I'm obsessed with upcycled fashion. I love browsing through the dress section at Goodwill, especially the L and XL ones, searching for a beautiful print, different fabric, or unique style, and envisioning what I could do to upgrade it. I'll be posting one of these for the next few Fridays, so stay tuned! They make great weekend projects. Note: Some basic sewing knowledge is recommended before trying this project! I never do anything fancy, but you should know how to sew a straight seam, adjust your tension, etc.
The dress I chose for this project was made of a beautiful flowing fabric with a pastel print - pink and cream flowers on a periwinkle blue background. It had a really pretty placket in the front and some delicate lace trimming that I wanted to keep.
- Sewing machine with coordinating thread
- Straight pins
- Measuring tape
- Dress that's too big, too long, etc.
My dress was too wide and a bit too long, so the first thing I did was pin the side seams in to fit me better. Try on your dress inside-out and mark where you want to pin. I left a little give, just so I wouldn't be struggling to pull it over my head or anything. After I pinned, I realized I had to cut out the pockets the dress originally had. I love pockets, but unfortunately I wasn't creative enough to figure out a way to salvage them. So away they went!
I then sewed up both sides of the dress, right up to the armpit, and cut off the extra fabric.
Next, I cut the hemline to be shorter. It was originally below-knee-length, which I normally like, but the construction of this dress made it look like a nightgown. So I cut off my desired amount and zigzag stitched around the hemline. (Something you should know about me: I hate hemming and am not good at it AT ALL. So whenever I have to shorten something or hem it, and if the fabric is flowy enough, I just zigzag stitch it. If you're good at sewing a neat, even hemline, then by all means definitely sew one for your dress!)
And you're finished! I LOVED how this dress turned out. It had a long, Empire-type waistline, but still had a shift-dress feel. Very swingy and flowy, and super comfortable. And check out that gorgeous placket!
Found any dresses you could fix up? I'd love to see them! Tag me @melmariadesigns if you post photos on Instagram or Twitter. Happy sewing!