Reviving a tired dress

I was on the board of a charity event that I attended a few weeks ago and as usual, I struggled over what to wear. I have a few semi-formal dresses that I bought pre-baby. I never liked the way they fit before I had my daughter. Even now, they just don’t fit right.

I have this sparkly asymmetrical dress I bought 3 or 4 years ago at Macy’s. I’m 4’11” so any dress that goes below the knees make me look even shorter. This dress started at my knees and went down to my calf. I was tired of wearing long dresses and couldn’t find any short dresses that weren’t “hoochie” so this dress was a compromise between the two. I never felt that it looked good on me even though it was comfortable. This photo was taken on our Eastern Caribbean cruise this past January it’s why I’m tipping to one side – the boat was really rocking.

I finally decided it was time to put my sewing machine to good use and shorten the dress. The DAY OF the event, I put my dress on, stood on a step ladder in front of a bathroom mirror and pinned where I thought I should cut it. My initial intent was to just make it one length and hem the bottom.

I put my daughter down for a nap, quickly measured and pinned my cut lines on the dress (my chalk pencil was too hard for this dress) and started cutting away. It was quite easy – I probably chopped off nine inches. I tried the dress on and lo and behold – it’s too short! Duh, I forgot to add an extra 1-1/2 inch to the cut line to make room for the hem. That’s what I get for trying to rush through a project during Mya’s nap time. The material is not the type where you can make a rolled hem so that was out of the question. So I decided it needed something more.

Once my husband got home from his errands, I quickly headed over to JoAnn’s Fabric store for some fringe. I couldn’t find the right thickness of fringe but I found one with the right length. The fringe was a little light but it’s all I could get. $8 later (I bought a new ripper, too), I’m home pinning the fringe to my dress.

My daughter woke up from her nap and watched as I started sewing the fringe to the dress. It was a painless procedure and I only made a mistake in a one inch area where it didn’t attach to the dress. It was a quick fix and the whole sewing part probably took less than 10 minutes. I tried it on and was satisfied. It was okay for a 2 hour project – most of it was waiting time for my husband to get home and traveling/shopping time to and from the fabric store.

I got many compliments on the dress at the fundraiser and I felt good in it. I had quite a story to tell whenever someone asked me about it. Unfortunately, all photos taken of me during that evening had me from the waist up.

The final product…

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