Friday, February 21, 2014

Closet Clean-Out: Transformation #2

While cleaning out my closet I hemmed and hawed over this knit dress:

It's a really comfortable dress, but every time I put it on in the morning, I'd end up changing before I left the house. In case you're thinking, "That doesn't look so bad," just know that it photographs much better than it looks in person. Even I'm sittin' here thinking, "Well, maybe I should have left it the way it was…"

Believe me, though, whenever I put this dress on I felt like my womanly paunch was too visible. I'd try to cover it with a wide belt, but without belt loops I was constantly readjusting the belt to cover the paunch.

Also, I couldn't wear tights or leggings with the dress because you could see the waistline elastic from the outside. This made it a little impractical since it's a cold-weather dress - I'm not going out in the winter with bare legs!

Originally, I tossed this dress into the Consignment box. But I pulled it back out because it's so comfortable. I thought maybe I could just wear it around the house…

Then I had an idea. I thought, "I can cut the bottom off the dress and turn it into a cozy knit top!"

In the name of Transformation I quickly became an expert on turning a sweater dress into a knit top by reading one blog post (it's both a blessing and a curse to believe you can do anything after watching one YouTube video…).

While wearing the dress, I marked with pins where I wanted the new hem to be. Then I laid the dress on the floor and put more pins in all the way across. I decided I wanted the back to be a little longer (to cover my bedonka-donk), so I shifted the hem down about an inch-and-a-half on the flip-side. 

Of course I had help along the way.

I gave myself a two-inch seam allowance, and marked that with pins. That bottom line is where I'll cut…

Before cutting I made a zig-zag stitch all the way around. Then I cut just below that stitch with the hope that that will ensure against any potential unraveling.

A couple times through the sewing machine (I did two parallel seams to make it look more finished), and voila! I now have a knit top that I actually feel comfortable wearing outside of the house!

One of the nice things about making this top was that I could control how long it is. I have a long torso, so a lot of shirts don't adequately cover my mid-section. Fine in summer, but in winter? Brrrrr!

So here we are! A little preppier than what I normally wear, but it will be nice to have a turtleneck on cold days. Today is especially windy, and I'm going ice skating with my students tonight, so I think I'll wear my "new" top on its maiden voyage!


  1. I have a funny, half finished transformation project to share with you. I have very cute, but very tight knee high boots. They have been collecting dust on my shoe shelf for several years - I'd worn them, like twice. So, I really needed boots to take to Oregon with me a couple of weeks ago, and I had this project in mind. I had a pair of jeans that are cute but too short. So, I cut them off below the top of the boot line, and I was going to sew socks below them. I figured that would keep the pants in the boot, but I'd be able to get my boots zipped up too. Well, I ran out of time. So I wore the cut-off jeans with the boots to the airport. I forgot that I would have to take my boots off to go through security. Talk about a Walmart moment. I had jeans cut off just below my knees with low athletic socks on going through security. And white white legs to boot! It was such a fashion moment!!!

    1. Hahaha I think I might have seen a picture of you shoveling snow in those pants and boots... Seriously, though, that's a great idea! You should market the short pants with socks sewed right on! Just warn customers not to wear them when traveling by air...