I’ve had this black dress on my refashion rack for a couple of months. I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it.
Seeking the heavens for guidance & inspiration!
SPOILER ALERT: My original plan doesn’t work out!
I finally decided to turn this dress into an entirely different dress! I snipped off the seam to one of the shoulders.
Then, I grabbed a spool of grosgrain ribbon…
This stuff is just way too flippin’ handy!
…and pinned it to both sides of the recently cut shoulder.
I stitched each one down.
Do you see where I’m going with this? My plan was to make the two shoulder pieces the new front of the dress, and use the other arm hole as a cool keyhole back!
Something like this!
I still had some fitting to do! I took the whole thing in from the front (so as not to lose the back).
It seems like such a great idea, right?
Taking it in!
I trimmed off the extra fabric, threw my new dress on, and was immediately disappointed. :/
It just looked weird, folks. First off, it wasn’t the casual dress I was going for. It looked way too formal for anything I have coming up in the near future. AND I didn’t take into account that the front and back of the dress weren’t identical. This made the dress hang askew on me.
I thought all was lost, until I remembered this post by Sally over at Charity Shop Chic!
She refashioned this! :)
I NEVER think of going bare-midriffed. I’m over 30. It just seems weird and inappropriate, right? But Sally looks so very cute in her top! Surely I can look cute in what was about to be mine as well!
I made a big chop!
Don’t worry! That bottom scrap will make a lovely skirt!
To play a bit more with the asymmetry of my new top, I decided to stitch down only one of the shoulders into a V, and left the other one as-is!
It’ll all make sense in just a moment, I swear!
I think it’s quite fetching!
Showing a lil skin!
And just look at the back with its built-in air conditioning!
My new top was perfect for a birthday brunch with friends!
Happy Birthday Ken!
I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for posting this…
Hmmmn. Who is this?
I decorated his bag myself! :)
Happy birthday revelers!
Ryan seems quite smitten with my new Nana bag! :)
See? Just because a refashion isn’t turning out quite how you wanted it to, that doesn’t mean you have to give up! Just keep playing and see what happens!
Today I’m going to dispel two myths about this blog. :)
The first myth is that I never try to look cute in my “before” pics. Okay…fair enough. I’ll try to look as gorgeous/glamorous as possible in this boring shift dress:
Oooo lah lah!
Okay…that’s just weird. Let’s go back to the normal, shall we?
Now for the second myth! I keep getting told that I’m belt-obsessed and that that’s the only way I know how to cinch a waistline. Now, I definitely am belt-obsessed, but there are other ways to bring in a waist of a frumpy frock! I personally prefer belts and sashes as they’re A. Easier and B. more flattering for my short waist.
But enough of the belts! Begone, sashes! Today I’m going to show you how to add an elastic waist to a dress to make it look more like the kinds of dresses you see in stores…even when it’s just on the hanger. :)
To do this, take a dress that already fits you properly (like the one I’m wearing above) and mark where you want your waist to be.
This is my impression of the Pillsbury Doughboy.
I put the safety pin a little lower than my natural waist, as I want the top of my frock to be just a little blousy.
Next, make a big cut!
Take the skirt part and turn it inside out, then put the top part inside of it, with the right sides facing each other and with all the seams in line.
I use my ironing board to help with this.
Hello, future waist!
Stitch those two sides together…
I’m so Pfaffsy…
…then press them both down towards the bottom hem of the dress.
This will all make sense in just a moment!
Now for the much-awaited elastic part!
Grab some thin elastic…
Big wad o’ elastic!
Wrap the elastic around your waist and pull it to where it’s just tight enough to cinch the waist, but not uncomfortable. Cut it off and sew the two ends together. Make sure your elastic doesn’t have any kinks in it!
Fold your elastic ring in two, and mark each side.
Now, fold it in two again, and mark those two sides as well!
Pin each marked part to the front, back, and each side right over your newly-stitched waist.
right along the seams!
Now for the finicky bit. Pin the elastic all around your new waist. Stretch it as you pin, and try to avoid having any bunched-up bits. If you see part of it bunching up more than the rest, just start over. Don’t worry. It’s a pain, but it’ll be worth getting right!
Looking pretty Even Steven!
Now you’re ready to stitch your elastic down! Run it through your sewing machine using a straight stitch. Pull the elastic as you go. Don’t worry! It’ll bounce right back and gather the waist!
Keep it stretched!
And that’s it for the waist! :)
But I couldn’t stop there! I didn’t like the neckline or the length of this dress, so I still had a bit more work to do!
I decided to make the zippered back the front and turn it into a V-neck. I pinned my new neckline down…
Gimme a V!
…then I stitched it in place!
There was one problem with this though. Since the original front of the dress had bust darts, when I put it on, I looked like I had back boobs! :/ That would not do! Not to worry! I pinned those darts into straight lines and stitched them down.
No more back boobs!
I was almost done! I chopped of the length, with the help of my dedicated companion!
He’s too cute to be annoying!
I gave my new dress a new hem, pressed it, and was all done!
The final step!
Here’s what it looks like now!
Elastic is fantastic!
And here’s what it looks like outside!
Same dress. Different lighting.
Do you like my sweet thrifted $3 platforms? I sure do!
Only fell in ‘em once! :)
Ugh…selfies are just soooo cheesy! ;)
A few of you have been asking about the mystery guy who appeared a couple of times on this blog but you haven’t seen in a while. Wellllll…if you haven’t seen him in my multitude of out-and-about pics, that’s prrrrrobably because I’m not out-and-about with him, eh? Don’t worry. I get plenty of male affection!
Oh hai Ryan!
These guys are all the men I need! ;) My new dress enjoyed an unseasonably cool evening with friends playing “Truth or Dare Jenga”. Seriously. You need to make a set of your own!
You’ll never play Jenga any other way ever again!
Goofy faces…not just for “before” pics anymore!
Soooo…now you know another way to make your waists nice and cinched! Even if you hate belts (What’s wrong with you?!?!)!
When I received a pair of tickets in the mail for the annual Free Times Best of Columbia Party, I was delighted and surprised! I started freelancing with them this year, but still didn’t expect to be invited to one of THE best parties of the year!
This year’s theme was “Yacht Rock”, and I had just the nautical number for the evening!
Oh dear. This would not do. Those shoulder pads! That terrible fit! And what about these?!?
Just say “No” to bows!
My first priority was to get rid of those massive pads!
Don’t worry guys! You’ll make a swell sunglasses case later!
I knew I needed to raise that dated waistline. The quickest and easiest way to do this was to chop off the top! I wanted to keep the functionality of the back zipper, so I made sure the pull was on the bottom part before I cut.
How’d my foot get in the shot?
I closed up that raw edge…
Pin it all around, then stitch it!
You can see where I folded that zipper under twice just like the rest of the dress. Don’t worry. If you have a good strong needle, it’ll sew over it, and you’ll be fine. You might have to sew a hook-and-eye closure above it, but luckily I didn’t need to.
After I stitched that top raw edge down, I needed to sew down that front placket. This dress was about to get super-fitted, so I really didn’t want any gappage!
Stitch it down!
I tossed my dress on my form inside-out and got it fitted!
I stitched down each side…
…then replaced one of the buttons that fell off in the refashioning process…
Just a quick bit of stitchery!
…and added on a little something extra to the bottom hem!
Wait…what is this sorcery???
Notice what’s wrong? I didn’t! :/
Now I’m ready to board the yacht!
This party was a BLAST! I had so much fun hanging out with some of the coolest people in Columbia!
…like Kaitlin and Erin here!
Or lovely local actress, Evelyn!
Even my buddy Ellis made a showing!
Ron and I sharing a prom-esque moment…
Of COURSE one of the men behind Bourbon came out to celebrate!
I had a fantastic evening, and my fingers are crossed that I get invited next year too! :)