...Fashion, General ramblings

Dress Hack Part 2 (or how to alter a knitted dress..)

June 15, 2014

I blogged a couple of days ago about my lovely free dress that is too long, and my concerns about hacking away at it to shorten it.

Dress hack31

It’s a knit fabric, and I was worried that if I just chopped at it, all the wool would unravel.

I got loads of super helpful comments, on here, and on Twitter and Facebook, so I thought I would put them all in one place, and that way if anyone else is facing a similar dilemma, they might be able to find some help too.

  • Karen from RUDE Refashions posted these two You Tube videos (first one, second one)she has done about a dress re-style of a woollen dress
  • A couple of people (Pam and Muriel) suggested sewing two lines parallel to each other at the level of the new hem, and then cutting between them (and using the leftover to make a cowl!) The raw edge can be hidden with some lace trim or ribbon
  • A really clever idea from Tartan Cook Book was to: take a thread(strong one) and needle & stitch a running stitch from the seam at the bottom at the side up to say half way up your thigh(do same on both sides), then pull to ruche up. And tah dah no need to hem or cut anything off, just pull up until it reaches your desired length!
  • The Thrifty Stitcher on Twitter suggested shortening the middle by adding a waist seam, which has the benefit of leaving the original team untouched-very clever! To make a waist-seam, apparently you “cut the middle at a point where you want the waist seam plus seam allowance, cut skirt to size you need, and re-attach:)”
  • Use a stretch stitch and handle cute edges very gently! @SusiBatstone on Twitter
  • Adding doily pockets or appliqué @Bluebirdanielle
  • @mariachenoworth @TRAID and @wear_when, pulled together on Twitter to end up with this great advice e-mailed to me from Sarah (@wear_when)
    “My advice would be to stitch a line on your sewing machine by where you wish to cut (if you don’t have access to an overlocker as this will automatically cut and seal the edge). How small to do the stitching will really depend on the size of the knit. When you cut it, cut just below the line. The stitches should hold the knit in place and stop the bottom unraveling. Be careful not to handle the knit too much, stretch or pull it, as it will alter the shape, although along a hemline this could be used to effect, if that’s your style. You could then add binding or trim to seal the bottom edge. You could also consider perhaps crocheting along the bottom or even a cute blanket stitch in a contrast colour using the original knit as your guide to continue along the existing stitches. If you choose to hem as normal then I would propose twin needles which are great for stretch fabrics. Tutorial here: http://thethriftystitcher.co.uk/tips-for-hemming-stretch-fabric-how-to-use-a-twin-needle/”
    AND “iron on interface to the back of the knit along the bottom edge where you intend to hem. It fuses to the back of the knit so that there is no movement or alteration in the knit when you cut it, makes it easier to stitch and hem like any other fabric. How permanent the iron on interface is to the knit, I do not know – I’ve not tried this technique before, regardless the glue of the interface will ensure the knit’s original shape remains the same. However, it makes the knit a little stiffer too which might not be something that you would like, but you might find this method easier and less risky.. Perhaps you could experiment with it on a different knit before trying it on your dress.”
  • The Textile Tutor on Facebook had this advice “If it were my dress, I would pin or tack a line where I would like the hemline to be. I would add about 4cms for the hem below it and cut it. I would attach bias binding to prevent the lower edge from unravelling, then hand stitch the hem in place.”

Thankyou everyone!
So much to think about now.
I’ll let you know what I decide to do, and will blog the end result….

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