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Dress Alterations – Increasing Length

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I have an issue with buying clothing.

I’m 5’11″…….so I often find things at the store that are really adorable, but are just a bit too short.  (And I know some of you who are shorter have the opposite problem.  Must be just as annoying!)
So altering them is my solution.
Here is a really quick and easy alteration to this fun little kelly green dress (that I found for like $12 at Ross.  How could I just walk past it?)…..that was just a tad too short for my liking.
Oh, and I added a bit of brown to the bust as well. 
It plunged a bit too low for me.

(*For the little panel: I folded a piece of brown material in half, ironed it flat, then zig-zagged around the 3 edges…..leaving the folded edge alone.  Then I just tacked that panel to the bust area, making little hand-stitching loops to attach the brown panel to the inside of the dress.  I was very careful to only sew through the inside layers of the dress, so that you couldn’t see the hand-stitching from the front.  I should have taken pictures of that……but I only tacked it in about 4 spots, to help keep the panel in place.)

I added the ruffle by cutting a strip of fabric that was twice the length as the dimension of the bottom opening of the dress. Then I hemmed the bottom by folding under a 1/4 inch, another 1/4 inch, then sewing in place.  Then I zig-zag stitched the top raw edge of the strip, then gathered it until if fit evenly around the bottom of the dress.  I pinned it in place then made to seams (in green below) to attach the ruffle to the dress.  (Need help with gathering?  Click here.)
I finished with a dress that was just the length I wanted.

So keep that in mind as you’re in the stores.  If an article of clothing calls your name and then actually fits great, except for this or that…….examine it for a minute and decide if it’s easily adjustable or not.  (But don’t make things more difficult or more expensive for yourself.)
Now you don’t have to pass up that great deal.
Get it.
Adjust it.
And love it.
(Oh, and that little mannequin form?  I got it at a clothing store in the mall that went out of business.  Keep your eye out for one.  Makes a great place to place your projects, while trying to adjust and alter them…)

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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