A Top When A Dress Won’t Do

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Sometimes you sew something and it doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. That’s what happened to me when I first tried on my Oreo Cookie wrap dress and realized the skirt pieces didn’t overlap properly! I had used Vogue 8379 for the top, but winged the bottom since I didn’t want the full skirt that came with the pattern. Mistake.

I thought I could save it by adding a snap-on-a-string contraption, but that really didn’t do anything to prevent the top skirt piece from staying in place (especially when I sat down). While I did wear the dress with tights to the office a few times, I just never felt truly comfortable in it.

And so it sat in my closet, largely unworn.

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About a month or two ago I decided that keeping the dress as is was pointless, so I chopped off the bottom! And here’s the result: a Vogue 8379 wrap top I can pair with jeans or a skirt. Yay!

This was a super easy alteration. I just tried the dress on and marked the new hem. While I was at it, I shortened the sleeves a bit, too.

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By the way, my grandmother (abuelita) took these photos on the day before her 85th birthday! She worked as a professional seamstress here in the Garment District after immigrating to the US in the 1960s. How cool is that?

I thought it would be neat to have her take photos of something I’ve made. Took her a bit to get used to the smartphone; both she and my grandfather (abuelito) kept their fingers on the button rather than tapping it, resulting in a whopping 485 photos in about 10 minutes. Intense! By the third photo in the collage above, I realized the unintentional picture-taking extravaganza was getting to Guinness Book of World Records level, but ’twas too late: these particular shots are part of a burst of 112 photos. Gave me a good chuckle [insert cry laughing emoji here].

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I’m really happy with the adjustment and have worn my “new” top a few times already. I find myself short on tops so having another one around is never a bad thing.

And with that, I already have three other dresses I want to turn into skirts. Hopefully I’ll get to those sooner rather than later!

Have you ever altered a me-made item to create something new?

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8 thoughts on “A Top When A Dress Won’t Do

  1. Yes, actually I’m doing that now….a 4 gored skirt that doesn’t fit my waist anymore, cut off the waistband and will put elastic waistband instead; then I know I’ll wear it!

  2. that photo story is priceless!

    i did the same thing with a vogue wrap dress (well, almost, mine was a “i don’t have enough fabric for the skirt, surely it will work out if i wing it”). i need to drag mine out and copy you, because this is CUTE.

  3. I love that you were able to save this and make it wearable! Fantastic! And the photo story made me smile. I love love love that your family has such deep roots in the Garment District! Wasn’t your grandfather on the other side a tailor?

    • My great, great grandfather actually! On the Lower East Side. Then his sons did the same, but the youngest (my great grandfather) started a window shade business and had an amazing industrial Singer used in his shop in Chelsea, which I still have. My grandfather (his son-in-law) operated that machine for some 30 years or so! I didn’t know any of this until after I decided to sew a few years ago. Crazy.

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