In this tutorial, I am going to show you why you should never ever throw away your scrap fabric. I recently went to the store and bought a pretty dress with gorgeous puffy sleeves. I tried it on and it fit me perfectly! The only problem was that it was just a little too short. I rummaged through some scrap fabrics that I had from previous projects, looking for plain black fabric when I came across the perfect piece to add to my dress! I’ll never get rid of scrap fabric again! You never know when you’re going to need it!
Add Style and Length to a Dress
Tools and materials:
- Safety pin
- Sewing machine
Before I begin, I wanted to show you the dress that I bought. The dress was just too short for me and I wanted to also lower the neckline a little. As you can see it’s quite a busy fabric so I thought I would only be able to use a plain black fabric during the project.
After looking through my scrap fabric I came across this perfect piece that I had cut from a tunic.
Attach the extra fabric
I loved the pattern contrast and I knew that this was the perfect piece to add to my new dress. I clipped the fabric around the bottom of the dress, right sides together, and couldn’t wait to start sewing.
I tried on the dress with the clipped on piece of scrap fabric and I was so happy with the length. I also tucked in the neckline so that it would be a little more open.
I went over to my serger and serged the fabric onto the dress.
Change the neckline
I pinned the neckline as I had folded it inwards earlier and then sewed it to create a more open neck.
I was loving the new look of the dress but I decided it was a bit too box-like. I thought that the best thing to do would be to add an elastic under the bust. I used a ruler and some chalk to mark where I would later add the elastic.
I cut two pieces of elastic that I could add to each side of the dress. I marked the center of the dress and the center of the elastic piece so that I could line them up when sewing.
Next, I pinned the elastic pieces across the front and back of the dress, starting from the side seam. I made sure to line up the markings I had made on the dress and elastic as I pinned.
I then sewed the elastic pieces onto the dress using a zig-zag stitch.
Shorten the sleeves
I also wanted to shorten the sleeves of the dress. I cut off the ends of both sleeves making sure I cut off an equal amount of fabric on each sleeve.
I then went over to my serger and serged the ends of the sleeves.
I folded over the bottoms of my sleeves to create a casing for the elastic. I sewed the casing closed leaving a small gap for me to thread the elastic through.
I attached a safety pin to the end of an elastic and thread it through the small gap I had left in the casing. Once the elastic was all the way through, I sewed the ends together and sewed closed the gap I had left in the casing.
A few small changes and the dress is absolutely perfect! What fabric would you have added to this dress to make it longer? Let me know in the comments!
- Safety pin
- Sewing machine
The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.