Sunday, 31 August 2014

Make Do and Mend - Altering a Favourite Dress

The finished dress, accessorised with red.
Back in England and happy to be in my sewing room.

 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.

I carefully cut through the fabric, removing the bodice from the skirt.

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).

1 comment:

  1. "This Old Thing" is such a great show--and I can watch it free online in the U.S.!!!!! Thanks for the tip! My very favorite thing to do is finding clothing at the thrift shop and remaking it.