The Indecisive Dress

Chickie W.U.
by Chickie W.U.
3 Materials
4 Hours

Hello Readers. Decisions are hard right? We can all be indecisive at times. What should you do when you can't decide what to do with a refashion? I say refashion the item up a little at a time. Let's shorten this dress a little at a time to see what we like.

I started with this sleeveless black dress that was given to me as a hand-me-down.

The dress fit well and had a built in waist tie to give it shape but I needed to fix the length so I could wear it without tripping when I walked.

I decided to make sleeves from all that extra fabric at the bottom. I was going to hem the dress anyway so I could use that fabric to make sleeves. I used a shirt as a sleeve pattern and just tried to see if I could do it. I traced the sleeves in chalk and cut them out. I sewed the sleeved together at the seam under the arm and then attached the sleeves to the dress.

The extra polka dots at the shoulders added a little interest to the neckline area. I tucked the new sleeve into the armhole and stitched along the seam that was already there. That will make it look like the sleeves have always been there.

I liked how the sleeves turned out but you don't have to sew new sleeves when you shorten a dress. You can just start cutting and hemming. I needed to decide what length dress I wanted. This was the fun part of this refashion project.

I shortened the dress a little and I still felt a little frumpy. This wasn't a great length for me. That's OK, I can try again.

I went a little shorter in length. I liked this length much better. But what if you don't want a dress at all?

What about a tunic length top to wear with leggings? The dress had a waist tie that I tied in front for this look.

I kept going and made a shirt that was more office wear/business casual. I know a lot of people are going back to work in person now. That means work clothes. This top was great for work. I cut the waist tie off and I had a nice t-shirt style shirt to wear.

You can see each cut I made in the dress here. It was fun to try each length and I learned a lot about what I like as I was sewing and trying the dress on over and over. Each time I shortened the dress I turned the edge under twice and stitched it down with my sewing machine. I hope this helps you decide what length dress you might want for your next dress refashion.


Suggested materials:
  • Dress   (On hand)
  • Thread   (Sewing Supply Store)
  • Sewing Machine   (Sewing Supply Store)

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 1 comment
  • JanM JanM on Nov 21, 2021

    Cool idea. Another thought… if you keep the cut section large enough you might also use it to make a simple skirt. No reason not to double up on your creativity.