I bought this dress at a market in Canberra years ago but have hardly worn it. I was drawn to the country style plaid and liked the fact that it was handmade. However, my perfectionistic nature couldn’t get past a few little issues with it. As such it’s rarely been worn and has been taking up valuable wardrobe space. If I don’t wear something much and am thinking of getting rid of it, I first like to consider whether there’s anything I can do to improve it and make it more wearable. Given that both the general silhouette and the fit of this dress were good, it was simple to make a few minor adjustments to make it nicer.
I sewed up part of the neck split by hand. Previously it was split very low so I needed to wear a top underneath it to prevent my underwear from showing. I really wanted to be able to wear it without a singlet underneath as the fabric is lightweight and lovely for hot summer days.
I couldn’t handle the raw edges of the binding cut at the neckline. It looked a bit messy and unfinished. So I sewed the binding together leaving just a short split underneath the binding.
Sewing the binding together at the front of the neck meant the dress would no longer be able to be pulled over my head. The previous buttons on the right shoulder were purely decorative so I turned the shoulder area into a functional opening. I did this by unpicking the buttons and part of the shoulder seam, adding interfacing, sewing two buttonholes to the top layer and sewing on some new (and nicer) buttons. Now I can undo the buttons to pull the dress over my head.
I also hand stitched the belt loops down to stop them flapping about.
The final adjustment was to re-do the hem. The previous hem was rather wide and looked a bit untidy so I simply unpicked it and re-stitched a narrow double rolled hem, which looks much neater.
Overall there were no major structural changes made to the dress I just fixed up some little details. I’m so much happier with it now and expect to wear it a lot more often!
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