Thursday, February 25, 2010

Design on a Dime: Fashion Edition (Subtitle: Why I am not a fashion or photography blogger!)

I actually did this great redo on this dress a while back. But the photos were so embarrassing that I didn't know if I should post about it. And then I thought, "People read my blog for some inexpensive and crafty ideas and probably won't care how un-photogenic I am or what a terrible photographer my 4 year old is." Really, I am quoting what I thought word-for-word. So, here is my redo for a $7 skirt- tacky photos and all.

When you are shopping at thrift shops or clearance racks or raking through hand-me-downs, keep in mind that most dresses can easily be made into a skirt by cutting them and sewing an elastic where you want the waist to be.

I got this dress for $4 at Target a few months back: (I know, I look like I am doing some sort of self breast exam but, hey, this is the best of the shots Annika took!) I really liked the dress and even wore it a couple of times. Unfortunately, I am 5'9" and dresses never fit me correctly. (Hey, I here your snide comments- oh poor, Michele, 5'9" and can't find clothes to fit... keep it to yourself!) If it's an empire waist- the waist falls directly across my boobs. If it's a regular waist- it falls 2-3" above my natural waist and it drives me insane while I am constantly trying to pull it down to where it should fall. Which leads me to where I turn it into a skirt that I can where any way I want to. It is so easy to simply cut straight along the waist line and then add an elastic and you have a skirt. I will not even try to give you a tutorial on sewing in elastics, as you all know I am a hack. But there is a great tutorial from Angry Chicken that uses a very simple product called Fold Over Elastic. It truly takes 5 minutes and you can go from an ill-fitted dress to a skirt that I will use as a go to all summer long:
(Yes, I know, awkward pose, wrinkled skirt. See, THIS is why I don't do fashion posts!)

This elastic waist method also works fantastic with the little girl clothes as well. You can extend a wardrobe for years. Now that Acadia is the end of the line for the hand-me-downs, I am very excited to start dismantling her clothes and repurposing. For instance, you can take any childs dress, cut straight across under the arms and then sew the elastic to create a waist for a newly repurposed skirt. This would take a dress for an 18 month old and create a skirt that will last until they are 2-3 years old.

Another easy redo for your wardrobe is combining 2 shirts when 1 is to short. See the tank in the photo above? Wait, here's a slightly better photo:
I have had it for about 10 years and I really love the pretty lace overlay. Unfortunately, after baby #3, when I decided to get rid of all my clothes that had for before babies 1, 2 and 3- it was deemed too short. Well, all I had to do was take another tank that was also too short, cut a couple of inches from the bottom of that one and sew it inside the bottom of the lace one. Now, it covers my stomach appropriately and I got a few more years out of it. This can be done with t-shirts as well if you shrink them. Just cut the bottom off another to sew inside the first and you get that layered look without the bulk of multiple shirts. Great way to repurpose, recycle, upcycle and save money too.


I have a goal now. I want to do a post with a good Design on a Dime fashion tip... AND include reasonable photos. I do not know what it is about me being in a photo that ruins it, but it happens every time. I know I am a good photographer and I have great equipment. See this:
and this:

I mean, I can capture great photos. And, now, I am determined to get in one myself without looking like a total goob. Although the goob photos are probably way more interesting for the blog reader, right?

1 comment:

  1. I'm only 5'7" and I have that same problem too! I swear that the entire fashion industry thinks that all women are 5'2"

    Great ideas!