Adventures of an ill-fitting dress

Posted in Sewing

An unloved, ill-fitting red and white polka dot dress has been hanging in my wardrobe for at least four years, and I’ve been gradually chopping it up to try and make it wearable. The main problem was that there simply wasn’t enough fabric for the top. There is no elegant way to hide elephants behind a lamp post.

The original dress looked like this, and should have fitted like this too, but I can’t draw well enough to capture the horror!

polka dot dress alteration (1)

So it sat in the wardrobe for a year or two, and then I cut off the entire top section and added ribbons to make a sundress that could also be used as a skirt. It still didn’t fit well and was a frumpy length skirt.

polka dot dress alteration (2)

So it sat in the wardrobe for another couple of years, and then a few weeks ago, it decided to become a mini-skirt! And suddenly, it fits, it works, it is something that I love and have worn five happy times already!

To preserve the professional frill at the bottom, and reuse the gathered band for the waist, I cut out the top of the skirt and reattached the bottom section to the gathered band. I spent two hours pinning it all the way round at a couple of different heights and measured carefully before deciding on the final length and making the final cut with scissors. This diagram shows what was cut away, and what remains:

polka dot dress alteration (3)

Ta da!!

polka dot dress alteration (4)

Sometimes these things take time.

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