Longer Lace

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I bought this dress in the Scope shop in Whitby (£5.95) a while back; it’s silver and grey stretch lace with beautiful lace sleeves. Unfortunately when I tried it on at home, it was just too short to be wearable. The options were (1) cut the bottom part off and wear it as a weird looking top, which meant losing the scalloped edge along the hem, or (2) add something to make the skirt longer.

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I went with option (2). After scouring my local fabric shops and markets with little success, I ended up turning to ebay for this grey “silky” chiffon. It wasn’t terribly expensive but it drapes and handles beautifully.

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I cut a length off and sewed the selvedges together in a French seam.

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Then I gathered it and sewed it to the lining of the dress.

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The gathered section is sewn right side to wrong side onto the hem of the lining.

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Note that I used a zig zag stitch to allow the seam to stretch (when walking). I also made a narrow hem along the bottom and that was it. Done!

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Such a simple fix but I think the resulting dress is a real showstopper! Especially in a slight breeze when the chiffon blows around… Here are some more pictures from our trip to Soller (Majorca).

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I love the colour of the lace and I am so happy that I am now able to wear it!

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The only thing I would recommend if you do this is to cut a wider piece, perhaps a separate front and back, as the width of the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough. You want a bit more room to walk as there is no vent or anything. I found myself limited to short steps, which while wearing heels around cobbled streets wasn’t much of an issue, may prove annoying when I wear this again. Of course I tested it indoors as I was making it, and it seemed fine, but something about being outdoors means my stride was longer. Just something to bear in mind!

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Another beautiful evening in Soller! We dined at the Hotel Salvia (sorry, no pictures) which was outstanding if you’re in the area, but do book several weeks in advance, as it is (rightly) very popular…

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42 comments

  1. Kasia

    Dresses that are too short, that’s my constant problem and I’m not even that tall (5’7)! I usually go for inserting a panel between the bodice and the skirt, but you’ve given me another – easier – idea.
    Plus, you look abosolutely stunning. So chic and elegant :)))

  2. Beth Duffus

    Clever and pretty alteration, though I must say I think you look lovely in the short version too. You have the youth and legs for shorter skirts. Interested that you got the chiffon on ebay. Tracking down the precise fabric I want is the bane of my sewing life.

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Beth – the back was really, really short! I hear you on finding good fabrics… I get a lot on ebay these days because it’s just so easy (and cheap!).

  3. Fadanista

    Another stunner. I love the 100% pure silky fabric!! I, too, thought you could get away with the short dress, but understand – you need to feel comfortable and it’s such a good idea to add a long chiffon skirt.

  4. theupsew

    so hard to make something bigger from a charity shop find…………..and you did…………..and it looks lovely……………..fantastic and most inspiring. it looks gorgeous on you too

  5. Leah

    Gorgeous – you AND the dress! That’s the kind of thing I would have worn once to a very fancy wedding and still felt exposed the whole time; I love what you did to make it feel both more comfortable and to look a little more…romantic casual? It still feels dressy but somehow less “I AM GOING TO A COCKTAIL PARTY” and more fancy-dinner-esque. Brava!

  6. Christina Schein

    the short version is super cute. But what you made out of it is something beyond cute. It is stunning, flattering, versitile, and just WOW.

  7. Beth

    I think it’s even more attractive than it was with all the leg showing. Now it’s a tease, which I think is even more sexy. :) Fantastic job!

  8. MJ

    WOW! I literally gasped when I saw your first finished picture! This dress went from ‘ok’ to stunning, chic, gorgeous. Very special. You are so talented and creative! Thanks for sharing.

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