making the most of clothing: dress alterations

I got this dress for free from a trading post on Toronto Island. In my time on the island, I visited the trading post twice. Once, I left empty handed, and the second time – my last day on the island – I picked up this dress. With no place to try it on, I decided that a Gap size Medium would probably fit me and that the dress was worth stuffing into my already too heavy backpack.

After taking it home and washing it, I tried it on. It was a great fit. It has a deep but not too deep neckline, has nice sleeves and overall shape, and most importantly – I feel comfortable.

One thing I noted was that the dress felt old due to the length. After months of keeping this dress in the closet and an invite to a semi-formal event on campus, I decided it was time I fixed what was keeping me from wearing it: the length.

I decided the dress needed somewhere between 4 and 7 inches cut off the bottom.

After ten minutes of fiddling with my sewing machine and practicing stitching patterns I got to work. I tried the dress on, set a few pins for reference and with some (much needed and appreciated) assistance from my mother, I pinned the dress to my desired length. After this, I cut the additional fabric off, and got sewing.


In under 1 hour, I had managed to shorten my dress!

I could not be happier with the outcome and am proud to say I did it myself! I have plans to wear it on March 22nd to a semi-formal event for the Engineering department at my university and I am so excited!


Repair, not replace

Tailoring and altering clothes to keep them longer is one thing you can do to benefit the environment. It takes less resources to fix an already existing item than to make a new item. Not only does it save resources, being able to repair your clothes is a good skill to have and can make you feel independent or satisfied!
Fun Fact: It also costs less money to repair clothes than to replace them!

Have you altered any of your clothes to keep them longer?


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