Since discovering the sizing up for extra hem length trick, my whole shopping experience has changed. I can’t tell you how many clothing pieces I’ve fallen in love with but had to pass on because they were just a few inches too short. But now I just size up two or three (or even four or five) sizes, take them home and tailor them to fit, and suddenly I have a killer dress that is long enough for me to be comfortable. Such was the case with this simple sweatshirt shift dress from Target. So much potential, but a few inches too short. I sized up to an XL, and with a few simple cuts and seams it has now taken its place among my favorite dresses.
I stupidly didn’t take a photo of me in the dress before altering it, so I ventured back into Target yesterday to see if I could find one and snap a picture in the dressing room. I couldn’t find one in the black and white stripe, but they had it in a pink stripe so I took a quick picture wearing it so you could see the huge transformation (and imagine it was in the right color).
- oversized shift dress (mine is this one from Target. I’m normally a size small, but I sized up to an XL).
- Matching thread
- Seam ripper/Scissors
Step 1 // Start with your oversized dress.
Step 2 // Cut off the sleeves along the seams, as shown. (You can seam rip instead, but I find that it takes much more time and cutting is just as effective).
Step 3 // If the shoulder widths are too wide, trim these now to your desired width.
Step 4 // Next, take your sleeves that you cut off and turn inside out. If they have buttons and tabs like mine, remove those with the seam ripper and flatten the sleeve completely out, as shown. Measure the width of your arm (to determine how slim you want to make the arms), and then sew a seam parallel to the original seam, slimming down the sleeve.
Step 5. Determine how much you want to slim down your dress and then pin and resize with a straight seam down both sides, as shown.
Step 6. Attach the sleeves with right sides together, sewing around the entire arm hole to attach, as shown.
Step 7. And you’re done!