|The finished dress, accessorised with red.|
This dress, which I bought years ago, is one of my favourite summer dresses. It is made of linen and the neutral colour goes well with a pop of colour, (such as red, yellow or hot pink) or with black or navy. When I put it on this year, it was noticeably tight around the waist. It had always been a bit long in the waist for me, but when I was slimmer, it could be pulled up a bit with a belt. Inspired by 'This Old Thing', a programme about recycling vintage clothes, I decided to see if I could do something to make this dress wearable again.
Some alterations are not that difficult and will make all the difference to the look of a garment. For example, just shortening a dress or skirt can up date it. In this case, I decided to shorten the bodice and then to take up the hem as well. I did it in a morning and I am very pleased with the result. I think it looks a little 1940s.
|Roughly pinned at the waist.|
The first thing I did was to put it on and pull it up at the waist. I pinned it roughly, then took it off and pinned it carefully, measuring that I was taking up the same amount of fabric all around. Luckily, I was able to adjust it between buttonholes.
I used chalk and tape measure for exact measurements and checked that the front plackets lined up.
Turning it to the wrong side (right sides together) I pinned the bodice and skirt together and chalk marked the stitch line.
I stitched carefully along the chalk lines and then added a row of zig zag to the outside of the seam to finish it off and keep it from fraying.
I trimmed the extra fabric away from the seam allowance, then pressed it and top stitched it so the bodice looked finished.
Finally, I turned up the hem to mid-knee length, measured, pinned and machine stitched the new hem into place.
|The finished dress, back view (on a mannequin).|