Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pushing Daisies and How to Lengthen a Dress

I've recently become obsessed with Pushing Daisies, the quirky show that was canceled before its time. It pretty much combines everything I love: whodunits, baking, colourful dresses, romance, water sports, and a whole lot of funny. I completely covet Chuck's wardrobe of frilly blouses, vintage dresses, colourful coats, and pedal pusher pants.
Chuck seems to love yellow, so when I spotted a yellow sundress (with a daisy-like eyelet pattern, no less) for a rock-bottom price at Winners, I had to scoop it up. It turned out to be a definite fixer-upper. First it had a slit across the middle of the skirt right below the waistline that had been hastily sewn. Fortunately the skirt is quite full so it camouflages my stitching job.
Since it was a bit short for my liking and had a generous hem, I decided to lengthen it. This method only works if the dress/skirt has a hem of at least one inch as most of the extra length comes from the hem.

First, carefully let out the hem using a seam ripper or a pair of scissors. Make sure the bottom edge of your skirt fabric doesn't fray by running a zigzag stitch across the bottom (if the manufacturers haven't done this already).

Next, stitch a length of ribbon to the bottom of the skirt. The ribbon should closely match the colour and weight of the dress. I used a fine polyester ribbon with a width of 1.7 cm. Pin the ribbon to the dress so it just covers the zigzag stitch and sew it down.
Right side:
 Wrong side:
Hem your dress by flipping the ribbon under and pining it. This way, the hem is made up entirely of the ribbon, and all of the original dress material is being used for length.
 Use a blind stitch to sew the hem down. Here's a great video on blind stitching.

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