Thursday, March 8, 2012

DIY BHLDN Yarrow-In-Flower "Dress"

I'm sorry, is that too many capital letters in the title? Hey, at least I didn't abbreviate it as the YIF dress.

When Anthropologie announced that it was starting a bridal line, I was simultaneously 1) psyched, because I was sure whatever they put out would be amazing, 2) disappointed, because my wedding was already over, and 3) meh, because anything they had would be waaaay too expensive. Well, as it turns out, I'm pretty sure I could pin the entirety of the BHLDN catalog to my Pinterest boards. I love their shoes, jewelry, gowns, and even their waste-of-money drink stirrers. Their bridesmaids dresses, though, are probably the most dangerous for me, as they're things that I might actually wear. Thankfully (?), they're too expensive to tempt me. Instead, I'm using them as sewing inspiration; after all, I have four weddings and almost as many bridal showers to attend in the next two months! I've had the Yarrow-In-Flower dress pinned for ages, and finally found the right yellow sheet at the thrift store for DIY-ing my own cheaper, more casual version. But just to make mine more practical, I decided to make it into separates: a lace top and a gathered yellow skirt. Also, for ultimate practicality, my materials are NOT dry-clean only!

I had to darken this photo significantly to get the lace to show up.
I think I'm looking particularly smug here because I just saved $343.

This is closer to the actual color of the skirt. Also, check out that ridiculousness going on on the window behind me on the left. Apparently some parents just let their kids go wild on the windows with markers and stickers. I will never understand.

I still had about two-thirds of a yard of the stretch lace that I used for my DIY Dulcie Dress; in its un-dyed state, it was the perfect bright white contrast for the yellow skirt. I simply cut out two pieces using my cap-sleeve knit top block, sewed up the shoulders and sides, and did a simple single-turn hem on the sleeves and neckline. I'll confess that I didn't bother hemming the bottom, since it won't fray or show anyway. Now I have a nice top that will go will with many of my me-made and thrifted skirts. Yay for not making orphans!

The skirt was just a 22"x80" rectangle (to save myself the bother of hemming, I used the edge of the sheet, which already had a nice, deep, 2.5" hem) sewn into a tube and gathered, then attached to a rectangular, interfaced waistband piece. I didn't have a yellow zipper in my stash, but in the interest of not buying anything new (and also because it was 9 PM and I'd already been to Joann's the day before), I just used a white 7" zipper. The zipper pull is slightly distracting, though, so I might try coloring it in with a yellow Sharpie. I finished it off by adding three hooks and eyes on the waistband. I cut the waistband just a little bit on the tight side, but I guess that just means I'll be reminded not to eat too much if there's a buffet...

Oops...looks like I forgot to hook one of the hooks.

Fabric: 50/50 poly-cotton blend bedsheet, thrifted; nylon stretch lace
Notions: 7" white zipper, three hooks and eyes, fusible interfacing
Hours: 3.5...I'm getting a lot better at doing hooks and eyes!
"Netflix" queue: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and Commentary! The Musical on DVD
Will you make this again? A two piece knit top that requires no seam finishing and a straightforward gathered skirt? Indubitably.
Total cost: $5 for the remaining lace (yay, totally used it up with no remnants!), $1 worth of the sheet (I still have enough for a very full-skirted dress!), $0.25 for the zipper; let's say $7 total with the hooks and eyes. I saved $343, along with an unknown number of dry-cleaning bills!
Final thoughts: I love how wearing yellow automatically makes me happier! This skirt is also deliciously full, but the softness of the sheet means that it's not bulky. The top is nothing special, but still accomplishes its purpose. Also, I love it when I don't need to deal with fussy patterns, but still get exactly the result I wanted. It's not as expensive-looking as the BHLDN dress, but it's much cheaper and more practical for my life (not to mention not as scandalously short).

It was an extremely sunny day, but very windy. It showed off the skirt's fullness nicely, though...check out the huge shadow it cast! Okay, okay, I know that's not all due to the skirt, but still.


  1. The post exists now, weee! :) I love this skirt -- such a great color, and I love how full it is. What a lovely outfit!

  2. So. Pretty. And I like the shirt a lot! It's simple but the lace gives it enough flair so that it's not a plain white t-shirt, it's a hand crafted lace creation. Worlds apart, really.

