Whenever I’m flipping through the racks at Goodwill I always keep an eye out for fabric that jumps out at me. I thought the aqua and white print on this dress was so cute. There was just one problem……..the dress needed a wee bit of altering.
I liked the overall idea of the dress but, honestly, I just don’t seem to wear my dresses much. So I decided to turn it into a top. I didn’t like where the waistline was hitting me so I thought that was a good place to take out some length.
Knowing my bust would be the most difficult part to fit, I started work on the top of the shirt. I put it on over a tank top and pinned the shirt to the tank in the center and at the side seams to keep it in place, then gathered the fabric on one side of the bust and pinned it.
I carefully took the top off and pinned either side of where the gathers began, then pulled the pin holding the gathers out so the top would lay flat.
I measured the distance between the pins and the distance from the button stance so I could replicate it on the other side and make even bust gathers. I quickly stitched them down to keep them in place while I made some other adjustments.
The original sleeves on the dress gaped open too much and there was still a lot of bulk on the side of the shirt. Once I had the bust darts figured out I put the top back on to figure out how to take in the sleeves.
I omitted the middle elastic section I had cut out of the shirt and sewed the top portion to the bottom (I had to take in the bottom a little to account for the fabric I took out of the top).
The refashion could have been done at this point, I guess, but I wasn’t satisfied with the fit yet. The sleeves looked funny with my arms down so I took them in along the dotted line I drew in the picture above to produce the sleeve in the photo below:
I also felt like the waist seam was sagging at the side seams and on my back, so I needed to bring that up a bit. I wanted it to be just a wee bit more fitted around the waist too.
The waist seam adjustment left me with some extra fabric that I was able to use to form an elastic casing.
I reused the elastic from the original top and cut it to fit tightly across the back of my new shirt. It did the trick!
I think this will be a great easy-to-wear and easy-to-care-for summer top!
Anyhoo, I’ve got a trip to New York to pack for so for now I’ll just leave you with this series of goofy poses:
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