening above the zipper because due to my post-assembly alterations it was impossible to turn in inside out to sew normally.
I am very pleased with the end result:
A peek at the back:
At first I was planning on not hemming the dress and keeping the selvage edge from the bottom edge of the saree. Eventually I decided to NOT be lazy and to NOT introduce another pattern into the dress, and therefore NOT make people say "huh?" when they look at my hem.
Another big bonus was that I found cobalt blue shoes...in my size...on sale for 499INR = $10 US! Yay me!!