Friday, June 3, 2011

I did it!! The Story of Remaking a Dress

I LOVE to wear dresses in the summer.  Cool and comfy and non-binding.  There are very few dresses to purchase, out there, that cover you on top well enough and aren't too short for a late 40's girl like me!  So I snatched up this dress last summer for $8 and was thrilled.  Til hubby saw it on me.  He said it looked like a bag.  No shape to it.  Boo!  : )  Today I put the dress on, found it to be oh so comfy, and decided to make it FIT me!
I used to be afraid to really alter clothes.  I'm a perfectionist.  I didn't like that it wasn't perfect when I was done, and I'm not patient, so I didn't want to spend hours making it perfect.  Blogland has helped me get over that!  Yay!  So the first thing I tackled was the sides...making it have a more fitted waist.

Next I took up the hem about 1.5 inches so it wouldn't be quite as long.  Not too short though b/c I have these skinny birdy legs that don't tan very well.  Ha!

Backing up a bit, after taking up the sides above and below the waist, I cut the extra fabric from the seam so it wouldn't be bunched up.  Then pressed the seam flat on the outside of the dress.

The next problem with this dress besides it being a bit too long and having no shape to it, was the sleeves.  They were kind of 'heavy' looking and droopy on me.  Did nothing for me and weren't cute.  So I decided to alter them.

This summer dress has nice little cap sleeves and it was my inspiration for the redone sleeves of this dress makeover.

I used a dinner plate to give me a nice uniform curve for cutting off the sleeve.  A fabric marking pen quickly made the line for me.

And with a bit of fear and trembling...I cut off the sleeves into a cap sleeve shape.  This next part was THE hardest.  Pressing a little double rolled hem into place and carefully stitching it into place.  Took awhile!  But oh so worth it.
So here's a reminder of the straight, bag dress with the droopy sleeves.

And here she is! The "new" dress!  It's fitted around the waist instead of just hanging on me like a sack.  It's a wee bit shorter.  And the sleeves look soooo much better and feel better too.  I want to make a fabric flower pin for embellishing it, but found that this sweet pin my niece made goes with it quite well!  Add some cute black wedge sandals and I'm ready for dinner at Culvers and alittle Walmart shopping with the family.  

The true test of whether my handiwork was a success?  My husband.  He told me at home that it did indeed look soooo much better on me.  But the best compliment was at Walmart as I sashayed down the aisles with my cart...he was behind me making little comments as we went.  Nice comments!  Hee hee!  So the moral of my story is, give it a try on something that you aren't afraid to experiment on.  I figured if worse came to worse, I'd wear this dress around the house.  Instead, it turned out well, and I can wear it wherever I want.  Thank you Jesus!!!



  1. I love this! It's simple but very effective. My favorite part is the sleeves. They make all the difference!

    I'm a newer follower and I saw this post come up and just had to see it. So glad I visited!

  2. Donna, when I grow up I want to be like you! :)
    That was so cool what you did with the dress. My husband is like yours, he hates to see me in 'bags' (he claims I still have a figure even if I'm fat and over forty) I like comfort myself, but it is nice to get those compliments, isn't it ;) He's done me the same thing, walking behind and whispering stuff.. my children thinks its ridiculous that someone my age still blushes!

    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

  3. What a cute dress re-do! I do so much sewing for my girls, but never think of making something for myself. I probably have similar dresses in my closet that could use an update. Great idea!

    Thanks for your comment today. It made my day!

    Melissa Lester

    (for some reason I can't leave a comment under my google account today)

  4. Good for you jumping in and altering the dress! I used to have the same fear - but now realise there's nothing to be so scared of!
    You did a great job! Clearly from your husband's reaction!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. What a great job on your first refashion! The dress is so flattering now! Husbands know how to tell it like it is, don't they? I've lately had my first go at refashioning too. You can see my blog post here:

    I've enjoyed my first visit to your blog so much! We have a lot in common. My third, and youngest, child graduated from our homeschool last year, so I'm retired from that but into many more things. It's very nice to meet you!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine


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