Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shortening an 80s dress

My friend, Sarah, bought me this dress at Goodwill a few weeks ago. We always look out for each other when it comes to great finds at second hand stores. Although she is sometimes a bad influence. When I really don't need to buy 10 dresses or another wall hanging, I say, "Sarah, should I get this?" When my inner rational should say "No," she says, "Umm... YES!" We find amazing things and are pretty much thrifting soulmates.

This dress is in great condition, cotton. The diagonal stripes are pieces of fabric sew onto the black cotton. Itty bitty cap sleeves, pretty much sleeveless. It was great as it was, but I thought the length could come up a bit.

Trying out different lengths.
Above the knees.
Added a pin and stood up straight to see where it would lay.

The pin was 15" from the waist. So I measured 16 inches from the waist all the way around, pinning it every few inches. Cut at the pin line, and sew a rolled hem all the way around. With that simple adjustment the dress is transformed into this:
Much more chic and fun!
Did I mention it has pockets?!
Backside is plain. I'm wearing my yellow soft leather belt and cobalt blue Aldo flats.
George interupts every photoshoot Rachael and I have.
And then he beats me up.

It was a bit short for me, but my legs are freakishly long. Someone around 5'2" to 5'6" would be ideal. When I've been altering dresses lately, I try to keep in mind not everyone is tall like myself. I sold a dress recently to a girl, agreed to fit it to her, and I had to take the hem up 8"! It was just below my knees, and she wanted it right above hers. She's about 5'2" and it almost went to the tops of her feet!

It is for sale in my Etsy shop.

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  1. Omg what a great find! You've altered it to perfection. Ugh I wish I could afford to buy it right now; I so would!

  2. Sally Ann, You always take plain pieces that, to the naked eye, might be easily ignored and make them so fabulous! I wish I had your "eye" and sewing talent. :)

  3. Oh my goodness, you are absolutely adorable, and so is George! I love cats.

    You inspire me so much...I'm scared to buy hemming tape (ya know, the kind you iron on -- would you even recommend that?) and I'm not quite sure how to sew a button...one day at a time!

  4. I keep trying to reply to you, Amberly but silly google keeps deleting my comment. Go ahead and try hemming tape. It's great for some projects, but not so great for others. it all depends. I used to use it all the time. Just make sure you iron it long enough!

    Thanks ladies!!