From Tangerine Dress to Juicy Jumpsuit
This jumpsuit started life as a 1970s polyester-crepe dress. But it had a different destiny to fulfill when it entered my closet…
It’s a fairly easy conversion to carry out and perfect for dresses you’re no longer wearing or may need modernising. You can easily adapt the style to work for you, and make your own fashion statement.
TURNING A DRESS INTO A JUMPSUIT
Firstly, you need to make sure you have enough fabric to turn the skirt into trousers – you’ll need width (so definitely a flared skirt) and extra length – ie. the trousers will not be as long as the skirt was so factor that in. If you can’t sew, take your dress to the machinist at your local dry cleaners or to your local dressmaker – they’ll plan it with you and make sure you can achieve the look you want.
THE NECKLINES AND SLEEVES
The neckline and sleeves were already a great shape on this dress so they only needed a few tweaks to get them right.
The shoulders were moved in and angled so they fitted better and the sleeves were given a permanent puff by inserting tulle to give them shape.
If you want to change the sleeves on your dress, you can easily make them shorter, chop them off or chat to your dressmaker about how you could re-shape them (copying sleeves from a dress you already own and love is an easy way to get them right).
THE SKIRT INTO TROUSERS
As the body of the dress fitted well, it was simply a matter of cutting off the skirt on the hips, reworking it into trousers and reattaching.
The trouser cuffs finished off the look and gave the jumpsuit a distinctive look which works dressed down with trainers or can be vamped up with heels.
For your jumpsuit, you can play with the leg length and style, creating a look to suit you. Leave them flared, make them knee length, create deeper cuffs for a harem pant look…whatever you like. As with the sleeves, an easy place to start is copying the shape of trousers you already own, or get inspo from Pinterest and copy a design that catches your eye.
It’s always worth putting on your dress and mocking up your design (as best you can) to check that the balance between the top and bottom works well. Or even sketch it out if you’re feeling artistic.
Adding a new trim around the neck, arm and trouser cuffs gives the jumpsuit a designer polish and personalized finish.
Look on Etsy or eBay, or pop into your local haberdashery – you’ll find yourself floating in a heaven of ribbons, frills and trims. Go wild with your choices, this is a great way of expressing your style and adding an extra dimension to your ‘new’ jumpsuit.
If you’ve got any fabric left you can make a matching accessory – a small bag, a scrunchie or a simple wrist wrap. Trimming your accessory with the trim used on your jumpsuit will tie the outfit together giving it a high-end, bespoke look.
Who needs to buy new? I bet you’ve got a jumpsuit disguised as a dress hiding in your wardrobe – and now you know how to find it…