Monday, April 1, 2013

Taking in a Dress {Easter Edition}


The Easter Dress.

How does one go about choosing the Easter dress?

If you're like me, you decide that this year you'll just find something in your closet.. then the day before Easter you find a $15 dress at Wal-Mart that's 3 sizes too big but you really like the fabric and think you can figure something out to make it into a dress you love and you don't worry too much about messing it up because if you do you only spent $15 and could use the fabric for something else but you really don't like to alter brand new things but it really couldn't be too hard or take too long to change it a little bit even though it does have a zipper on one of the sides that you would need to take in and you've only installed a zipper one time and it was a long time ago and it wasn't an invisible zipper like this one but surely you can do it this time right?

(This is how my brain works.  Scrambled, much?  Tell me about it.  I have to use this brain 24/7... )

1. One Shoulder Lace Cocktail Dress by Adrianna Papell 2. Shimmer Lace Bodycon Dress by Free People
3. Zarita Lace V-Back Dress by Dianne von Furstenburg
I love the fit of these dresses and was hoping to turn mine into something similar.

1. Dress before the chopping block.

2. Removed the sleeves.  (Just cut them clean off.  No seam ripping here.)

3.  Removed zipper.  (I ended up not really needing to do this since I changed my plan a teensy bit, but now a have a perfectly useful invisible zipper for another project!)

4. Layed a dress with a similar fit on top of the lace dress (while it was inside out).  Since the dress on top has a elastic waistband, I stretched the elastic until taut and marked it with a pin. (Or you could use a fabric pen.)  The shape of the dress ended up being straight up and straight down from the waist line. Pretty easy!  After marking up and down each side with pins, I sewed using a long straight stitch to avoid too much puckering of the fabric and cut off the excess fabric.  Make sure you try the dress on before you cut the excess off!!  You can always unpick the stitching and do it again!

(not pictured) I ended up having to take the shoulders in a tiny bit since the neckline and arm holes were a little low.  I just tried the dress on while it was still inside out, pinched the shoulders on the seam until I was happy with the neckline and arm holes, and measured (mentally) how much to take in (almost an inch).  I used a long straight stitch again to take it in.

5.  Reattached the sleeves using a wide zig zag stitch.

6.  Using 1/4 in. braided elastic, I measured and cut a piece that is the size of my waist.  After sewing the elastic into a continuous circle, I used a wide and long zig zag stitch and stitched right on top of the elastic to attach it to the waist line of the dress.  Remember to stretch/pull the elastic as you sew... so that when you sew on top of the elastic, it's tight.  You want the fabric to cinch to the size of your elastic (and waist).

The length was great so I did even mess with the hem! Although I did forget to mention that the dress was two pieces: the lace overlay and a stretchy slip.  I literally just sewed straight up each side of the slip so it was the same size as the dress.

The Lady:  Dress - Wal-Mart altered by me, shoes - target, statement necklace: handmade (using Rox's tutorial HERE)
The Gentleman:  shirt - Roundtree & Yorke, pants - Vineyard Vines via Goodwill, tie - thrifted, belt - Columbia, shoes - ??
The Little Guy:  shirt - Wal-Mart, shorts - Wal-Mart (altered by me), bow tie - gift from Rox (BUY HERE), shoes - Sperry's via Rack Room
The Baby Girl:  smocked dress - gift, hair bow - handmade, sandals - Wal-Mart

Was the last minute, late night sewing worth it?

I WAS tired.. I could have decided to do this A LOT earlier... I didn't NEED a dress....

But, I love how it turned out, I will definitely wear it again, and I'm glad I didn't waste $15!

So, I guess it was semi-worth it! :)

**We had an amazing Easter spent with some family, eating 'til our bellies were bulging, hunted for eggs, ate candy, let the guys & mom win at trivia because we JUST. THAT. AWESOME., were entertained by our ever-growing kiddos, all to celebrate our Love that lives again! Hope y'all had a great one, too!**


  1. My brain works the same way!!! I can't even tell you how many things i have bought w/ the intention of making them....smaller.

    1. SO glad I'm not the only one with a brain like mine! :)

  2. Jessie Routh, you are amazing. And inspiring. And so gifted. I dont remember seeing you on Easter (sad!) but this dress and family picture is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!