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Fixing a (Poorly) Handmade Dress

How to Refashion a Too-Small Skirt into a Top
Refashioning my Way Out of a Slump

Some of my favorite thrift store finds are handmade garments.  

Some industrious person picking out a pattern, then going shopping for fabric and spending hours making something special for themselves is a lovely thought…even when it doesn’t quite seem to turn out the way they might have intended.

This frock is a fine example of what I’m talking about.

refashionista fixing a handmade dress before

I’m not quite sure what happened here.  

It sort of looks like someone didn’t quite follow the directions that came with the pattern, as some parts of this dress weren’t put together right.

hole in seam
You missed a bit right here.

Also, whoever made the original dress seems to have cut the fabric along the bias, which made it stretch in weird ways that weren’t altogether comfortable.

It’s okay…I can work with it. 🙂

First, I put the dress on my dress form to get it a bit more nicely fitted.  

There was no zipper or anything, so I made sure to not make it so fitted that I couldn’t wiggle into it.

fitting dress on dress form
Fitted, but not tooooo fitted

I put each side through my machine, then cut off the extra fabric.

taking in side of dress
What’s up with that interior peplum thing?

The neckline hadn’t been sewn down in parts, so I decided to just use that as an excuse to make it into a nice wide V.

close up of v neck

I stitched the new neckline down, then restitched a few other seams that were coming undone.

I think that awkward frock is much improved now!

refashionista fixing a handmade dress after
Not too shabs.
refashionista fixing a handmade dress after 2
I’m quite happy with this lil transformation!
refashionista fixing a handmade dress after 3
Sort of has a 1940’s feel to it, doesn’t it?

My new dress was perfect for an evening cookout with some lovely friends.  🙂

refashionista with friends
Love these guys! 🙂
refashionista with wine
I even brought libations!

After the cookout, I headed off to see The Woggles!

The Woggles onstage
They Woggle, but they don’t fall down!

It was an awesome show, and if you get a chance to see them, you definitely should!

Jillian and Dianne
Diane agrees with me!
Jillian and Erin
Erin & Ken would concur as well!

You might also enjoy this handmade dress refashion!


refashionista Fixing a (Poorly) Handmade Dress featured image before and after
How to Refashion a Too-Small Skirt into a Top
Refashioning my Way Out of a Slump