Some time ago, this dress came along in a bag of hand me downs, and I’ve never quite been able to figure out what to do with it. The top is cut pretty generously when compared to the length and width of the dress, and so I don’t think it ever had a prayer of fitting my slim girls. Plus, though you can’t see this in the photo, the pink was very faded and there were several stains on the dress.
And honestly, the eyelet wasn’t really blowing my hair back.
I’d tossed around the idea of making it into a skirt, but that wouldn’t really have dealt with the color issues or the stains.
(or the eyelet!)
I happened to turn the dress inside out, and I realized the hot pink lining was still lookin’ pretty fresh and fabulous. And I also realized that the bit of ruffled eyelet that peeked out of the bottom had potential.
I kind of figured this out as I was going along, so I don’t have any pictures of the process. But here’s a quick summation of what I did:
- I cut straight across the middle of the dress, right through the zipper.
- I picked out the seams holding in the zipper, removed the zipper, and sewed up the gaps the zipper had left. Then I was left with what looked like a really wide-waisted skirt.
- I folded over the top edge, and sewed it down, and then I folded that edge over to make a waistband wide enough to hold an elastic band.
- After I sewed that down, I cut a piece of elastic to fit Lisey’s waist, threaded it through, and then sewed up the ends (which was a little bit tricky because I was working with a couple of layers of fabric (the lining and what used to be the outside of the dress).
I did eventually get it figured out, though. And now instead of a basically unwearable dress, we have a cute pink skirt.
It didn’t even take me that long to do this…maybe an hour, and that’s with interruptions.
And after Lisey gets too tall for it, there are other other girls in line to wear it.
You know what’s great about working with hand-me-downs? It’s so low pressure.
I paid nothing for the dress, it wasn’t working as-is, and so even if I totally screwed it up, it would have been no great loss.
That seriously ups my willingness to hack it up and hope for the best, and it should for you too. If you’ve got clothes hanging around that aren’t getting any use as-is, try modifying them. You haven’t got much to lose, and you might end up with something you really like.
Joshua’s 365 post: It Works!