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A Finicky High-Low Hem Dress Refashion

DIY Puff Sleeve Shirt: Refashion the Trend
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Let’s just jump right in to the most obvious news I have to share, as demonstrated by my before pic for this Refashion.

refashionista high low hem dress refashion before
My hair. Is gone.

While styling my hair the other day, a big clump came out in my hand. “Oh helllllll no!” I exclaimed and reached for the clippers.

It felt surreal and gross, and now I can’t stop thinking I look like this:

Jillian as Gollum
At least I’m a 9.5 by Gollum standards.

While I can’t Refashion my hair (or CAN I???), I can Refashion this dress!

This dress isn’t bad. The print is really fun, and I liked the neckline and sleeves.

However, that cream color washes me out, and I thought it would look better shorter. But how to shorten it without losing that awesome print near the bottom?

Let’s dye it!

This dress is polyester, so I knew it wouldn’t take dye very well. You can read more on why some fabrics dye better than others here. This didn’t really bother me though, as all I wanted was a subtle change.

I reached for these.

black and brown rit dye
Double the Rit…Double the Fun!

I tossed my dress into its comforting warm bath. I used about three parts black dye and 1 part brown dye. Black dye can render blue-ish purple, so I thought the brown would warm it to a more complex hue.

dress in dye bath
Dye is like a bath bomb for your wardrobe!

After my dress was rinsed and dried, I was met with this.

dyed pit stain
Angry Hand for Emphasis

Ewwwwwwww! Pit stains! How did I not notice them before?

Of course, dye sets into stains more than unstained fabric, which is why I never advise using it to try to cover stains. It’ll just make them more noticeable.

I’m not sure how I missed the fact that my thrifted dress was a grody pitted out nightmare, but I wasn’t ready to give up on it just yet.

Let’s take it in!

While I had originally planned on keeping this dress blousy at the top, it looked like the only way for me to nix those pits was to make it really fitted, so I could sew around them.

It was worth a shot!

taking dress in
Begone vile pit!

I ran each side of my dress through my sewing machine.

sewing side of dress
Whirrrr (Yes, my pins are facing the wrong way)!

I cut off the excess fabric (BYEEEEE Pits!), and was ready for my next step!

I just wasn’t sure what that step was going to be.

My Very Weird High-Low Hem

I could have cut some of the fabric from above that bottom area I liked and then reattached the bottom area to the newly-shortened top area.

But I decided to try something different that I wasn’t even entirely sure would work.

Fortune favors the bold, right?

I made a cut.

cutting high low hem

Here’s where it gets weird.

So, I knew I wanted a high-low hem, BUT I also wanted that black floral part to be on the front of my dress. So, I made the front part a good bit shorter than I would want it end up being so I could add the black part to it.

I cut the part I wanted to add out from that piece I removed from the dress.

cutting front panel
More choppage!

I hemmed that section under, like ya do.

pinning hem for front panel
Pinning a hem!

Then, I fit this part under the front of my dress.

fitting front to dress

I used a wavy stitch to attach this part to the front of the dress. I ended up testing several stitches on the leftover scraps, as this stretchy thin fabric was tricky to work with.

The idea is, I want to attach the pieces to each other while keeping the front flowy/not messing up the drape of the fabric.

wavy stitch on sewing machine screen
Ride the wave!

I stitched carefully along the curve.

stitching down front panel

This left me with some ugly raw edges around the front of my high-low hem that needed to be taken care of. I stitched this down using the same wavy stitch as the top!

high-low hem close up

After ironing everything down, I was done!

Look at my finicky high-low hem dress now!

refashionista high low hem close up
Not too shabs!
refashionista high low hem dress side view
From the side!
refashionista high low hem dress refashion after
Wait…where did that hair sprout from?

That’s right guys! I am now a proud owner of a few wigs!

I’m sure I’ll get used to sporting a bald noggin, but might as well have a little fun, right?

I have named each of my wigs and assigned personalities accordingly. I can’t wait for you to meet them all!

closeup of wig
This is Debbie. She teaches pottery at the local community college and walks outside barefoot.

All in all, I’m fairly satisfied with this Refashion. It’s far from my favorite (I’m not sure if my high-low hem entirely works), but I’m glad I tried something a little different.

A lot of you have been asking how I’m feeling.

I’m happy to report that after the first week of chemo, a lot of the unpleasant side effects like chemo brain and bone pain went away. I’ve been feeling almost normal since then. 🙂

This Thursday I go in for Round 2. I’m glad I at least have a better idea of what to expect this time.

I know it will be tough.

But so am I.


refashionista high low hem dress before and after
DIY Puff Sleeve Shirt: Refashion the Trend
Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching