Here is the before:
This is what you get when I take before pics at 4am.
I knew I wanted to raise the waistline, remove the sleeves and bring it up to around knee length. I hoped to end up with a fun, comfy summer dress perfect for 4th of July parties or barbecues. When I'm back at Disney, I also think it would be perfect for hanging out in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom, or the campfire at Fort Wilderness!
The first thing I did was use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves. I had originally thought I could just raise the waistline by sewing a simple seam inside the top, but I could NOT manage to make that work, so I ended up totally separating the top from the skirt (via seam ripper, again!) and then resewing them. I ended up having to sew that part twice, because the white part was still a little longer than I wanted after the first try.
Next, I shortened the skirt to above the knees. How do you figure out what length to go with a skirt? I wish there was a magical formula, but the best thing I've found is to just stand in front of a mirror, and experiment with pulling it up to different lengths to see what flatters your body the most. Once you're pretty sure you like a length, you can pin it in place to be sure before cutting. I chose to make the back of the skirt about an inch longer than the front, and I like how it turned out!
I had to take the dress in about an inch on each side. Super easy- I just sewed up along the sides, following the oringal seam, and then flaring it out a little at the bottom so that I could keep the fullness at the bottom of the skirt.
I didn't originally plan to do anything with the neckline, but when I tried the dress on over the tank top I had on to check some alterations I had pinned, I noticed how much higher the neckline was than the neck of the top I had on. For me, a V-shaped neck is way easier to sew than trying to get a round neck even, so I snipped a straignt line down the front center of the top, and then just folded it back and stitched it in place. Easy peasy!
My final step was to change up the sleeves. Removing the actual sleeves left me with way too wide shoulder straps, so I did some experimenting with width, and finally settled on one that worked for me.
Ready for the finished product?
90% of all photos taken at my house end up with a cat in them. This is a fact. Say hi to Hathaway!
I really like the finished product! It's super light and airy, and effortless to throw on. What do you guys think?