Refashion - Dress Downsize

9:21 AM

This is my dress downsize!

This dress went from a size 26/28 down to a size 16 (or so).

I started trying my hand at refashioning just a few months ago.  If someone had told me at that time that I'd be able to downsize a dress (and still have it look like) I would have thought they were CRAZY!

Here's how I did it:

Original size tag
The original size tag was cut out in the process of making this dress.  Here it is!

Before I started sewing
Uncut dress
I started this project by laying the dress out on my sewing room floor.

Cut taken apart at the seams
I divided the dress into its major sections.  That is: arms, bodice (top) and skirt.

Downsizing the bodice
I turned this dress pieces inside out and section by section worked on each one.  

For the bodice, took in the sides, shortened the strap that went over the shoulder.  

My edits to this dress
The skirt is made up of several large panels of fabric.  I removed one of the panels and stitched the skirt back together.

The original design of this dress had the waist line falling at my natural waist.  I shortened the bodice a bit so that it becomes an empire waist dress.  That means that the waist line is just below my breasts instead of at my waist.  (That's a more flattering style on my body).

New Dress Happy Dance!
Once the top and skirt were smaller, I simply sewed them back together!

Completed dress!

First - this was an easy project!  BUT, I've also been sewing since I was 6 (my grandmother was a professional seamstress).  There are a BUNCH of things I wish I'd known before I started this project.

1.  Cut thoughtfully!  When cutting the dress apart, be careful to cut along the seam line.  Don't just lay the dress on the floor and cut across.  (I messed up the waist by simply cutting across. 

2.  Use a dress form if you have one!

3.  If you can, sew in your underwear!  I took this dress on and off a thousand times trying to get the fit right.  In the end I was just sitting around the sewing room in my underwear.

4.  BASTE FIRST!  Or sew using the largest stitch length on your machine  You may have to put stitches in and take them out more than once.  I attached this skirt 2-3 times before I had it just right.

Understand that you might ruin a dress trying to remake it.  The success  stories end up on blogs.  The mess ups are in a sad pile in my sewing room and you never hear about them.

SAVE YOUR MISTAKES!  You know how in cryogenics they freeze the body so that when/if a cure for whatever killed come along you can be brought back?  Ok, so even if you didn't know that - that's what they do.  Anyway - save your mistakes!  Someday you may have enough experience to fix what you messed up!  Alternatively, your mess ups may help you with another project later on. 

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  1. I like what you did with this dress. Getting rid of the sleeves was just what it needed. It looks great on you now, well done!