04 June 2012

a simple sewing project.

today i want to present a simple sewing project for anyone who may own a sewing machine that they haven't really used before or who are looking for easy projects to ease themselves into sewing.  this is exactly the type of tutorial i would have loved to have found when i first started sewing not even a year ago.  sure, it's something that you probably could have thought of on your own to do, but it's always nice to get an idea for something and to see pictures that can help you piece the steps together.

one of the sewing goals i have for myself is to do more simple alterations & refashions to change the look of something i've gotten bored with in my closet or to turn something i haven't worn at all into something i will, so i hope this tutorial might inspire you to do the same.

one of the easiest refashions is turning a dress or tunic into a blouse.  i found this green printed banana republic dress at the goodwill recently.  the dress itself is pretty boxy but it's a great print and might look cute as a dress when belted to define the waistline.  the only problem?  it's so short!  yikes.  for $3.50, i knew i could easily turn something that i would ordinarily pass up into something that would become a great piece in my wardrobe.

if you're looking to tackle this project, dresses without a side or back zipper will be easiest as these garments are essentially just like a really long blouse already, right?  zippers are pretty easy to remove though, and you would just want to resew the seam and then move forward with the next step, which is to determine the length you'd like your blouse to be.  i measured mine while wearing a pair of low rise jeans so it would be the perfect length to wear untucked with jeans on a weekend or tucked into a skirt or slacks to work. 

after i had my new length pinned, i turned the dress inside out.  i cut off the excess fabric on the bottom, making sure to leave enough for a hem.  it's always a little nerve wracking when you start cutting into fabric, but i left myself with plenty of fabric just to be sure it ended up being an appropriate length.

next i turned the fabric over about 3/4" (i just eyeball it) and then turned the fabric over again to have about a 1.5" hem, using a seam gauge to measure and check as i ironed along to keep the width of the hem the same all the way around. pin as you go!

lastly, find a coordinating color of thread and sew the new hem!  i told you this was an easy!  if for some reason i had messed up {and i did, my sewing got a little wobbly in the front}, no one would even know as this is a blouse i will probably primarily wear to work tucked into a skirt or slacks.  but by removing a chunk of fabric on the bottom it'll be much easier to tuck in than it would have been if i kept it at its original length.

have you tried a refashion like this?  do you have any tips that might make it even easier?  let me know if you found this at all helpful or interesting and i will try to post more simple sewing posts in the future.  i'll be sure to wear this new blouse sometime this week too so you can see how it turned out!

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