thrift store dress mods

A sewing post today…

I got a couple of new-to-me dresses yesterday, $10 each, thanks to donating some stuff to Value Village (you get a $3 off a $10+ purchase coupon for each donation)

One I bought for its delightful print cotton fabric, but it doesn’t fit. The top of the dress is completely inadequate. It was cut for a flat chested short shouldered girl. I am the latter but not the former. So I’m going to get a dark gray tank top and attach it to the skirt, cutting the bodice off. I tried it out with a shirt I have – I would happily use this top, but it is almost completely worn out (it’s at least 12 years old!) so that won’t work. But I played around with it and I think I have found the most flattering position for the waist. Now I just need to find a new tank for the bodice. By the way, this dress has never been worn!

The other dress is a soft knit sundress in a fairly drab color. Ann Taylor Loft. Yep, brand name, and it also looks like it was never worn. (There was a place where the seam was incomplete at the bodice – but I never even spotted the problem until I started in on another modification and it was easily fixed with a few stitches.)

They thoughtfully used a double thickness of fabric in the bodice, but didn’t bother to line the skirt. They should have! So I took care of it. I grabbed one of hubby’s very worn undershirts, cut the sleeves off and cut the top off below the neck. Then I attached it with some simple hand stitches (overcast so it will stretch with the shirred waist) to the inside of the dress. I left the bottom hem of the tshirt as the bottom hem of the lining. It was just the right length. I could snip it shorter to give myself some extra legroom but I don’t think I will need to. I hand-stitched the slits in the sides where the sleeves had been.

You might notice that I made one more mod while I had the sewing basket out. I added a little triangle of fabric to the cross-front area to preserve my modesty. I like these cross front styles, but I usually have to add a cami of some sort because I am a human being who moves and bends and carries things and stuff. I don’t want to show off my bra, so I had considered making some kind of “boob apron” As Seen On TV (yeah, they sell a thing that you can clip onto your bra straps to create the look of a camisole!) but I decided that this plan might work better. I used one of the sleeves from the same undershirt I cut up, positioned and pinned it, cut away the excess and carefully sewed it to the lining of the bodice. And then again and again:

Yes, I did 3 dresses! I liked the way it looked on the new dress so I grabbed my blue Target dress and my favorite thrifted sundress and fixed those too. I think I’m going to be really happy with this simple change. It always felt strange to be adding an undershirt layer to a simple loose sundress on a hot day. And with all the bending and stretching I do in my job I needed to do something!

Hopefully I can find an inexpensive tank in the right shade of grey to fix my print dress. I’ll start the search tomorrow. Even if I have to pay $10 for it, the dress is still a pretty good price. I’ve gotten so used to paying $5-$15 for dresses, I can’t quite imagine paying $60-80 for a new dress. I do need at least 1 more wintery dress though… we’ll see what I can find.


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5 Responses to thrift store dress mods

  1. Lynn Blackford says:

    With the left-over top you may be able to cut some lengths on the cross and sew them around the neck of a new t-shirt. Another idea – perhaps you could make a pocket or one of your roses from the print fabric to tie-in the skirt and top. Not necessary, just a thought. Henry C-R.

  2. good ideas! it would be good to add a little of the pale blue to the top part somehow. we will have to see…

  3. Cute dresses! What great finds :-D

  4. space says:

    Super cute & so very crafty!

  5. Pingback: May is over! Time for another Project 333 review | adventures in the here now

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