Altering an Unflattering Dress

When I originally bought this dress from Ann Taylor, I didn’t inspect the fit as well as I should have. Totally my fault, I fell in love with the stripes and the shirtdress style combined, so I was blinded to the issues that were quite apparent that made the dress rather unflattering.

While not too terrible, there were some serious issues. Circled in blue is the waist seam actually level. To do this, I had to pin up the back on the dress form otherwise it would sag in the back (highly improper for my body type unless it there is an empire in the front). This lead to a major problem: There was a HUGE excess of fabric in the back of the dress (circled in green). This is just not a good look on anyone. And then there was the hem. It was already an awkward length, hitting my below mid shin, but above the ankle. It just looked like I bought a Petites dress and decided that it worked for me. To compound the issue, the weight of that hem pulled down the dress, ruining the lovely drape it has.

So I decided it was time to fix this dress that I never wore (seriously, only twice in over a year) and make it something that was figure flattering and true to the lovely rayon fabric. I removed the excess fabric in the back, which naturally leveled the waistline. Now the back also lays flat, preventing me from looking like a puffed up balloon. Then I cut off a good 11″ from the hem. The lighten hem now allows the dress to flow and swish and be airy feeling. Something the longer version could never do.

And that’s the whole of it! A few quick fixes that took only about 2 hours total and now I have basically a brand new dress that I love! To think, I just let this sit unworn in my closet for over a year, gathering dust when I could have taken an evening to alter it to make it exactly what I wanted. Never underestimate the power of a sewing machine!

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