A “New” Dress

26 Jul

My fabulous aunt sent me a few dresses when I was pregnant with Miles last summer. They were perfect for uplifting my exhausted pregnant spirits — cute, fashionable and NOT maternity clothes, so I could wear them after the baby was born!

I love the feel of knit material as a dress. The soft fabric is so inviting. It’s like wearing pajamas in public without feeling slobbish! The only drawback I had to wearing the lovely blue knit dress is that the straps were ultra thin and my bra straps showed no matter what I did. If I layered a tank top underneath, I couldn’t nurse Miles. Quite the loose/loose situation. Well, not a total loss. I wore it at home the month or so after Miles was born while the weather was still hot, but that’s about it.

So it’s sat in my closet this entire summer, unloved and unworn. For a couple weeks, I’ve had an idea forming in my mind. A picture of what I could make the dress look like if I had the guts to break out the scissors. Finally, I worked up the courage to do it. After all, I wasn’t wearing it the way it was. If it didn’t turn out, there’d be enough material left over to make Ella a sun dress or swimsuit cover up. There would be success, no matter what happened. That thought is what booted my fear out the window and I hid in my partially finished sewing room for a couple of hours and channeled my inner Marisa and got to work.


This is what I had to work with. Lovely blue knit dress from Old Navy, courtesy of Aunt Tammy.

First cut is the scariest

The hardest part — the first cut. I used a safety pin to mark where I wanted the hem to be.

Insert about an hour and a half of me hand stitching alternations. I could have broken out the sewing machine, but I felt like I had more control using a hand needle.

The material for the straps were cut from the side seams of the skirt length. I felt the seams added stability to the straps to prevent them from stretching. These were sewn around the existing straps. I’m all about not burning bridges. I may want to shorten them some day or some such nonsense.

I then cut two strips of material from the hem of the skirt length and gathered them into a ruffle to tack along the neckline. A little bit of flare never hurt anyone, right?


This is the final product! Hooray!

The skirt ended up a little shorter than I anticipated. I think what happened is the weight of the length of the skirt stretched it out some, so when I cut it free, it bounced up a bit. Oh well. I just won’t be wearing it to the park to chase the kids. That’s okay.


4 Responses to “A “New” Dress”

  1. Tasha July 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    Very impressive! I really like the wider straps and the “flare” you added to the top.

  2. Beka July 27, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    ok lady, I’m on to you….
    you claim to be domestically challenged but this proves those are LIES. 😉 Super cute, I’m envious of your talent and skills. I can’t sew to save my life… Andre mends his own pants.
    Just another way I think you’re simply amazing.

  3. Marla July 27, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    That is super cute on you!!! I love it!!

  4. Mrs Soup July 28, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    I LOVE the ruffling. It looks gorgeous!

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