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Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching

A Finicky High-Low Hem Dress Refashion
No-Sew Dress to Reverse Triangle Bottom Shirt

You guys. It’s almost here. It’s really almost here!

Of course I’m talking about Fall, y’all!

When you’re languishing in an endless time soup (like pretty much all of us are at the moment) with days bleeding into days with little to differentiate them other than the occasional fresh catastrophe, a change in seasons is a BIG FLIPPING DEAL.

I woke to feel a slight crispness in the air, and knew exactly what I wanted to wear for the day!

I chose this dress for today’s refashion:

refashionista falling for decorative stitching before

You’re looking at a boring green dress that doesn’t fit me that I found on the $1 clearance rack at the thrift store. Womp womp, right?

Not so fast!

Take a closer look at that fabric!

closeup of green fabric revealing brocade pattern

This dress is made of 100% tightly-woven polyester, which is one of my favorite fabrics to refashion with as this particular type doesn’t fray when you cut it, and it dries SUPER FAST after you wash it.

A lot of folks hate the feel of this type of polyester because it’s more scratchy than soft, but I actually like it. I also like scratchy towels. I should probably talk to someone about this.

But enough pondering! It’s about thyme I got started on this refashion, no?

label that reads "special thyme ltd"

First, I chopped off the bottom hem.

cutting off bottom hem
Snippity snip!

I snipped carefully right along the hem’s edge. Since, as I said before, this fabric doesn’t fray, this is going to be my dress’ future sash!

I cut this part off before any other alterations because:

A. I knew this dress would be long enough after being taken in even with it removed
B. I needed all the length I could get for my sash to wrap around my waist tie it the way I wanted it to (You’ll see what I mean at the end.).

Then, I put my dress on my dress form inside-out and pinned where I wanted to take it in.

pinned dress on dress form
That should do it.

Since this dress doesn’t have any zippers or other closures, I had to be careful to make sure it would slide off my dress form (and later me). I couldn’t make it too fitted, which was fine, as I didn’t want to.

I pinned the sides of the dress, measuring them to make sure they were even.

pinned side of dress
Just a straight line for this one!

So, I’m pinning a straight line from the armpit to the bottom, but keep in mind that doesn’t mean that’s going to be eventual shape of this dress.

Here’s what I mean:

I’m a pear shape, and this dress’ waist is going to be cinched with a sash. Therefore, I know the top is going to be a little loose, and hips will be more fitted.

Cinching the waist with my sash will give the top a little more volume than the bottom.

So, even though this looks like a straight up-and-down shape, when it’s actually worn, it won’t be. When you’re refashioning, it helps to think a step ahead and see beyond what’s literally in front of you.

Does that make sense?

I ran each side through my sewing machine to take my dress in.

taking in sides of dress

Then, I snipped off the excess fabric.

cutting off excess fabric
The shears that pink!

I used pinking shears for this, which was totally unnecessary, as this fabric doesn’t fray. I could have totally just used regular shears.

Now for a hem!

I put my dress on, tied the sash around my waist, and pinned where I wanted to cut my hem.

cut off bottom from dress
Do you like my little owlie light?

Then, I folded it under and pinned it.

pinned hem

I always use my ironing board for this part as it makes handling the dress super easy.

Time to go under the needle!

sewing hem on dress
A sneak peek of my newly re-done sewing space!

I could have ended this refashion right here, but I wasn’t quite feeling any Fall vibes yet.

Thyme (har har) to add some Fall-inspired decorative stitching!

I chose this stitch on my machine:

leaf stitch on machine
Leaf me alone!

Then, I loaded up some orange thread and went to town, adding this decorative leaf stitch to the neckline and bottom hem of my dress!

closeup of orange leaf stitch
I think I’m fall-ing in love with this color combo!

Check out my (pre)Fall frock now!

refashionista Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching after
Paired here with my thrifted paddock boots!

I like how nicely this dress works to transition into Fall. Temps aren’t quite there yet, but it’s definitely putting off autumnal vibes.

refashionista Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching after with accessories
Accessories matter.

I also like how well it works with some of my favorite vintage accessories including this awesome ’80s leather handbag.

refashionista Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching after selfie
A closer look at that neckline!

My new dress enjoyed an evening visiting with a few friends!

Jillian and Erin
I’ve missed you Erin.
Jillian and Phillip
Phillip looks skeert.
Brian and Jillian
Any time spent with this guy is the best!


refashionista Fall-ing for Decorative Stitching before and after
A Finicky High-Low Hem Dress Refashion
No-Sew Dress to Reverse Triangle Bottom Shirt