One thing I love about owning a sewing machine is that I can buy anything on clearance, whether or not it's my size. So I bought this dress (6 sizes too big) for $7 at the GAP. It's actually a really cute dress.
Before and after:
The top is navy blue with a gray skirt attached. I love the pleats on the front of the skirt, so I didn't want to mess with them. Usually, when I take something in, I like to take it in on the sides. It's easy and a lot more forgiving than trying to fit the curves along the back of the dress. Unfortunately, this dress had a zipper on one side, so I was forced to take it in along the back seam.
I turned the dress inside out, matching up the side seams so that it would be even.
Then I placed a skirt on top to gauge how much material should be taken off. Then I stitched away, tried it on, stitched some more, and repeated the process for what seemed like forever before I liked the way it fit. (Too bad I don't have a dressform. It would make my life so much easier. But hey, what can you do?)
The pleats on the top front also needed to be taken in. (I am not a large girl, and the poofiness created by the pleats looked a little bit ridiculous on me.)
Then I realized that I had some scrap material left over from another GAP clearance find ($1.50) that I took in. So I bunched up the material and lightly stitched it around the neckline. (I just put a few small stitches in between the bunches to keep the volume.) Then I shortened the sleeves, and tada! I had a whole new dress.
After taking these pictures, I took the hem out a little bit to add some more length. After all, I teach high school physics and do a lot of demonstrations that require me to lean over to flip switches, pick things up off the floor, etc. The last thing I need is for a bunch of 17-year-old boys to be able to see up my skirt. (Not that I'm really a fan of anyone looking up my skirt, but still....)