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  1. #1
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Default Convert skirt to Baladi Dress?

    I also posted this on Bhuz, but there are lots of people on the one site that are not on the other. Therefore:

    I recently "inherited" a very nice beaded skirt - with matching top. I'm thinking of converting the whole ensemble into a (glitzy) Baladi dress. The skirt fits fine - the top is useless to me and will have to be replaced/re-made. Has anyone ever done anything like this? A couple of my dance sisters think its a good idea, and think it will work, but I'm asking for anyone with experience converting a skirt into a dress of any kind...

    Any hints/clues/pitfalls to avoid/success stories, etc would be appreciated!

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    You are tall, right? So obviously you'll need to add a lot of fabric to make the skirt dress length and to add sleeves. Any decoration or fabric on that top salvageable to make the new fabric blend with the old? Pictures would be helpful. This year I have been refashioning damaged Palestinian thobes into wearable garments so I do have some ideas.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #3
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    You are tall, right? So obviously you'll need to add a lot of fabric to make the skirt dress length and to add sleeves. Any decoration or fabric on that top salvageable to make the new fabric blend with the old? Pictures would be helpful. This year I have been refashioning damaged Palestinian thobes into wearable garments so I do have some ideas.
    Actually, the skirt is too long as-is - I'm long in the torso and short in the legs for my height. I'll probably need to shorten it (the skirt) a couple of inches such that the join can be hidden under a hip scarf. I'm hoping to at least salvage the beading from the top to graft onto the new upper, although it MAY be possible to split the top vertically to increase its size. Problem becomes then that if it must be split in front as well, it will have to be Princess seams and it gets complicated rapidly - thus the probability of fabricating an all new upper and salvaging the beading becomes more attractive! I'm definitely going to need to farm part of this project out - the skirt conversion should be easy enough, but dealing with the top is going to require help!

  4. #4
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Princess seams aren't that difficult.
    I'm sure you'll come up with something good, whatever you do.
    --
    Daim.

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I think I'd make the upper part of the dress out of new fabric, attach the skirt, and either completely ransack the top for fabric and trim to bring the top part and the skirt design together, or modify the top enough to fit so it could go over the new dress, like a bedlah over body stocking effect. Having the dress fabric supporting the top gives you a few more options than if it has to function as a separate garment.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    So when you put the skirt on and hold it up at the correct hem length, how much of your upper body still needs to be covered?

    I agree about using new fabric for the bodice. If the skirt comes as much as halfway up your torso, I'd add a rectangle with a neckline cut in the center for the front and back bodice and then add straight sleeves with a gusset attached to that bodice, plus all the trim I could salvage from the original top, including any decorative tape I could hand-make from the top fabric. Easy-peasy, no princess seams.

    If the skirt only comes up to your hips (sounds like this is the situation?), I'd probably still make the top the same way except longer and I'd incorporate some of the new fabric into the skirt, either as surface decoration or gores or a narrow decorative strip sewn into the skirt seams. The last suggestion would make the dress look deliberately blocked instead of Frankensteined.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    ...a narrow decorative strip sewn into the skirt seams...
    Yes! That is a brilliant idea, love it, might well pinch it (I have the very skirt in my projects stash that was clearly made for a tall but very svelte dancer. I only manage the tall bit).

    Bottom line - avoiding the Frankenfrock effect!

  8. #8
    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    So when you put the skirt on and hold it up at the correct hem length, how much of your upper body still needs to be covered?

    I agree about using new fabric for the bodice. If the skirt comes as much as halfway up your torso, I'd add a rectangle with a neckline cut in the center for the front and back bodice and then add straight sleeves with a gusset attached to that bodice, plus all the trim I could salvage from the original top, including any decorative tape I could hand-make from the top fabric. Easy-peasy, no princess seams.

    If the skirt only comes up to your hips (sounds like this is the situation?), I'd probably still make the top the same way except longer and I'd incorporate some of the new fabric into the skirt, either as surface decoration or gores or a narrow decorative strip sewn into the skirt seams. The last suggestion would make the dress look deliberately blocked instead of Frankensteined.
    Skirt is floor length when worn at the waist - too long when worn at the hips.

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