Sometimes it is utterly amazing what a difference a Haircut can make…and I mean dresses too. I saw this 100% cotton stretch corduroy beauty at Goodwill for $6 and I knew that a simple hem would give it so much life. There were simple details like the front placed pockets, adorable peaked shoulders and button detail on the sleeves. Also- navy blue stretch cotton means that it would be durable, wearable and washable. As I looked through my “projects to be” on Thanksgiving morning- this one seemed like a perfect choice to make over for my turkey eating delight- especially considering that before it was timed and styled, it looked like a straight up pilgrim dress.
This is a simple DIY that anyone with a sewing machine can easily do. I’m including some tips to help handle common mistakes as well. So next time you are out thrifting- pull your dress up a bit and imagine how pretty she would be- just a little shorter.
I always pin a spot just past the tips of my fingers. It’s in alignment with that old schoolgirl rule about modesty and seems to be a good length to be flirty while not offending your grandma. The trick is to hang your hand as low as it will go and then press firmly down to hold your spot.
Keeping your hand firmly pressed down on your leg- place a pin just below your middle finger in order to mark the length you want.
Here is a tip- based on me hemming one too many dresses- too short. I measured 16 inches from the bottom of the dress to my pin. For this dress I added 1 extra inch (meaning I cut off 15 inches instead of 16) but ended up having to do a tiny hem to keep the dress classy. You might want to add between 1-3 inches from your pinned point of mar-cation. 3 extra inches gives you the option to do a fatter hem if you’d like- an remember- you can always take more length off- but it’s pretty awkward looking to add it back on (I’ve tried.) Once you have decided exactly how many inches you want to take off, measure up from the bottom of the dress and pin all around.
This is quite simple- you just cut all around, slightly under your pin markings- then pull the pins out.
This was actually a whole lot a fabric- enough for a bodice or purse or whatever I’d like- so I set it aside to use later.
I always like to this- simply to know what I’m working with. Do I hem generously- or nah? In this case the dress definitely didn’t need to loose any more length- so I knew to do the tiniest hem I could manage.
Simple enough… as stated, I did a tiny hem (this was easy as the fabric was cotton, study and thicker.) This may have been tougher to pull off with a Rayon or poly-blend type fabric.
Normally, I would have rolled the hem twice and done a straight stitch- but as I was concerning length and the fabric was dark and slightly texturized, I went with a zig zag here to keep the edges from fraying. It looked great.
The end result was basically the cutest ever. Dress: $6, Paired with a $2 Goodwill belt, some $5 target tights (I wish you could thrift tights buuut…) a Jacket I thrifted for $15 in San Fran when I was 19, some $17 Forever 21 heals (had to buy them last minute for a wedding! #dontjudge) a purse which was gifted, but originally thrifted from Goodwill and topped of with one of my late Grandmother’s broaches. $45 total FTW.
I think my favorite part was finding this hidden gem of a shooting space behind a back alley of a gun shop by the railroad tracks…
Love and Thrift,