Zebra crossing

Next up, a dress with some really lovely fabric. This is 100% polyester, pretty much the cheapest fabric you can imagine, but the colour is classic and it has a woven zebra-pattern which has a slight sheen to it when it catches the light. By far the best thing about this dress is the fabric, so I wanted to keep it as intact as possible. This one came from the St. Francis Hospice shop in Romford and was an absolute bargain at £3.50.

The dress came with a self tie belt which was nice and long.

My original idea was going to be as simple as cutting off the bottom of the dress and using a different belt. After playing around with a few belts though, it was clear that since the dress was size 18, the top part was always going to look way too big without any adjustment. Also, the front and back neck facing was visible through to the front of the dress – not a good look.

Since the fabric did have a bit of drape, and because of the presence of the self fabric belt, this was a prime candidate to be converted into a halter.

First things first, I cut off the shoulder portion of the dress below the front and back neckline. I cut the back off bearing in mind that the finished length of the back was going to be around 20cm shorter than the front.In the pic below the front is folded down so you can see the back (perhaps not obvious).

Next step was to create a casing for some elastic along the upper back edge of the dress. This was easily done…

I inserted some elastic using the time-honoured safety pin method and tried on the dress to see how much was required.

For the front, I folded over about 5cm at the top to act as the underlap for the cowl and basted in place at the armscye.

Remember that belt? This was actually the key part of the design…

The belt was cut in half and I used it to bind the armscye seam, leaving the length attached to form the ties for the halter. Very easy, looks great and saved making any bias binding or ties from off-cuts.

All finished! Here’s a couple of snaps of me showing off the finished garment and modelling my outfit in one of London’s finest Indian eateries! If I wear this again, I think I will cut 2″ or so off the hem as it’s still a little too long for my taste.



  1. Kristen

    hopped over here from Gertie’s New Blog – love your stuff! I wish to death I could draft a pattern! Keep up the good work and great posts!

  2. Ramona

    I have spent a lot of time reviewing your blog and would love to see side by side before and after pictures at the top of the blog. I didn’t make it all the way through all your blogs (although I tried) it wasn’t easy to do so because every time I hit the “read more” and checked out the outfit I had a difficult time going back to where I had left off. But all in all I enjoyed looking at your remakes.

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