Need a little black dress but everyone’s already seen the only ones you own? That’s okay, you can fool ’em by changing one of your straight dresses into a full dress that will look completely different when it’s finished. It’s easy to change most any straight dress into a dress that’s full and lacy just by cutting several triangles! If you can cut triangles, and you can sew a straight line, you won’t have any problem creating the new outfit.
It will be nearly impossible to find a fabric that exactly matches the material of your dress, so choose a coordinating fabric, or just use lace. Try to choose materials suitable for the dress you’ve chosen. For example, if the dress is made from heavy material really light weight lace will give you some trouble while you sew it. Lightweight material on the dress will not work really well with heavy weight fabrics as the triangles.
You’ll make several cuts in the straight dress, straight up from the hem, as far up as you want to go. It’s up to you how high you want to cut the slits. Cutting short slits, then inserting the new triangles, will give you a completely different look than if you cut long slits. Keep in mind, if you’re using lace as the new inserts, that you’ll be able to see through it.
To give a uniformed look to the new design it’s necessary to cut the same amount of slits on one side as the other. In addition, you’ll cut the side seams, to add a triangular insert in those areas as well. Start by removing the hem from the dress. Take the stitches out, press open, then proceed with the next step.
Decide how long to cut the slits and cut each slit to exactly that length. Cut straight up from the hem, and cut two slits in the front, two in the back, and one on each side. Since the sides have seams it’s necessary to remove the stitches from the seams. Remove them so that they create a slit as long as the other slits. To make the other slits equally spaced, measure from side seam to side seam, then divide by three. Take that figure and measure from the side seam to the front or back of the dress, and mark that place. Measure another third of the front or back, then make a mark, to show the next place for a slit.
How wide you cut the triangles is up to you. Really wide triangles will make the dress really full. More narrow triangles will give you a little more fullness than the original straight dress. Spread one slit apart, measure the open area, then use that as a pattern for every triangle. Cut the six triangles and pin them into the six slits.
Stitch the triangles into the slits. If you’re a beginner at sewing you might have an easier time if you stitch from the point of the triangle, down to the hem. Go back to the point of the triangle and stitch down the other side. Those more experienced can stitch straight up then straight down to insert the triangles. After they’re all in place sew the hem. After hemming the dress it’s finished. Make the dress look even fuller by making three slits on the front, three on the back, then one at each side seam.
Create a different, fuller look for a straight dress by cutting off some of the length of the dress. Cut a piece of fabric or lace equal to – or longer – than the cut off piece. Cut the length of the piece at least twice as long as the original piece – three times longer if you want it to be really full. Hem one long side of the material. Gather the other side by using long stitches to sew across the material. Pull the threads so the fabric will gather along that side. Pin the new fabric piece to the hem area of the dress. Stitch the new piece around the dress and you’ll instantly change the look of it.
It can cost a lot of money to go out and buy a new dress for a special occasion. If you change the look of a dress you already own it’ll look like a new dress to everyone who sees it. Add to the new look by attaching embellishments to the top of the dress. Change the buttons, stitch on an applique or just use gold or silver fabric paint to add some sparkle. You’ll love how easy it is to create a new dress when you simply don’t have the money to buy one. Of course, you don’t have to be broke to want to change one of your dresses. It’s fun and easy so why not give it a try?