I had this perfectly lovely dress I found on sale at Zara over a year ago. Thing is, I only wore it once. Why? you may ask. Well, I can't put my finger on it but you know when you really like an article of clothing, but it doesn't look or feel quite right when you wear it? Well that's what this was.
But I love the colour and the detail on the collar and the hem. So I decided to shorten it and make it into a shirt.
Here's how I did it (it's really similar to the technique I used here to shorten a pair of jeans).
First, I started by trying it on and eyeballed how long/short I wanted the shirt to be. I placed a couple of pins to mark it.
Once I did that, I placed the dress flat on the ground and measured from the shoulder down to where my pins were. I noted the length, then I measured that length from both shoulder down, on the front and the back, and placed four pins in total to mark where the shirt would end, and made sure that it was even all the way around.
Then, because I wanted to preserve the detailed hem, I used the fold-over technique. I divided the length of fabric that would be shortened by two and folded the fabric over by that amount (in my case 10 inches divided by 2 = 5 inches). I measured this all the way around and pinned the fabric in place.
Next, I started sewing what I had pinned in place.
The key to this step was to sew as close to the original hem as possible:
Once I'd sewn it all the way around, I tried it on to make sure it looked ok. At this point, if something looks wonky, you can still undo the stitches and start over.
It looked good when I tried it on, so I cut off the excess fabric.
And there you have it. Let's hope I wear it now that it's a shirt. :)