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Hell on Wheels

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How to Update a '90s Dress by Shortening the Hem and Sleeves

Well would you look at this?  A not-so-swell fitting, heavily beshoulderpadded black dress!

Hell on Wheels 2 least it has pockets!

I’m having a hard time keeping a straight face in this time trip right out of the 80’s.  Not to worry kids….I have a plan! 

My plan was to hike up that skirt, shorten the sleeves, and take the top in through the waist.  I was getting all set up when my buddy Alex, who I was meeting up with in a couple of hours, asked if we could meet up for dinner first.  Yipes!  This cut an hour off of my time to fix this dress!  I was only going to have time for just a lil bit of sewing, then I’d have to wing it with the rest!

First off, I amputated these guys…

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Basement Kitteh contemplates the pads.

Then, I cut off the skirt a good bit.  I wanted it to fall a few inches above my knees.

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Next, I folded the raw edge under once and pinned it.  Usually, I try to fold it over twice to keep the raw edge from fraying, but this fabric is of the non-fraying, super-thick variety.  If I doubled it, it would look bunchy and weird.  Also, I couldn’t iron this dress (read the labels, y’all), so less bulk meant a more professional-looking hem.  🙂

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It's got more pins than my Ke$ha voodoo doll!

Then, I ran it through my machine, which was freshly loaded with black thread.

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Time was running out!  I kept the dress inside-out and gathered it at the elastic waist and safety-pinned it.  This quick fix took the waist in about 4 inches.

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a quick fix!

The sleeves were still suuuuper long, so I just pushed them up to my elbows.  The V-neck was a skosh too revealing, so I pinned it.  I threw on a belt and some tights and was ready to go!

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digging those built-in hand warmers big time!

 The back didn’t look too weird from my slacker-makeover either.

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Not too shabby!

I was super excited to get to see the documentary, Hell on Wheels, which gives you a fly on the wall’s view of the rebirth of roller derby in the early 2000’s in Texas.  It was moving and hilarious.  I have to admit, a good bit of it reminded me of Waiting for Guffmanbut I doubt even Christopher Guest could have imagined this one.  You should definitely check and see if this is coming to a town near you.

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These chicks are nuts, I tell you!

As a retired derby skater, this was a must-see.  🙂

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Richland County Regulators...Mount Up!

It didn’t hurt that the director, Bob Ray was there to talk about his film.  He was super-nice and not too hard on the eyes, either.  😉

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Director, Bob Ray pointing at his schwag!
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Oh hai, Bob Ray!

Fun times for a chilly SC night!  🙂

You're the top, top!
How to Update a '90s Dress by Shortening the Hem and Sleeves

2 thoughts on “Hell on Wheels”

  1. Yay derby girls! Yay basement kitteh! Yay refashioning a hideous dress! My question has always been, watching my mom sew when I was an ankle-biter, how does the sewing machine needle always miss the pins in the cloth? I thought the pins would break when hit by the mahcine needle. Please inform. MOUNT-UP!!!

    • A good question! You should always pull the pins out as you come to them, so the needle doesn’t hit them. If you don’t do this, you could break your needle, bend your pins, or get a pin all stuck in your machine.

      MOUNT UP!!! 🙂


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