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Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion

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Dress to Cape Jacket Refashion

This dress is a tad dour, isn’t it?

Refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion Before

While this $1 thrifted frock coordinates well with this Day of the Dead planter (that contains a now-dead succulent) that Mr. Refashionista insisted we needed from Aldi, I’m still not a fan.

Does anybody else struggle to keep these little guys alive? I feel like my house is a succulent hospice. Many enter, but none exit (except in the trash).

Refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion Before 2
Poor thing never stood a chance.

This dress is dated, ill-fitting, and just…somber.

But I do so love a black dress, as evidenced by this little black dress refashion, and this black sweater dress refashion!

But I don’t love this one…yet!

To make this dress work, I decided I’d take it in, shorten it, and adjust the sleeves to be bracelet-length with slits at the bottom.

Fairly simple, no?

I really like dresses that are cut like this (with bust darts), as they hold their overall shape really well when being taken in from the sides.

close up of bust darts
Those darts help it keep some shape!

To get started, I pinned where I wanted one of my sleeves to end, then chopped off the bottom.

pin mark on sleeve
Right here!

After I chopped the one sleeve, I laid the chopped-off part over the other sleeve and used it as a guide to cut it as well.

cutting off other sleeve
Totes even!

Then, I grabbed my seam ripper and undid each sleeve’s seam.

seam ripping slit in sleeve

I measured each slit to be about 5″, knowing they’d end up being about 4″ after I hemmed my sleeves.

measuring sleeve slit with tape measure
These slits will also give me enhanced arm mobility!

I snipped off the bottom hem of my dress, thinking I might want to use it as a sash for my new dress when I was done.

cutting off bottom hem of dress
Snipping right along the hem!

I didn’t end up using it, but cutting it off before taking the rest of the dress in meant it would be long enough to tie around my waist if I later chose to.

bottom hem of dress
I didn’t need it after all, but it’s good to have options!

Now to take it in a smidge!

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

pinning dress on dress form

I stopped pinning right above my sleeve slits, as this is where I’ll be doing a little backstitching to secure the seam.

You can see how this is going to make my sleeves slightly bell-shaped!

pinned side of dress on cutting table
An easier view!

I stitched each side down…

taking in side of dress

…then used my pinking shears to trim off the excess side fabric.

cutting off excess fabric from side of dress
This helps to keep it from fraying

My sleeves still needed a bit more tending to, as the sides of the slits were open and raw.

I folded each side of the sleeve slits under once and secured them with a small zigzag stitch.

close up of zigzag stitch
Squint a little and you’ll see it!

I gave each sleeve a new hem by first pinning them under twice .5″…

bottom sleeve hem
A teensy hem!

…then stitched each one down.

hemming sleeve
We’re coming into the home stretch!

All that was left to tackle was that bottom hem!

I folded my bottom hem under twice.

pinning bottom hem
A fairly wide hem!

Then, I stitched my new hem down!

sewing bottom hem of dress
The final step!

I think my newly-refashioned dress looks quite fetching!

I styled my new dress with big sunnies, a dramatic coiled bracelet, and a pair of burgundy boots.

refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion after
I love the sleeves now!
refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion after closeup
So much svelter than sweats!

It feels like I haven’t worn a dress in ages!

refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion after hand on hip
Gotta get dressed up every now and again, eh?

Getting a little dolled up felt really nice, even if it was just to have tacos at a friend’s place.

tacos on plate
Such noms!
jillian with broken taco
Apparently, I have forgotten how to eat hard shell tacos…?

This is a fairly basic refashion, but in my opinion, it’s a good one.

I think this dress would work great for work (if we ever go there again), after-work cocktails, or even a succulent funeral!


refashionista Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion before and after
How to Make High Waisted Jeans from Low Waisted Jeans
Dress to Cape Jacket Refashion

29 thoughts on “Slit Bottom Sleeve Dress Refashion”

  1. Succulents require a lot of light. You might have more success with a kangaroo paw fern or a philodendron. I love your refashioned!

  2. I love it. You look a bit Jackie-O ish with the sunglasses added. Good to see you doing well. Greetings and Hugs from southern Colorado!

  3. Nice job! I had my doubts about the sleeves but the slits really did the trick. So nice to watch the dress turn from frumpy to fabulous! From frumpy to chic! Bravo!

  4. When I saw the “first” dress I thought “what the heck? Does she pick the ugliest dress she can find on purpose?” Low and behold, you never disappoint. What’s the saying, makes a silk purse from a sow’s ear? Gross, I know, sorry. I just loved the new dress and the simple changes to make it. Wish I had your vision.

  5. I like all refashions. I kill all succulents! and orchid-I only tried once, too expensive of a lesson! haha Cool planter though, so there’s that. LBD for all but the hottest days!

  6. You are so cute!!! I love your blog, I have been following you for about 6 years now!

    Pro tip on succulents, (from someone who has killed and kept many alive from trial and error) they thrive on sunshine and neglect! Don’t overwater them!!! I like to leave mine on the porch in the summer (as long as it isn’t raining everyday) and just let them roll!

  7. To keep your succulents alive do not over water. One ice cube once w week is all they need. The same for orchids.
    Succulents are desert plants. They store water. If soil feels extremely dry add another ice cube.


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