Seamwork Kenedy Refashion

Seamwork Kenedy Refashion

Posted by Helen | December 26, 2016 | Into My Closet
Seamwork Kenedy Dress

One of my goals for 2017 is to finally do something about the growing pile of thrifted items I have stashed under my bed. I often pick things up at vintage shops, garage sales, and flea markets because I love the fabric, even though the fit or style is way off. Some items are great sources of fabric, like the gathered-waisted skirt I used in this refashion. It is essentially two rectangles sewn up the sides and gathered into a waistband at the top. Once you cut the waistband off, you have a pretty decent chunk of material to work with. I scored this skirt for $5 at Mintage here in Vancouver, it was on their sale rack because the buttons were falling off. I love getting a good deal like that for such a minor flaw! This skirt is arguably very pretty as-is, and it does fit me, but I had a vision for this Christmas dress so I went for it!

Seamwork Kenedy Dress

I didn’t bother taking apart the seams, because this old velvet was pretty delicate and after unpicking a bit at the hem, the old needle holes were very obvious. I just cut off the waistband, center front button band, and hem – easy peasy. I wanted to make this into a simple dress, and the Seamwork Kenedy was an obvious choice. I made it once before and it is a very comfortable dress that is fun to wear.

Seamwork Kenedy Dress
Seamwork Kenedy Dress

Seamwork Kenedy Dress

I didn’t have quite enough fabric to make the entire Kenedy out of the skirt, so I decided to alter the top a bit to include some sheer chiffon blocking. This hack is simple, just cut or fold your pattern piece where you want (I chose 3” down from the center neckline) and cut out the bottom and top pieces separately. I also cut the back on a bit of an angle. Be sure to add seam allowances!

Seamwork Kenedy Hack

Seamwork Kenedy Hack

Once cut out, be sure to staystitch the edges of the chiffon pieces. This can be quite tricky fabric to work with, but staystitching helps loads. I also used a french seam at the shoulder, so the edges are all inclosed.

Seamwork Kenedy Hack

Sew the top chiffon pieces to the bottom dress pieces before continuing with the pattern instructions. I was going to make the sleeves out of chiffon as well, but when I tried it on sleeveless, I quite liked the look so I decided to finish the arm holes with bias binding just like the neckline. I also took the sides in a smidge here to make the arm hole smaller.

Seamwork Kenedy Hack

I made my own bias tape out of the chiffon for a nice, matching finish. You can see the binding through the sheer fabric, so it is important to do it carefully. Needless to say, this is very finicky and nerve-wracking process. Use tons of pins and you will be fine! 🙂

Seamwork Kenedy Dress

I think the blocking effect is really fun, and it could be done with lace or any other kind of accent fabric.

Seamwork Kenedy Dress
Seamwork Kenedy Dress

Another little addition I made to the Kenedy design was to add tassels to the back ties. This velvet fabric is just begging for tassels, don’t you think? I’ve been wanting to add them to a project ever since I saw them on Heather’s Roscoe dress last winter. I couldn’t find tassels I liked, so I made my own out of fringe trim. I got some braided trim to use as the ties and tied a knot at the bottom of each end. I then used a needle and thread to stitch the fringe around the base of the knot until I built up the right sized tassel. I love how long and soft they are, and they are much nicer looking than the store bought tassels I saw.

Seamwork Kenedy Hack
Seamwork Kenedy Dress
Seamwork Kenedy Dress

This dress was a great choice for a big dinner, and I got lots of compliments on it. I think this velvet fabric is particularly striking, I haven’t seen anything like it before. That is one of the benefits of refashioning! I look forward to sharing more of my refashion projects in the new year.

Seamwork Kenedy Dress


 

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Blog Comments

Total heart eyes fir this one, Helen! The tassels and chiffon are such sweet extra touches to this pattern.

Thank you, Abbey!!

WOW Helen this dress is beautiful! I tried doing a refashioning when I first returned to sewing but it didn’t work out at all. This was encouraging and now that I have 2 years under my belt maybe my next attempt will be more successful – you’ve certainly inspired me to try with this dress 🙂 Happy New Year to you and I look forward to reading more re-fashioning ideas by you in the coming year!

Thanks, Kathleen!

OK first off, kudos to you for being able to pose in the snow with no sleeves! I am very impressed. 🙂

Second, this is a wonderful refashion! I didn’t think twice about the Kenedy dress when it first came out, but I love your rendition. Those tassles are genius!! <3 <3

Thank you! I love the tassels so much <3. The Kenedy is a surprisingly fun and versatile dress! I was very cold in this pic, but it was worth it!

Gorgeous! Great make, Helen.

Thanks, Lori!

I am so in love with this refashion! The fabric is stunning and you picked the perfect pattern for it. I also think that adding mesh on top just elevated this dress to another level 🙂

Thanks, Anya!! I love it so much…I’m only sad there aren’t more January parties to wear it to!

[…] easy to slash a pattern where you want to block and simply add in the seam allowances. Check out my fabric blocking on this Kenedy Dress, this post on colour blocking the Panama Tee pattern from Alina Design Co, or this tutorial on […]

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