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: