How Stella got her groove back

So, I bought the dress pictured below from a Next store 6 years ago, the price was massively reduced which is typical at the very end of summer sales.  As usual, the light-headed thrill of scoring a seemingly good bargain clouded my sense of good judgment.

“I love you Mr. Rochester”

All I need is a tight bun, not one stray strand of hair in sight, a horse & carriage and I’m good to go for a Jane Eyre audition.  A classic case of Impulse buying over Intent buying, as the cut ofthe dress does nothing for my figure, I look better in clothes that accentuate the slimmest part of my frame – my waist.

Anyway, I was not going to let that lush fabric go to waste and so I decided to stage an intervention *insert halo and shimmery skin*.  The original outfit is a 2-piece dress with a blouson bodice, straight skirt and cowl collar. The back of the dress has both buttons and a zip.

Well, I’ve always liked the idea of separates in the same fabric, so what to do?

  • Detached bodice from skirt
  • Removed collar
  • Hemmed neckline using black bias tape
  • Used collar fabric to create a 2-inch waist band
  • Placed stiff stay over the waist band and pressed
  • Took in the top of the skirt by a few inches to fit my waistline
  • Attached waist band to the skirt
  • Attached a few inches of spare black fabric to the bodice for tucking-in allowance
  • Finished the bottom edge of the bodice using the rolled hem technique 





Rather nice collar

Split collar in two to make a skirt waist band

Detached and split collar in two to make a skirt waist band

Hemming the neckline with black bias tape

Hemmed the neckline with black bias tape

The revamped outfit isn’t quite ready for the big unveiling, it’s nearly there though. Yes, I know… suspense is so very middle class (in Violet Crawley’s voice).

I love Downton Abbey 🙂





 ~About me~



  1. My father-in-law gave me a sewing machine some years back. It’s still in the box it came in. Why? I can’t even thread a needle! Maybe someday, I will take a course. When? I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! Practise make perfect, stitch by stitch and you could become skillful at mending the loosened stitches of your store-bought clothes. A few more stitches, and who knows? You could become inspired to do more.

      Anyway, safety pins are a reluctant sewer’s best friend 😀


  2. *laughs* Ah, see talent o! Tweezing, waxing and even sewing *ahem* in traffic. This should be filed under things I wish I had learnt in secondary school. 🙂

    P.S. The mental picture of you waxing in Lagos traffic won’t go away. Help! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mwahahahahaha *cheeky grin*

      Ah! Lagos traffic is the truth, there’s this joke that you can easily cook your dinner in traffic, considering all the idle time spent and all the random things sold by the very entrepreneurial road hawkers 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, you’ve left me with the riddle of who “I” might be.
      The Countess is epic indeed! My favorite quote remains “What is a weekend?”
      Thank you for visiting 🙂


  3. A bargain isn’t always a bargain is it? I admire your sewing skills. I have a few outfits in my wardrobe that could do with a makeover. So, I am looking forward to a photo of you with your groove back! 🙂


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