Thursday, September 13, 2007

When bad dresses become good

I first saw this dress while I was browsing the clearance section of Target's Web site, and I thought it was really cute. After putting it in my cart to think about it and be sure I didn't forget about it, I went back and read the description and comments about it.

The comments for it on the Web site claimed it was unflattering and awkward because of a low-cut neckline, too-long straps, and worst of all, a band of elastic around the waist area. It was supposed to create a blouson effect for a knee-length dress, like on the left. And if you pull it down to get rid of that ugly effect, you get the dress on the right, which is just odd-shaped.

Mushroom DressLong version of mushroom dress

Yucky. As K put it, "it looks like a mushroom." Yes, it's trendy. I have a similar cotton dress that has the elastic at the waist, but it doesn't have the blouson effect (a.k.a. too much fabric up top) -- it's just there for shape. The comments for the dress included several people that found ways to alter it, so my initial attraction to it wasn't bothered too much. Mainly, they took out the elastic and loved the results. So when I ordered it, I knew it was a gamble and that the elastic probably had to go, and I was right, but I looked forward to a project and the pretty pattern on it. When I tried it on, the straps were a little too long, so it had no shape in the bodice. There's a nice gathered elastic spot under the bust, but with the straps as they were, it served no purpose and is hard to see.

Anyway, so I first dealt with the straps.

>Knotted straps, frontKnotted straps, back

The knotted feature was cute, but the Web site said you could adjust them and that was really impossible without looking weird. They didn't untie; they expected you to somehow knot up the knots. I'm not really sure how that would work. Anyway, I cut through them in a sort of central location.

Cut straps

I think I untied the closest knots and then re-tied them in a crossed fashion, so now the bodice fits much better and it's higher up, too.

Next, I turned the dress inside out and snipped at the inside elastic seam until I could pull the elastic out. I'll probably need to wash and dry the dress before the creases from the elastic go away, but I think it looks pretty cool:

Cool dress from me via Target

It's a breezy sundress, all for $6.24, a pair of scissors, and absolutely no sewing. If I ever get tired of the length, or longer dresses go out of style again, I'll just cut it off. It's a cotton/modal so it won't fray easily and it doesn't have a hem to begin with anyway. The lining only goes down to mid-thigh anyway, because it was supposed to be knee-length. So there's less work there, too, if I choose to cut it shorter. Although I really like it this way, and I had a lot of fun altering it.

1 comment:

Kristal said...

I just discovered your craft blog! Things have been crazy and I haven't been keeping up with your Hawaii blog as much as I'd like, but I noticed you kept referring to your craft blog, so I checked it out! Anyway, you amaze me with what you can do to clothes that don't fit! I hope all is well with you and K in Hawaii. I still walk by your cubby in the corner and think it's so dismal without you there!