I bought my favourite pants at an H&M sale years ago and wore them until the time came when they needed to retire. My past year has consisted mostly of dresses and skirts, as I feel better wearing “traditional female attire”, and I decided my beloved pants deserved a second lifetime as a dress bodice. When I was in Riga last summer I bought several metres of unbleached Lithuanian linen (such a lovely fabric!), and to enhance the narrow purple stripes in the otherwise grey pants fabric, I coloured some of it in a warm purple. The bodice is a modified version of the Elizabeth Gathered Waist Dress (one of my go-to patterns), and I added a slightly bigger than quarter-circle skirt to this. The hem is trimmed with pale purple bias tape. As a final touch I added single welt pockets (tutorial) to the skirt – one of the amazing things one can do when sewing garments is to add practical things like pockets to women’s clothes.
As I made the bodice slightly too big during stitching, there were some fitting problems. I took a large chunk out of the back and added tucks to the front neckline, and I think it turned out pretty well. As I managed to rip my precious fabric during fitting, I appliqued a purple butterfly on the back to cover my sewn-up holes.
In the end I got the summer dress I wanted, and my pants have been reborn as a new garment.