Wednesday, March 10, 2010

shopping in my closet, part 2 (in which I convert a long denim dress into something I'd like to wear)

The finished product.

The original dress.

This is a dress that was a hand-me-down from my sister Libby. All my sisters live for the times that Libby cleans out her closet. There's always great stuff to be had, and a lot of it. I scored this one several years ago, and it needed an update.

The facing pinned on. I made the facing from the leftover material.

First thing to go was the long length. I cut it off at the knee length I wanted, then made a facing to hem it with from the material that was cut off. I could have allowed length for a turned hem and done it that way, but I prefer doing the facing to avoid having to gather the extra hem width on an A-line.

A facing is basically the same shape as the bottom of the dress, about 2 inches or so deep. It is sewn on with right sides facing and then flipped under and blind hemmed. After I did that, I also ran two lines of stitching around the hem to mimic the original look.

The new hem (bottom two) compared with the old one (top). The new one doesn't have the same weathered, crinkled character, but maybe it will after washing, drying and a really hot iron.


Next thing to go was the long sleeves. After trying it on and marking it, I cut them off shorter than I wanted because I planned to use the old skirt hem as a new cuff.


The sleeves were more roomy than I wanted, so I took some tucks in them before adding the new cuffs.


Here's the finished sleeve. The old skirt hem is now the new cuff, with a button stolen from the old cuff.

Maybe you have unwearable things lurking around that just need some love, a trim and a few stitches? It's a good feeling to remake something that is just taking up space in your closet into something you'll enjoy for a few seasons. As a matter of fact, I've already worn it. Now on to the next piece on the pile...

P.S. I cannot tell you how excited I am as I await the (hopefully imminent) arrival of my new serger! Yay! I've been dreaming of getting one for a while. Can't wait to get my greedy little fingers on that thing and rev it up.

43 comments:

  1. Oh, lucky new serger! I have one of these dresses lurking in my closet too. Great idea!

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  2. very clever! the sleeves look like they were always that way!

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  3. i would never have seen *cringe* THAT dress as OMG THAT DRESS! lol. it went from blergh to beaut!!!

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  4. I agree You turned a frumpy dress into a wicked cute one. Love the boots by the way. And I am super jealous about your new serger!

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  5. as i was reading the title of your post and then looking at your first shot, i thought that first pic was the picture of the before...and i couldn't figure out why you would want to revamp it! i really love how you did the sleeves with the pleats and cuffs. i might have thought to shorten it, but would never have thought of sleeves like that! fantastic dress, you sassy gal!

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  6. All I can say is Wow! I never would have thought to do that. It looks great! I'd have never know it was altered. Makes me think about shopping at a thrift store very differently now. I just wish I had the vision to see what things "could" be.

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  7. it's wonderful to realize, thanks to you, that clothes have a second life if we are creative enough - wonderful transformation!

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  8. Great revival, Larry. I'm with Melissa - you're making me want to go thrifting!

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  9. I love your style! You did a wonderful job!

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  10. well, thanks everybody! Now I am in a fever to find more stuff in my closet and remake it into something great. Mostly now this is down to skirts that need shortening. Pretty simple.

    Feather, sorry for the confusion! Back at ya, Sassykins.

    Robyn, I learned to thrift like that from YOU! Miss Changeroo!

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  11. Wow, really looks great. Love the pleating detail on the sleeves and the sleeve length. My mom has a serger that is at my disposal but I'm kind of afraid of it :). Now that I feel comfortable on my traditional machine maybe it's time to try out that one.

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  12. Oh my gosh - I love this!! You are too cute! I'm very impressed that you were able to see past the frumpy-ness of the original dress and turn it into something so modern and chic. Amazing job!!

    Lindsay

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  13. Great Job! I love it! The best thing that ever happend to a big comfy dress.

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  14. Oh, you are so clever!

    Maybe I will look at my own wardrobe again.

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  15. Fabulous remake! Love that you used the old hem as cuffs on the shortened sleeves, and made a facing for the new hem... brilliant!

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  16. Really, really, really good transformation. And excellent instructions. Love the new dress!

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  17. So cute! (of course) Can't wait to see what you do with your new serger!

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  18. This is fabulous! I'm planning on altering a denim skirt I have, and I think I'll try your facing hem - I've never done one before, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

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  19. That is so cute! You've totally inspired me, I love it with those boots.

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  20. wow, you guys, thanks thanks thanks for the love love love. mwah!
    And I'd love to see y'all's frump-dress transformations if you make them, so be sure to share links.

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  21. That is seriously fabulous! Maybe I need to revamp a few things in my closet. Love the new look!

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  22. That turned out great! I love the sleeves!

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  23. Love the new dress you made from the old! Enjoy your new serger!

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  24. Wow, you are just amazing!! Thanks for all the inspiration

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  25. just lovely. You have done a great job and i Love the how to pictures too. Lovely and clear. Well done!

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  26. Pure brilliance! I love the sleeves, especially. The tucks you took, the hem turned cuff, just fabulous!!!

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  27. I LOVE the result, Larissa!
    The sleeves are just perfect! As someonelse said, so perfect it looks like they were like that from the start.

    kisses from Brazil!

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  28. This was awesome! Wish I had a dress like that lurking in my closet. You have inspired me tho and I just took a pair of little girls knit pants with a hole in the knee and made it into a skirt! Very proud of myself! Now if I could just find something to do for me!
    Joy
    http://mommaskindacrafty.blogspot.com/2010/03/refashion-knit-pants-to-skirt.html

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  29. I'm sure you would have made the original dress look just fine, but the refashion was Incredible! I love how you reused the hem for the new sleeves. Awesome job!

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  30. LOVE the update! Very cute new dress!

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  31. ok, i can see myself changing skirts from goodwill. as a short person, skirts are never the right length. thanks for the inspiration!

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  32. This dress is so adorable. Love the revamp!

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  33. well, I seem to have hit on something that has a lot of appeal to y'all! Thanks so much for the mad compliments. I'd love to see all your revamps if you do any!

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  34. Super cute! I adore the sleeves!

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  35. Great refashion. Just found your blog and I'm enjoying it. I too live in Atlanta. I love the details you added. I have a few piles of clothes to make-over.

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  36. Wow, the way you remade that dress is amazing!

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  37. Love your blog. Sincerely inspired by your ability to remake nearly anything!

    God bless,

    Rachel
    Mountain Baby Blankets

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  38. I have this exact dress in my closet! I am so excited to give it a major update this week!

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  39. I just love refashioning! And this post is a true inspiration: easy and quick with amazing results!

    Petra
    minini.be

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