- Skirt – chopped by me from thirfted dress
- Blouse – Gap
- Shoes – Kenneth Cole Reaction
- Skirt – swapped dress chopped by me
- Tank – J Crew
- Belt – Old Navy
- Necklace – gift from A2
- Shoes – Banana Republic
I hope you don’t mind, but I decided to squeeze in one more post before my Top Ten/Goodbye post. I wanted to fit this in because it answered some of the questions you all asked and because I’m kind of proud of my very minimal (but improving) DIY clothing skills (DIY house skills are another story).
As many of you noticed, I have chopped many a dresses into skirts. I’ve also worn a few dresses as skirts by layering a top over them. So, how do I decided to chop something vs. leave it as a dress but layer over it? Well I won’t chop it if I can see myself wearing it as a dress, even if that means always with a cardigan over it. If the proportions of the garment as a dress work for me, I leave it as a dress. Most of the dresses I have chopped into skirts had proportions that just didn’t work right for me. In the case of my full blue skirt and my white and black floral skirt, as dresses they had empire waists and were a little too short on me. Chopping off the tops allowed me to lower the waist line and the hemline with minimal effort. In the case of my powder-blue midi skirt, it was an over-all unflattering fit with a smocked top and a skinny halter top, so I just chopped the very top off and use the smocking as anew fold-over waist band. For the skirt above, I thrifted the dress very cheaply and while I thought it would work as a dress, I didn’t love the silhouette one I wore it out. So, I chopped the top off and left the elastic waist which now sits a bit lower (at my natural waist).
With each of these, I simply took out a pair of scissors and chopped just above the original waist line. The seem or elastic has then served as my we waist line, which sits where I want it to. I left the tops unsewn – in part because I knew I would always wear a belt with the and in part because I had no idea how to even start finishing off the edges.I think this solution is a perfect one, and I’ll likely keep chopping old dresses or newly thrifted ones to make them work better in my wardrobe.
However, simply chopping and belting won’t work for every garment, so it was time to give the sewing machine a whirl!
I received sewing machine for Christmas this past year (very much inspired by E. and all the other crafty blogers out there). E. generously gave me a tutorial and even started me on my own tank-dress with pockets. But then life got busy and we haven’t finished our lessons or my tank-dress. So, I decided I needed to just experimiment. With the help of A2 I’ve started playing around and even managed to make baby e. (E.’s son) and little gift for his birthday. It was time to try the oh so intimidating clothing sew! I grabbed a black sun dress from a clothing swap even though it was about 3 sizes too big for me not a style I could see myself wearing – it had potential. This free item that I definitely wasn’t wearing as is, seemed like the perfect candidate for an experiment. I decided to turn it into a full black skirt. I started by chopping off the top, but that left me with a skirt that was very a-line, didn’t fit my waist, and was several inches too long. It had to be sewn! So, I pulled out my limited sewing supplies (notice I used a permenent marker instead of a fabric pen/chalk) and measured an existing full skirt to figure out my length. Since the bottom had a nice hem on it and the top needed to be changed in some way anyway, I took the length off by chopping more from the top. This of course left me with an even bigger waist.
But, this also meant I could make the skirt fuller. So, I turned to E.’s tank-dress tutorial again and loosely followed her directions for gathering the skir and attaching a tank to it. Since I didn’t want this to be a a tank dress, I used an old tank that I don’t wear and choped it’s bottom off. I used the bottom hem of the tank as the top of my new stretchy waistband
Not the best sewing job, but good practice. And, let’s be honest, I’m still always going to wear a belt with it!
I hope this has encouraged you to take a few risks and pull out you scissors one in awhile when that dress just isn’t working anymore!