I always feel a little sad when I see handmade clothes on the $1 clearance rack while thrifting.
Someone spent hours on this, friends. And it’s really well-made!
I know, it’s super-dated now, but dresses like these used to be a thing, and it makes my heart sad to see some person’s hard work on a rack of castoffs.
Luckily, I was there to rescue this dress. With just a few tweaks, I knew I could turn it into something I’d be proud to wear out and about (You know…when we can actually do that again)!
I liked the yellow seersucker fabric of this dress, but it was a little plain for my tastes. Fortunately, I saw a couple of opportunities for embellishments.
First, I removed the yellow buttons from the shoulders.
Then, I pulled out my magical tin ‘o buttons to pick my replacements!
I pulled out my finalists…
I ended up choosing these sweet vintage green buttons.
I stitched my new buttons on. In case you don’t know how to do this (or need a refresher), here’s how to sew on a button.
Now it was time to make my dress a bit more fitted. This was tricky business because there’s no back zipper or closure.
That means the only way to get into this dress is from the top (since the buttons are functional) or the bottom. Since I didn’t feel like adding a zipper, I planned on being able to put this dress on over my head from the bottom with the top unbuttoned.
All that to say I couldn’t make this too form-fitting or I wouldn’t be able to get into it.
Not to worry! I had a plan!
First, I removed and saved the very thick bottom hem.
Then, I took the dress in just a smidge.
Once done, I cut off the extra fabric from the sides.
I gave my new dress a new hem…
…but still thought my dress was a bit boring. 🙁
That’s when I started looking at the decorative stitches on my machine for ideas!
After careful consideration, I selected the stitch that represented where I’ve been confined for two weeks, and where I kind of feel like I’ll be stuck for the foreseeable future.
I loaded my machine with a green thread that matched my new buttons and got to work!
I know most of you guys probably don’t have quite the array of decorative stitches I do on my machine, but you very likely do have some stitches that are decorative, or could be used as decoration. Even a couple of zigzag stitches layered over each other can look really cute!
I hemmed the ends of the bottom hem I removed and added this same decorative stitch to the bottom edges of that as well.
And that’s it!
You can see how I wrapped the sash obi-style around me a couple of times to help nip in the waist (and why it had to be fairly thick to do so).
I’ve gotta say, it feels incredibly weird doing refashions and literally getting dressed up with nowhere to go. But it also feels really good to keep myself busy with creative projects.
I hope you’re finding similar opportunities to help occupy your time in positive ways. If you have some good ideas for your fellow readers, why not leave them in the comments? I think we could all use a little inspiration right now.