Clothing Makeover: New Life for an Old Dress

The chambray shift dress pictured below has been a favorite of mine for several years now.  But this summer I started feeling like it was a little bland so I went on a hunt for a replacement dress.  Sadly, nothing seemed to be exactly what I had in mind.  So, I started thinking.  What was my issue with the dress?  It fits well and is still in good condition.  While I normally pair it with a scarf, cropped cardigan or some sort of necklace; I found myself tiring of the solid blue and just wishing it had a bit more spark.

Clothing Makeover | Re-purpose Clothing | Adding Trim to Clothes | Giving Clothing a New LookWhat about adding a trim of some sort?  Great idea.  Off to the fabric store I went.  I had several criteria:

  • something white to pop against the blue
  • something machine washable
  • something that wouldn’t be too difficult to sew around the curves of the dress as I’m a bit of novice seamstress
The Makeover

Initially I found a bunch of cute pom-pom and fringe trims but sadly these were all dry clean only.  Just didn’t have it in me to go with something that needs to be dry cleaned for this casual/everyday style dress.  Then I found the cute white daisy trim pictured below.  It was just the right width and the little thread between the daisies would allow the trim to bend more easily around the curves in the neckline of the dress. Sold!

Clothing Makeover | Re-purpose Clothing | Adding Trim to Clothes | Giving Clothing a New Look

Next I set about transforming my piece.  Luckily, this dress already had some decorative top-stitching at both the hem and the neckline, making it infinitely easier to pin the trim in a straight line.  I simply stayed within the borders of the middle of these top-stitched sections.

Clothing Makeover | Re-purpose Clothing | Adding Trim to Clothes | Giving Clothing a New Look

Once pinned I began to sew, starting at the side seam of the hem and working my way around.  I did a single straight line through the center of the trim.  The neckline had a few more curves and was a bit trickier.  I used more pins and went a bit slower with the sewing machine. In less than half an hour and for less than $10 worth of trim, I wound up with a whole new look that I really like!

Clothing Makeover | Re-purpose Clothing | Adding Trim to Clothes | Giving Clothing a New Look

Clothing Makeover | Re-purpose Clothing | Adding Trim to Clothes | Giving Clothing a New Look

Do you ever “makeover” your clothes?  It’s got me thinking now about what else I might do.  Remove the sleeves from my olive utility jacket to turn it into a vest that might have a longer wear season?  Step-hem or fray edge my white jeans to update my summer standards a bit?  Lots of options. While I enjoy getting new things, I have to say re-purposing this dress was pretty fun and satisfying.  And, bonus points, it made my thrifty/crafty mom proud too!

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