This project has everything; replicating, inspiration, upcycling and fandom!

The B52’s have the most amazing stage clothes, period. When I saw Cindy Wilson bouncing around on stage in a Sunday Morning show story clip I knew I wanted a piece of that fun.

I went to the local thrift store to find something red with a heavy stretch knit so I could cut it up and harvest the fabric for the new dress. It’s easy to walk into the store and look for exactly what you want, although it’s very hard to find it. Most of the time I’m in and out in less than five minutes.

Some advantages to harvesting used materials.

  1. You know it can withstand washing and drying without pilling (in most cases) and it’s preshrunk.
  2. This material would have cost me $70 new. This dress costs only $2.99.
  3. Little loss if the project doesn’t work out.

After I had the dress cleaned I got my seam ripper out and took it apart. This really isn’t as bad as it seams. Haha, I’m punny.

I wound up draping my fabric instead of using a pattern because I knew I would be short that way.

I had the front of the dress pieced, making sure of the fitting every step of the way. I love evolving out of necessity although I had a lot more questions than answers. How was I going to make the neckline? How was I going to close the neckline? What length should the dress be and how was I going to get the trim sewn on without pulling my hair out.

I used the armpits of the dress and a scrap from a previous project to make the neckline. I used two banging hot Art Deco buttons to close the neckline. The only waste I had was the original neckline and a few small scraps.

This is where it got real! I pinned the sequined fringe on while wearing the dress during the final fitting. I had to do it this way to ensure fit because the dress was stretch with negative to no ease and the trim had no stretch. If I had simply sewed it on the dress it would have zero give and wouldn’t fit over my hips. Wanna guess how I know this? Getting a dress off with no zipper and tons of pins stuck in it… not smart!

I would like to thank my husband for all of his help and loving support with each and every project. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.

Behind the scenes~

New class alert! 4 Week Adult Garment Sewing Bootcamp

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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