Friday, January 17, 2014

{DIY} Reconstructing a Dress to a Simple Skirt

       I wore this dress once and it wasn't long before it shrunk in the first wash.  The dress was already pushing inappropriate in its' length, that first wash made it completely unwearable.  I really loved the pattern, so I was completely bummed out when I knew I couldn't wear it again.  However, I still left it in my closet, in hopes that it might lengthen over time... I don't know... I guess I felt I couldn't part with it yet, and for a good reason.  I always like to exhaust any options that might help fix a clothing problem, and this dress is the perfect example to prove that some pieces in your closet that just don't work can be revamped or rehabilitated.

Measuring tape
Pins, needle, and thread
Yard of 3/4" elastic (The only thing needed to purchase)

First, I cut the top off the dress by cutting 4 inches above the elastic waistline.  The 4 inches allowed me more room to work with, and to lengthen the skirt slightly, since the overall problem was length.
I then took the elastic out by cutting a small hole where the elastic runs on the inside of the dress.  I also realized, that I could have done this step first and made it slightly easier to cut the dress perfectly straight.  (The elastic creates the bunching in the fabric)  Either way works.
Then I folded over the fabric where I cut about half an inch and ironed.  You can also baste this if needed, but it's not vital since the ironing keeps it folded.
I folded inward again meeting the new edge with the previous elastic line, pinned and basted.
Then I folded the band over one last time, (Outward) with the elastic inside, and pinned.  (To get the right length of elastic, all you have to do is wrap the elastic around your waist and tighten slightly to whatever is comfortable.)
I then started sewing the elastic inside the band by hand.  Use a matching thread, or a thread that matches as much as possible.  (Saving money, I used a thread from a previous project)
Once you sew almost all the way around to the other end of the elastic, you can take the two ends of elastic and begin sewing them together.  The prettiness of the stitch doesn't matter, as long as it is secure, that is the most important part.
This part is going to get a little trickier.  To finish sewing the band over the elastic, you have to start scrunching the fabric already sewn around the elastic so that part yet to be sewn is flat and straight.  There will be some bunching.
Finish sewing until fully enclosed.

This entire revamp totaled less than $3.00.  Instead of having to donate a dress, I gained a new skirt.

Is there anything in your closet that doesn't quite fit, but you still haven't gotten rid of?
I challenge you to try to revamp it to something wearable.  Let me know if you try it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Embracing Your Perfectly Imperfect Self

          This is a big one for me.  It's not just about confidence, but about loving everything about your beautiful self.  Every. Single. Thing.  God made us all perfect.  It reminds me of a quote or maybe a song lyric I heard, I can't remember exactly where I heard it but it went along the lines of this - "We are all works of art made with God's paintbrush."  When I heard this it resonated with me so deeply because there have been plenty of times when I wished something about me was different.  Something happens, someone says something mean and hurtful, unknowing how it effects us, and we feel like there's something wrong with us.  Suddenly we try to fit in and be something we're not, then all of a sudden we forget who we are.  Who we are is something amazing.  We were made by God's hands.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to touch a thing.
          This goes deeper than just physical appearance, beauty isn't just skin deep, it's how we hold ourselves.  How patient we are with others, the words we say, the things we do.  How confident we are being our crazy selves.  That silly donkey laugh that comes out sometimes?  Yup, embrace it.  We have this one life, and the best way to live it is to be wholly and entirely ourselves, without apologizing.