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Rad Plaid Refashion: How to Take In a Dress From the Front

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When I found this dress on the $1 rack at a local thrift store, I almost squealed with delight!

refashionista rad plaid refashion before
I promise. I almost did!

It looks like someone made a girl’s toddler dress in an adult size, and I just want to giggle.

I mean, look at it.

refashionista closeup of plaid dress before refashion

Basically everything I hate about this dress is featured in the above pic. That weird low collar looks too juvenile for a grown-up dress and those functionless buttons aren’t fooling anybody!

I immediately got to ripping and chopping!

seam ripper used to remove buttons
Pick. Pick. Pick.
removing panel from thrift store dress
Byeeee fake panel thing!

I was happy to leave these behind:

shoulder pads and buttons from refashion
It was a mercy killing.

I played with the dress on my dress form, trying to figure out what my next step would be. All of a sudden it hit me!

I would kill two birds with one stone and take it in from the front. This would help it be more fitted and fix that ridiculous collar!

Let me show you!

plaid dress on dress form for refashion
Fold & Pin!

I folded the front over in a way that would connect the collar. To make sure I would be able to walk in my new dress, I stopped pinning right at the hips (you’ll see why in just a bit!).

I took the dress off the dress form and added more pins, making sure everything laid down nice & flat!

pinned plaid dress ready for refashion
Ready to go under the needle!

You can probably guess what came next!

sewing plaid dress refashion

Now it was time to address the length. I waited to do this until the dress was taken in, as taking stuff in automatically makes it shorter. I wanted a dress, not a tunic (Fun Fact: 50% of my early tunic refashions were accidental). 😉

I tried my dress on, marked about an inch lower than where I wanted it to fall (for a seam allowance), and chopped!

cutting off hem for refashion
A very plaid chop!

I gave my new dress a new hem!

pinning a hem for a refashion
Pin that hem!
sewing hem for refashion
Stitch that hem!

We’re almost done folks! I took that bottom scrap and refashioned it into a sash!

refashioning a sash
It’s a sash refash!

I stitched a seam along my sash and then turned it inside out.

All that was left was to give my new dress a good press, making sure to make a distinct crease along that front pleat I had created.

pressing plaid dress for refashion
A most pressing issue!

And just like that, my refashion was complete!

refashionista red plaid dress refashion after
Do you like my background?

I wore my new dress to meet up with friends at Black Rooster!

The background chicken (as well as all of the art at Black Rooster) is by local artist, Michael Krajewski!

refashionista and friends at black rooster
I mean, for $5 cocktails during happy hour, how could we not?
Mr Refashionista
Isn’t Mr. Refashionista handsome? 🙂
refashionista Columbia city skyline
The view doesn’t suck either. 😉

Have you ever tried taking in a refashion from the front? How did it work out for you?


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