How to Add a Fantastic Elastic Waist to Just About Any Dress!

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!

Oooo lah lah!

 

Okay…that’s just weird.  Let’s go back to the normal, shall we?

 

Ahhhh…MUCH better!

Ahhhh…MUCH better!

 

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.

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!

 

Chop!

Chop!

 

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.

I use my ironing board to help with this.

 

Now pin!

 

DSC_4327

Hello, future waist!

 

Stitch those two sides together…

 

DSC_4328

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!

This will all make sense in just a moment!

 

Now for the much-awaited elastic part!

 

Grab some thin elastic…

 

Big wad o' 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!

 

Secure!

Secure!

 

Fold your elastic ring in two, and mark each side.

 

Okay.

Okay.

 

Now, fold it in two again, and mark those two sides as well!

 

Alrighty.

Alrighty.

 

Pin each marked part to the front, back, and each side right over your newly-stitched waist.

 

right along the seams!

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!

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!

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!

Gimme a V!

 

…then I stitched it in place!

 

Whirrrr!

Whirrrr!

 

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!

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!

He’s too cute to be annoying!

 

I gave my new dress a new hem, pressed it, and was all done!

 

The final step!

The final step!

 

Here’s what it looks like now!

 

Elastic is fantastic!

Elastic is fantastic!

 

And here’s what it looks like outside!

 

Same dress.  Different lighting.

Same dress. Different lighting.

 

Do you like my sweet thrifted $3 platforms?  I sure do!

 

Only fell in 'em once!  :)

Only fell in ‘em once! :)

 

 

Ugh…selfies are just soooo cheesy!  ;)

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!

 

Thanks Cole!

Thanks Cole!

 

Oh hai Ryan!

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!

You’ll never play Jenga any other way ever again!

 

Goofy faces…not just for "before" pics anymore!

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?!?!)!

 

Cheers!

 

ba81714

 

 

 

 

About these ads

Yacht Rock Dress

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!

"Not"ical.

“Not”ical.

 

Oh dear.  This would not do.  Those shoulder pads!  That terrible fit!  And what about these?!?

 

Just say "No" to bows!

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!

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.

Chhhhhop!

How’d my foot get in the shot?

 

I closed up that raw edge…

Pin it all around, then stitch it!

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!

Stitch it down!

 

I tossed my dress on my form inside-out and got it fitted!

 

Shaping up!

Shaping up!

 

I stitched down each side…

 

Whirrrr!!!

Whirrrr!!!

 

…then replaced one of the buttons that fell off in the refashioning process…

 

Just a quick bit of stitchery!

Just a quick bit of stitchery!

 

…and added on a little something extra to the bottom hem!

 

Wait...what is this sorcery???

Wait…what is this sorcery???

 

Isn't is amazeballs?

Notice what’s wrong?  I didn’t! :/

 

Now I’m ready to board the yacht!

 

Ahoy!

Ahoy!

 

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!

…like Kaitlin and Erin here!

 

Or Best Local Artist runner-up, That Godzilla Guy and his lovely wife!

Or Best Local Artist runner-up, That Godzilla Guy and his lovely wife!

 

Or lovely local actress, Evelyn!

Or lovely local actress, Evelyn!

 

Even my buddy Ellis made a showing!

Even my buddy Ellis made a showing!

 

Ron and I shared a prom-esque moment...

Ron and I sharing a prom-esque moment…

 

Of COURSE one of the men behind Bourbon came out to celebrate!

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!  :)

 

Photobooth Shenanigans!

Photobooth Shenanigans!

 

Cheers!

 

ba81414

Not Quite Red Dress

I’m not a big fan of ruffles.

Rufflepalooza.

Rufflepalooza.

 

I’m also not a fan of wearing anything white.  For a person as clumsy as myself, it’s just tempting fate.

You can probably guess what I did first!

 

In the red!

In the red!

 

I don’t use red dye a lot.  In past, I’ve tried to use Scarlet dye, but the results have always ended up being more coral than the desired red.  My fingers were crossed for my first time trying this Cherry dye out.

I ended up with pink.  Ugh.  :/

Anywho…the refashion must go on!

I put my newly barbiefied frock on my dress form, and pinned it down one side — trying not to wince at the armpit discoloration that would soon be chopped away!

 

Pinning along...

Pinning along…

 

I used my fabric pencil to mark along the pinned line.  My reason for this is that I know I’d have to remove the dress from the form, and there’s no zipper or any closure.  To get the dress off the form, I needed to remove the pins.

See?

See?

 

No worries!  I just repinned the dress along the blue line!

 

Déjà vu!

Déjà vu!

 

I stitched my new seam down…

 

Whirrrrr!

Whirrrrr!

 

…then I chopped off the extra fabric.

Something still wasn’t quite right for me though…

 

Douglas and I agree…it's just too ruffly!

Douglas and I agree…it’s just too ruffly!

 

I started snipping off that bottom ruffle!

 

Snnnnnip!

Snnnnnip!

 

I decided to leave half of the ruffle on the front.  I thought it looked kinda neat.  I also like how some of the ruffles didn’t take as much dye as the others.  :)  I tossed one of my grandmother’s vintage scarves around my waist, and pinned her brooch to the shoulder to complete my look.  What do you think?

 

In the pink!

In the pink!

 

My new dress had a lovely evening with friends!  :)

 

Enjoying tasty cocktails at the Pets Inc. benefit!  :)

Enjoying tasty cocktails at the Pets Inc. benefit! :)

 

Who's wearing them better?  Hmmmmnnnn…

Who’s wearing them better? Hmmmmnnnn…

 

Lemme take a selfie!  ;)

Lemme take a selfie! ;)

 

Cheers!

 

ba8914

 

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