    BHLDN is a stupid name, and I hate it. But the collection is actually full of gems, though also a surprising amount of crap. Oh, anthropologie, you never met an ill-placed flower you didn't love.

  3. ok, i am most obsessed by that simple, clean, no-nonsense way you finished the inside waistband...for some reason, i always feel compelled to try turning the seam allowance of the band under and enclose all of the seam allowances...and even after a year of practice i am STILL not doing it right. cation method FTW.

  4. OMG! OMG! OMG! I am SO in love with this outfit! It is utterly fantastic! You blow my mind! I love that dress from BHLDN and I'm just blown away by how you made your own, fantastic version for so much less! You are an inspiration and a sewing goddess!!

  5. I found my way over here via puu's blog, and after browsing through more than a few of your delightful posts, you have a new fan! I look forward to hours of delightful reading here :)

  6. It's really adorable! And the skirt finishes are fantastic. I have never tried that meeting-with-hooks closer to a skirt - I always do an overlap. I must give it a try.

    You are completely right about yellow - it's such a fabulous colour, and it does make you instantly happy. Whenever I'm down I just go look at my all-yellow historical fashion pinterest board, and suddenly I'm cured :-D

    Also, you are my hero for using indubitably.

  7. I am SO SO SO in love with that skirt. WHAT A COLOUR! May totally have to knock it off. Makes me want spring NOW. Stupid Montreal winter.

  8. Indubitably delicious! This outfit rocks and I actually prefer it to the Anthro version because of its practicality, non-insanely shortness (why do they never cater for the long-legged-lass?!), and that YELLOW! You are sunshine.

  9. I love this, it's so gorgeous! You're so prolific...

    And thanks for the tip on Anthro's line... too expensive for me, too, but one can be inspired... :)

  10. did you say the top was nothing special, i beg to differ. the outfit is all something special. i love quick 'cook ups' if there is such a word. lol and i find a lot of inspiration here. i have made one of ur outfits, about to make the second, and the third and the fourth...
    never really fancied a gathered shirt.. until now.

  11. SO BEAUTIFUL, yellow is really your colour!!!! I have a stack of yellow fabric in all different shades (for my Mad Men Julia Bobbin challenge) and I was going to make a rectangular gathered skirt with the fabric I don't use for the dress... i'm inspired to make a bodice to go with it now!!! Your top and skirt look fantabolous! You did great work on it, I don't see any "hot mess"!!!!!

  12. This is absolutely beautiful! I too am a big fan of yellow. JuliaBobbin recently whipped up a similar dress (similar only in the fact that it's yellow on the bottom and lace on the top. I'm yellow with envy of both versions!

  13. Love it!
    You have been awarded The Versatile Blog Award! Display the badge on your blog by using the HTML code below. I have removed the first left vee < and you will need to add it back in when you use the code. Go to for the simple rules. Congratulations!
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  14. Add me to the list of fans of your interpretation - and way to save $$$$! Yellow can be a difficult colour for most of us to wear next to the face, but this would be a great way I could try it without looking like death warmed over.

    BTW, I have to comment on the window scribbles: when you have little kids, anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that will keep them quiet so you have 30 seconds to eat, down some caffeine or pee in silence is heaven sent. I used to be a borderline obsessive housekeeper, but I am currently sitting in a middle of a garbage tip, because the kids are hypnotized by TV and I get a few uninterupted minutes online!

  15. It's hard to beat saving $343. Does that make it more exciting than doing a knock-off of a dress from Target?

    Love the dress (outfit?)! It's so cheerful - not just the color, but lace and the shape of the skirt, too.

  16. Great outfit, and you should look smug for besting the bad acronym-ers. I love yellow, and I'm seeing it turn up around the internets made into fabulous garments... but I can't seem to find good yellow fabric anywhere! If you don't want the rest of your bedsheet, I'll take it off your hands :)

  17. Wow you honestly look absolutely gorgeous! I think it looks a lot better then the Anthropologie one! You're such an inspiration and just make me want to buy some material now! Can't wait to see more of your amazing creations! XxxX

  18. That dress is fantastic!! I came over from schwin & schwin and I am happy I did!

  19. Love your version!! So gorgeous!!!


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