Thursday, May 5, 2011

GAP dress makeover

So I was at the mall a few weeks ago (because that's where my bank happens to be....  how convenient is that?) and I noticed a lot of people carrying around GAP bags.  So I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  (Just out of curiosity, you know.)

Well, it turns out the big fuss was all about a huge sale.  And, as it turns out, I am a huge fan of a huge sale.  So I bought this dress and, although I thought it was a little on the uglier side, (and not my size), it was only $6  and, as I've said before, there's a reason I own a sewing machine.  (And that reason is to give me an excuse to shop, in case you were wondering.  

This is what the dress started off looking like.  Elbow-length sleeves (not a fan) kind of boxy (also not a fan) but definitely $6 worth of material to work with.  So home it came:

I started off by fixing the sleeves, since they were the first obvious downfall of the dress.  I just chopped off 3 inches from each sleeve and sewed the hems under an inch.  Easy as pie.  (Sorry, I didn't get pictures of every step of the process.  Still working on that part....)

Then I took it in so that it fit me properly and then decided to add a little flair. (I'm all for a nice black dress, but this one needed something extra.)  I made a long tube out of the leftover material from my nautical dress by cutting a 2.5-inch wide strip, folding it in half (right-sides facing) and sewing along the edge with a .25-inch seam allowance.  Once it was all sewn, I just flipped the tube right-side out and voila!!

I then pinned the material to the collar of the dress, making pleats every inch or so.  I wanted it to be kind of a bunched-up look instead of crisp pleats, so I wasn't too worried about exact pleat lengths.  I made three rows of these, pinned them to the dress (starting with the bottom row) and stitched them into place.:

This is what the neckline ended up looking like:

It now fits like a glove.  I added a sequined belt from JCrew, just because I love sequins.  It made it a little bit springier, and since it's already May it seemed appropriate:


  1. OMG, are you serious? This is amazing! You did a fantastic job on that dress, and it looks fabulous! I'm so impressed; I can barely sew on a button.

    North Meets South

  2. holy cow that's awesome and wow you're skinny!

  3. I love it. The ruffles totally make the dress:>

  4. Wow, seen one of your projects on all free sewing, love your work!
    Karima from

    I too love changing,altering and upcycling things :)