Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Strapless Dress Makeover


So here's yet another reason for you to go thrifting.. Not only are there really cute things that might be one-of-a-kind or not longer available for sale, but there are also those tops/dresses that you fall in love with but would not pay full price for because they are a.) too showy (too short, strapless, etc) b.) don't quite fit right.

For those two reasons, you can remake that said clothing to fit your need/style and not feel bad about cutting it up, using amateur sewing skills on it because you only paid $3 for it.

This top (dress) spoke to me. Blue and white is reallllly speaking to me this summer.

I bought it and it went from a strapless (wayy too short dress) to a cute criss-cross strap top in about 30 minutes. And I wore it that same day to get ice cream and take a walk in the park with the family! It was the perfect summer top! I call that a success.

Maybe you have something similar in your closet you'd like to make over?
Here's how I did it:

Start with a strapless dress or top (will need to take off some of the length to use as straps)

My dress had straps to tie around the waist that i just cut off but if yours doesn't: use this simple tutorial for how to make straps. (It's from my very first sewing tutorial! Getting all emotional looking at it!) And then how to turn them inside out.. it's a tough one! :) Here's a simple video.

After you have your straps, measure (try on your top) to see where the appropriate place is to put the straps.  Pin to keep in place. You should also iron your fabric straps so they would be straight. This is really good idea for the next step- especially if you are going to be criss-crossing them..

Since most strapless dresses have some sort of built-in support system, this guarantees you have two layers on the top of your dress/shirt. I used a "roll" method for sewing in the straps so that you don't see the stitch from the front.
Hold the place you want to pin the strap, roll the underneath fabric layer forward and pin the strap ONLY to the back layer, so that it is not snagging the front part of your top. Be careful sewing this as well. This is hard to explain but pictures might explain it better:

Next, measure where you want your straps to go in the back. I decided to change it up a bit and criss-cross them in the back. I thought it added a little more playfulness to the top. But of course you can just go straight back!

The simplest way to get the straps exactly where you want it with the correct tautness and evenly spaced, is to pin them on while trying on the top. A second pair of hands would be so helpful.. My husband was the one that pinned the straps to their designated place and used his carpenter eyes to space them evenly. :)
(The back of my dress was shirred, so it was even more important to get them spaced correctly)

Sew the straps on to the back of your top, inside out. You can use the same roll method if your back is lined as well. Since mine wasn't, I just sewed it on in one straight line.

Cut off the bottom (if you haven't already for straps.) I really love the length it ended up being. I made it equal parts from the top section to the bottom section. This made the top more girly, I think!

Hem the bottom. If you have a lined top, you will need to cut the underneath layer shorter so it doesn't stick out past the top layer.

And that's it! You can finally wear that strapless dress/top you had since your high school days! :) But I think in a grown up and more modern way.

I can't believe it is already the end of August! Soak in those last summer night, friends! Fall will be here before you know it!

Thank you for reading!


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