Being 5′ 3″ has its issues; I struggle to reach things in supermarkets, I spend my life in high heels and even then I have lots of conversations where I’m craning my neck looking up! The world feels like it’s made for glamazons! Most frustratingly, clothes are generally too long and petites clothes are just on the verge of being too short. The struggle is real! I know lots of you will be sat there nodding along in agreement! We are always looking at hems of clothes wondering if we can shorten trousers or skirts before we consider buying them.
Maxi dresses in particular are a particular pain; I love them, they’re perfect for summer – cool to wear and hide my Casper the Friendly Ghost legs! (You see, I wouldn’t have minded inheriting my height from my mum if I’d have got her olive skin too…I didn’t!) Take this one: a beautiful black cross over jersey maxi, beading detail on the waist, it really is the perfect day to night dress…it’s also about 6 inches too long for me and so has been tucked away in my wardrobe for the last 4 years.
I know you’ll have seen lots of the beautiful Me Made items I’ve made and wondered why I didn’t chop off the offending few inches, whip my sewing machine out and rehem this dress. And you’re right, for absolutely no reason I’d left it neglected in the wardrobe! Not any more! I’m so glad I finally got round to it as I feel fab in this dress and I know it will be a staple outfit for me this summer. That’s why I’m so glad I learnt to sew and I think everyone should learn. There’s nothing more satisfying that being able to alter ill-fitting RTW garments into something that is both wearable and flattering!
If you’re new to sewing, it really is as simple as measuring up from the existing hem at lots of points around the skirt, making tailors chalk dots and then cutting the dotted line. All you need to remember if you’ve tried your dress on and worked out the finished length you’d actually like is to add on a little for your hem. I overlocked my raw edge so pressed and turned up 1.5cm…if you don’t have an overlocker, I’d turn up 0.5inches then another 0.5inches before hemming.
Who knows, now I’m on a roll, maybe I’ll take up the beautiful coral maxi with the lace overlay bodice that has been in my wardrobe for the last couple of years (I know, shocking!)
As lazy as I am at altering my existing clothes in my wardrobe, I love making new clothes. Have you seen my Colette Lily Dress? You can check it out here – it’s been really popular over on the blog.
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