Hi sewing friends!
Today I am sharing my most recent refashion/upcycle starring the lovely Eucalypt pattern by Megan Nielsen. My mom gifted me a lovely pink tie dyed maxi dress years ago and I’ve never worn it. I know it looks pretty good in the photo, but I promise the photo is lying! The boob tube is too narrow so it keeps slipping down and my pay scale is way too low to allow wardrobe malfunctions; we’ll leave those for Kim K. and the likes. Because the smocked top is so narrow, the side view of the dress looks like I am carrying more than a food baby. I also like my maxi dresses to touch the floor but this one hits an awkward place above my ankle. I really should have donated it to a charity shop a long time ago but gifts from mom tend to hold a special place in my closet.
I really struggled to decide which view of the Eucalypt I wanted to make. I am really into shift type dresses lately so the dress version really appealed to me, but I just could not find any fabric that screamed Eucalypt dress. Then I thought I’d get white linen and do some hand painting. Can you believe my fabric store had every colour linen but white? Uhh the audacity! It was at this point I decided I wanted a tank instead. I brought home a lovely metallic African print and then decided I didn’t like it anymore. If you haven’t noticed by now, I have commitment issues!
After feeling defeated because the perfectionist in me just was not happy, I literally jumped out of bed that night when I remembered my tie dyed maxi dress. I knew immediately it make would make the cutest peplum tank. I grabbed it out of my closet only to realise it was polyester spandex and the pattern called for wovens. How great! By now I just wanted to throw my entire sewing room into the trash! I had already committed mentally to making this tie dyed peplum tank… and as someone with commitment issues, when I finally commit… oh I am committed! So I went ahead merrily butchering the dress to take if from drab to fab. I cut off the smocked boob tube and took apart the skirt portion to use as fabric. I adjusted my pattern pieces using the gathered waist hack on the Megan Nielsen blog, layed them out as best I could trying to match up the colours, and wasted no time to stay stitch my neck and arm holes since it was a knit fabric. For the peplum, I used the width of my quilting ruler and lined it up to get the perfect rectangle. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut four times the waist length so my peplum only has a few gathers but I love how it drapes!
Lucky for me, using a knit fabric meant I could skip hemming, one of my most dreaded tasks. Having no hem really helped the peplum to hang nicely. On my recent trip to Anguilla, I purchased some bias binding since I struggle to find any here in Barbados. I had bought the perfect baby pink colour having no clue it would be used so soon. Everything fell into place and my polyester spandex peplum Eucalypt tank is even more beautiful than I imagined. I could have cried tears of joy the second I cut my last thread. I took a huge fabric risk and it all worked out in the end. Go me for committing!
When you live on a tropical island, you automatically pick up the role of beach bum. This top is a perfect addition to my beach bum wardrobe. The pink really stood out against the blue sky and white sand. The peplum loved the breeze and I was really feeling myself! I set up a sunset picnic because why not?
I chose my size going by the size chart and didn’t make a muslin. I figured it was okay to skip this step because knit fabric is more forgiving. The verdict – the size chart is spot on! I took up the shoulders about ½ inch because well I have to do this for every pattern. I am over the moon about the fit and the dress version is definitely coming soon. I am so proud of myself for persevering even though this could have gone very wrong very fast with such a risky fabric choice. So I gave myself a pat on the back and it was time to relax and unwind. A glass of bubbly because I did a good job – Cheers!