It’s happened to the best of us. We throw in a dress to our boyfriend’s laundry or, heaven for bid, you do it yourself and, for whatever reason, it gets dried. Consequently, the dress shrinks. One moment the hemline hit at an appropriate mid-thigh and now the dress barely covers your lady bits. The dress hangs sadly in the back of your closet where you periodically pull it out and hope that your legs have magically shrunk but, alas, they have not and the dress is still too short for public wearing.
So you have two options. You can purge your closet of the ill-fitting item or you can alter it to fit. Because I take my clothes pretty seriously and I bought this dress at full price (even if it was Target full price), I choose the latter. I now present to you my tutorial on how to make a too-short dress into a too-cute peplum top.
Waist-cinched or empire dress
Iron & ironing board
Iron & ironing board
Needle & thread
1. Put the dress on. Use the measuring tape to see how long you want your top to be. Remember to add about an inch to leave room to hem it later.
2. Take the dress off. Fold in the skirt part of the dress up inside at the chosen length.
3. Measuring the same length all the way around, use straight pins to attach the bottom of the skirt to the inside, creating a sort of pocket. I found it helpful to stick a pin through the measuring tape and the top as I went so that the tape didn’t slide away while I pinned.
4. After you’ve pinned the dress up all the way around, use your iron to press the fold at the edge of your top. You want to iron just enough to make the fabric lay flat.
5. Carefully put the dress back on (don’t poke yourself with the pins!). If you are satisfied with the length (keeping in mind that you’ll lose about one inch to the hem), the great job! You got it right the first time. If the length is too short/long/wonky, unpin and repeat steps 2-4.
6. Iron the fold of the top with a lot of force. The goal is to make a very even mark with which to cut along in a minute.
7. Using your scissors, carefully cut along the fold. I started by making a very small cut upwards and then sticking the scissors into the fold. Follow the line as closely as you can.
8. When you’ve completely cut the skirt from the rest of the top, remove your pins and set aside the extra fabric.
9. You’ll want to make sure that the new edge of your top isn’t able to fray, so fold the very edge once and then over again making a seam of about a half an inch (see above). Use straight pins to hold this seam all around the top. This part can be a little tricky, but make sure the pins go through each fold of fabric, otherwise it will unfold.
10. Thread your needle and begin stitching from the inside of an existing seam. Be sure to keep your stitches near what will be the top of your hem, otherwise you’ll have a funny little rim all the way around. Take the straight pins out as you go and keep your stitches as close together as possible.
11. When you have finished sewing all the way around the garment, you have created a hemline! Congrats!
12. Remove any remaining pins and trim any rouge threads.
13. If necessary, iron the top, focusing especially on the new hem. Put the top on and take it for a whirl!
|(…and the after!)|
So0o0o cute, right? I know, I’m so excited about it because I haven’t had any money to buy a peplum top of my own. I love that I can use items from my existing closet to wear trends that I may not be able to afford right now.
What other trends are you dying to try that might already be hiding in your closet? If you make a peplum of your own, send it to me! I want to see your fashionable masterpiece.