I’m honestly not sure what to call my latest line of dresses. Nothing feels quite right. They are made from materials people gave me or were being thrown out. I came up with the name landfill dresses because I believe most of the fabric would have ended up in a landfill. Picking out fabric is extremely personal. We wouldn’t let our friends dress us, much less complete strangers. Until a better name comes along these are my, “Little Landfill Dresses”. LLF’s.

As my awareness about our waste grows and grows… and my fabric budget shrinks, I have found myself a new fun puzzle called, “What to do with this stuff?” And so I started thinking, what if we could turn polyester and plastic back into fuel to heat our homes? For now I’ll try to make beauty out of these once loved and chosen items. They cost me nothing but time and can I let my imagination run free.

Today’s LLF dress is made of 1980s ultra suede on the bottom and a sweater knit remanent on the top. A marriage made in heaven, well, until I started messing it up.

I started with the skirt of the dress. This finished look was not what I envisioned in the beginning. I cut a big circle out of the ultra suede but then I wanted it to be zero waste so I used the scraps as pockets. Big mistake because the material is so thick that the pockets made it hang awkwardly and needed to be removed. The skirt of the dress was like someone stuck two big round pieces of cardboard under each side.

The cool thing about this fabric is that it does not fray. The uncool thing is that once you sew into the fiber it leaves little perforated permeant holes. Here’s where the rick-rack came into play. I would take all of my rick-rack remnants and make a big fun mess similar to how I made the beer can dress.

For the top of the dress I used a simple t-shirt pattern. I sewed the skirt of the dress to the t-shirt. What a glorious morning that was! I love it that the rick-rack is totally imperfect.

Since the top is knit fabric and the bottom is drop waist, no closures were needed. I can save my zipper for another time.

Modeling is Mercedes Franklin. Beer can dress photo by Susan Gertz owner of Dogpatch Pet Portraits. Modeling is Lawanda Stonerock owner of Lstonerock Designs.

Here is another LLF dress made from the same persons fabric but in a totally different direction in style. Read about this hot one here.

Modeling is Philomina Majesta Afua Darko

If you are interested in seeing more of my designs follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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