Hi everyone! It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold with a new sewing post to share.
A few months back, I found this great linen blend sailor dress in the little girl’s section of Goodwill. I loved it. Although I would have worn the dress exactly as-is not so long ago, lately I’ve been inspired by less frills in what I wear – that excludes most bows, and especially bows when paired with double breasted buttons and puffy sleeves. I knew I had to change the dress to make it more wearable for my style.
In an effort to make the dress more modern, I followed 3 (yes, just 3!) simple, go-to steps:
1. Remove embellishments. I used a seam ripper to (gently!) pull out the decorative buttons and bow on the front of the dress. Gentle is key. You don’t want to accidentally create holes where the buttons were. The sailor collar at the neck was a perfect amount of frill for me, so I left that in.
2. Shorten the dress. Maxi dresses especially get a modern look when shortened. It is one of the fastest and simplest alterations you can make, and it goes a long way (pun intended) in changing the style.
When it came to this dress, I didn’t have to shorten it by much. I pressed an inch and a half inside the dress and sewed it at the pressed edge, creating a stiff (and adjustable in the future if necessary) hem.
Another option – if you like drop hem skirts, measure it out and cut it high in the front and low in the back!
3. Remove or shorten the sleeves. At about 8 inches from the shoulder, I cut the sleeve and finished the seam with a simple rolled hem – I folded 1/4 inch inward twice and sewed it in place, then pressed the sleeve.
And that’s it! A simple dress for spring.
Other steps to consider…
*Add your own embellishments. Add graduated stripes by sewing on strips of ribbon or fabric to the skirt or bodice. Shorten and add interest to a dress at the same time by creating horizontal pleats or pin tucks. Put in some studs. Make it your own!
*Create a coordinating two piece playsuit. All you need is some elastic and a dress to cut up (DIY post here!)
*Replace the collar. This is a great option for a button up as well – add a contrasting collar for some interest.
See you guys next month! – Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)
click here for more diy sew!