Darling Ranges Dress // 80’s Bedsheet Edition

I spied this classic 80’s bed sheet at DI nearly a year ago, and was in love. It’s so undeniably late 80’s/early 90’s  (I mean it totally looks like that couch I grew up with), and yet? And yet I totally love it.  I mean, my last name ain’t Tribe for nothing. I decided to make it shine with Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges pattern, as I have long long wanted to give it a go, and was very much inspired by this look by Steven Alan.

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I did make some alterations to the Darling Ranges pattern, as my muslin (I made a muslin!) had some issues. I adjust the dart angle and position (still didn’t nail it as you can see), and angled the side seams WAY out (like 2 inches on each side!) because it was pulling the back piece forward and my side seams weren’t straight down. I removed the added width I now had by adding darts in the back. I also raised up the neckline by one button, and lengthened the hem.  Oh, and I cut a size up in the sleeve (as per several reviews I read), which fit perfectly. I also added a cuff, because the elastic sleeve wasn’t gonna fly with my thicker cotton and edgy (hah!) pattern.
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The real bonus of sewing with a sheet is that it’s so so soft from lots of washings. I try not to think about WHY it was washed so many times, and just focus on how dreamy it feels. This dress is so comfy, and that alone will qualify it for some guaranteed game time this Fall.  But really, I love it all around, and dig that it’s gonna dress up or down easily.

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I’m definitely going to make this dress again, especially now that I have adjusted the pattern to be just about perfect for my shape. It really is a great design.

I’m in Sewing Summit crunch time, and have about 2,387 projects to do before next week. I try not get stressed, but I can’t help it; house shopping, school starting, trying desperately to preserve the abundant fruits and vegetables from my garden, planning for my Sewing Summit class, AND take care of and feeding my family have sort of just sent me over the top, and I’ve been staying up way late. My body apparently needs more sleep that I’m giving it, because I got sick today which is a real bummer.  Hopefully I’ll bounce back soon, because really, I just have to bounce back soon. I need your tips on keeping your calm and dealing with stress! I am not a high stress person, but over the last couple years I’ve started really physically responding to stress like for instance I get lock jaw or get sick when things become hectic. It’s no fun, and I am really trying to deal with it better. I know everyone is different, but what works  for you?

22 Comments

true bias

oh man i love it. so much fun and an awesome sheet to start with. good luck with the stress. i dont have any real tips except figure out what can go. sometimes i just have to remind myself that i cant do it all.

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Jane

first off let me say that i think you are totally awesome!! love your blog…even tho i dont sew anymore. this dress is a winner…but then everything you make is fantastic. you have a beautiful family and i really admire your strength. unfortunately, burning the candle at both ends at times, has a way of zapping us. you could try a homeopathic remedy. i’ve used one called ‘rescue remedy’. just a couple of drops under the tongue and it calms you down. find at the health food store, but may be called something else depending on the brand. but you need to know when to stop and regroup…prioritize. your body’s sending you a message, sweetie…listen to it. be well and God bless 🙂

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Miriam

Thank you Jane, for your sweet words and your advice! I’m a natural gal myself, so I will totally look into that! I just started using a couple different oils, and I like them so far. I have been trying diligently to quit when it’s late and go to bed at a decent hour, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.. there’s always tomorrow! Thanks for commenting:)

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Miriam

Thanks Julie! I just looked at your IG feed today, and you’re hair is so long! It seems like just yesterday that you cut it off (I totally thought of you when I cut mine!), but I guess that was a couple years ago! I would LOVE to make you a little stamp or two, just email me what you want me to write, or write it out if you want it a certain way!

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maddie

I don’t think there is any shame in making a dress out of a bedsheet. My favorite self-stitched garment to date was made with home decor fabric.

I hope you get better before the summit! I understand how stress can take a toll on your body and health. In my experience, the only way to get better is to say no – “No, I can’t do that for you right now – I need to rest.” I feel guilty but at the same time I don’t, because I know I’m taking care of myself.

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Miriam

I’m pretty bad at saying no, but getting better SLOWLY. Right now though it’s not so much obligations for other people, just a bunch of important things all colliding at once.
I would love to see that home decor dress!!

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Stephanie

I love this so, so much. What a great use for a thrifted sheet! The pattern is amazing. I for sure grew up with a matching couch. I’m a sucker for anything tribal, ikat or native inspired.

Oh man, I’m always super anxious. I recommend yoga (focused breathing), exercise and tea. Good luck!

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Stephanie

My gym offers classes and it’s within walking distance. Otherwise, I would never go! It’s hard for me to practice at home. I have a mat, know enough moves that I could get by, but I don’t ‘lose myself’ like I can in class. I’m not flexible at all or even very good, but I can get my breathing right with a teacher leading. I say every week I’m going to wake up a bit earlier and do some breathing exercises, but you know how that goes…

I think YouTube has a lot of great videos. I may look into that later actually.

Also, good luck on your move to Utah County! We moved from Saratoga Springs to Denver just over a year ago. I wouldn’t recommend our old neighborhood, but the view of Utah Lake and Timpanogos is breathtaking. I made sure to take a moment and appreciate it everyday we were there.

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Tilly

Such a lovely dress! I particularly love the fact that you made a toile/muslin but saved the bed sheet for the real version. This one is far too good to be wasted on a toile! Really awesome find, and it matches your blog design too!

On the stress question, I used to get lock jaw too plus a whole load of other horrid stuff, but I’ve been getting better at dealing with it recently. What’s working for me is taking time to actually breathe properly (I used to subconsciously hold my breath lots of the time, as if that was going to save me any time!!), being mindful of how much amazing stuff I’m doing in a day already without having to add any more, and the biggest one – saying “no” to stuff. I found that one the hardest, but it’s made the biggest difference. Hope you feel better soon.

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Tracy King

I must admit I am a bit jealous!!! This dress looks amazing on you and I love that you used a sheet. Sheets are one of my main fabric sources. Your hair is looking more and more you as it grows and smooths out. Does that make any sense? You know how the edges are all sharp and crisp when you first get it cut but then it grows and kind of becomes more natural looking? That’s what I mean 🙂

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Reana Louise

Wow, that dress is pretty dang fabulous. The extra time you took to fit really shows – it sits so wonderfully on you! And can I also just share another 2 cents about your hair? It’s amazing. I loved your long hair, but I love your hair now. That little kick in your fringe is gorgeous.

This might sound corny and predictable, but I am a huge stress head and exercise makes my whole world shinier. I also get lock jaw – possibly because I find it difficult to stop thinking and I think sometimes I unintentionally hold my breath. If I do an exercise class that’s 60 minutes of working so hard I can’t think about anything other than “holy-shit-i-think-my-quads-are-going-to-give-way” or “wow-i-am-bending-so-far-like-a-boss!” I think our little brains are still incubating because when I leave, my day doesn’t seem so daunting. However I know it’s not for everyone 🙂 Good luck over the next few weeks! x

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Barb Showell

ARGHHHH! I HAD those bedsheets. And I HATED them back then. The 70’s and the 20’s were just two decades we should let go of forever. But I’m glad I found your blog anyway.

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Jennifer

So cute and fun! I use old beddings for muslins a lot of times, but I haven’t found any old sheets that are as pretty as the ones you used for your dress.

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Beverly

OMG! I’m pretty sure that I had that same set of sheets once upon a time! Love that you used it to make a dress. Love it!

No suggestions on the stress management, but I hope things are better now. (I just found your blog via another one and I’ve been browsing and just had to comment on this post!)

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