Behold, the Prison Dress. That’s the only reason anyone can possibly have for wearing this dress. The before picture doesn’t do it justice. It is the same bright orange color you see sometimes on prisoners when they work outdoors so the guards won’t have any trouble seeing the prisoners if they try to escape. Yes, it’s that bright. (Notice my shades. I didn’t want to damage the retinas in my eyeballs.) What was the former owner of this dress thinking? No one – and I mean no one, looks good in this color. Unless you’re a pumpkin. Pumpkins look good in this color.
My first order of business was to dial this dress down a bit. I let the prison dress mix and mingle with another dress in a Brown Rit Dye bath.
It came out of the “Rit Spa” looking like autumn. It turned out a sort of molted warm red. The uneven molted color would have been a disaster in a more formal dress, but as a casual safari style, it totally worked.
Now to give her a trim. I had already refashioned a reddish button front tunic, so I decided to make this into a shirt. I cut below the bottom pockets, giving myself enough fabric for a new hemline. Chippity chop…
Then I took the sides in a bunch. I just followed the lines of the dress from the sleeve “cuff” down to the new hemline.
I have a love/hate relationship with my serger. I love it when it works, but it is a bear to set up, and when it doesn’t work I end up spending more time working on the serger than on the refashion. Today I opted to skip the serger and just finish my seams with a zigzag stitch. (For those of you who are new to sewing, your main stitch is a simple straight stitch. If your fabric tends to unravel, as most wovens do, you need to do something to stop the raveling. A zigzag stitch beside the straight stitch prevents unraveling and “finishes” your seam. Or you can fight with your serger for an hour and then save time by doing the straight stitch, finishing stitch and trimming all in one step.)
A fitting confirmed that I needed more fitting. I took the shirt back to the machine and took in some at the center back seam and a little more at the sides. Once it fit well, I turned up a hemline by making a double fold and pressing.
I stitched it down and called it done.
It’s casual and suitable for our rather warm autumns.
These pictures don’t do the color change justice. It’s a shame because the before is an even brighter orange, which makes the warm red in the after look like a very soothing change.
Money Spent? $0.51
Time Spent? about 20 minutes
Satisfaction that comes from saving the masses from the Orange Prison Dress? Priceless.
Have a great day!
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