As you have probably figured out by now, I love a good deal. And I also love buying clothes that don't fit (on clearance, obviously) and adjusting them to my size. This particular dress was on sale for $3.50 at the GAP, but the only one left as 20 sizes too big. I bought it anyway, figuring that if the alteration didn't work, at least I'd have a good amount of fabric and two zippers to use for other projects. Turns out I didn't need to worry about that. I love the way the dress ended up, and the fit is fantastic.
Originally, the dress looked like this. (Just a tad too big....)
So I turned the dress inside out and traced a pencil skirt onto the inside of the material. Then I did the same with a well-fitting tshirt. That gave me a good idea of how much material should be taken off the edges. (Luckily, for this dress the zipper is in the back. Taking in on the sides is way easier than trying to take in the back.)
After sewing along the lines I drew, I cut off the excess fabric. Unfortunately, the neckline was still way too wide, and I wanted to add some sleeves. Lucky for me, I had plenty of material to work with. I took some of the excess material and cut out two identical reectangles:
I hemmed one side of the each rectangle and then stitched it into the side of the neckline. Luckily, this dress already had an asymmetric neckline so precision was not all that important.
I then cut out two curved shapes from some more of extra material. I hemmed the edge, used a gathering stitch on the top, and stitched them on as sleeves. (The curved shape helps them fit nicely on the curve of the armhole.)
The final product: (I got a LOT of compliments on this dress today. And again, none of my students guessed that I had made it.)
I wore it with a flowered belt (purchased with a gift card from Anthropologie) and purple flowered shoes from Zara in Mexico City. (I'm not sure if they ever sold these shoes in the US, but I LOVE them. They add a nice little splash of color to the outfit.