Hey everyone! Words cannot even describe how excited I am to begin my first tutorial! For this tutorial, I will be showing you how I changed this, uh, unique, dress ($6.00, wuddup!) from drab, to party-ready! 

I chose this dress for a couple of reasons. 
  1. I liked the fabric! What is more fun than navy blue velvet with a glittery-leaf-thingy pattern all over it? Plus it is stretch. So. Nothing. 
  2. It already had undergone some DIY from the previous owner. I will show you in a later pic, but you could tell that the last owner had already tried to add some darts on the waist. (It was still too big for me, though). I didn't want to leave the dress in unfinished DIY limbo! 
  3. I thought the neckline was cute and oriental-ish.
  4. Since the front of the dress is conservative, I wanted to try out adding an oh-so-trendy cutout to the back! 

The first thing I did was say buh-bye to the shoulder pads! 

Hemming the Dress

Then I tried that baby on inside out and marked how long I wanted it to be with a pencil. (Would have used chalk, but my room swallowed it.)

Then I made the chop! 

I added those dots via Photoshop. In real life, my laziness ensued and I just guesstimated. 

Here it is post-chop! 

Next, I guesstimated how I wanted the sleeves to look and chopped those off too. 

Here we are all chopped up! Looking better already! 

Now it is time to P+H (pin and hem)!

1. Pinning the bottom hem
2. Pinning the sleeve hem
3. Sewing the bottom
4. Sewing the sleeve
First impression of using my machine on this fabric: "STRETCH FABRIC WHY ARE YOU SO ANNOYING?!" and when my machine got to one of those little leaf thingies, I would have to tug extra hard because it would get stuck. 

Tried it on to check the length- success! It already looks so much more wearable! 

Ok, now on to the darts!

Taking it in

As I was telling you before, this dress already had some DIY done to it! 

I found 8 of these lovely darts along the front and back of the dress. I could tell they were done post-purchase because they were a little imperfect on the edges. (No worse that what I can do though, let me assure you lol). 

So, all I did to make it fit me, was follow the lines of the the already-there darts, and just take it in about a quarter and inch.

Of course, like always, I didn't mark out where I was going to sew, but I added those lovely dots to show you.

I did this on all 8 darts!

Tried it on again. Woohoo! It fits perfect now!

Adding the Cut-out

First thing I did to add the cut-out was put the dress back on inside-out. 

I then took some acrylic paint (OK- I know this is a total sewing faux-pas but I was out of chalk! I had to improvise!) dipped my finger in it, and put a dot right above where the band of my bra was. That is the bottom dot. 

Then I took another dot and put it right where I wanted to end on the top. 

I then took the dress off, and put the horizontal dots on the dress. I attempted to make them as symmetrical as possible. 

(Now would be a great time to use a ruler to measure out the distances and make sure they all look symmetrical and perfect, but LOL nope I am not doing that.) 

Next, I cut it out, connecting the dots. 

Again, it would have been much better to use a ruler and chalk to first draw out the lines, then cut. But I skipped that step. Oh well. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT! After I cut it out, I added little slits at the four corners of the diamond. This made it so the corners where sharp and tight. 

I added little dashes via Photoshop to show you guys. 

Now I got out my trusty pincushion and sewing machine for a good-ole-fashioned P+H! 

And would you look at that! The cute little cut-out is all done! Sooo trendy! 


Yayy! You made it all the way to the bottom! 

I am very happy with how it came out! It is just too much fun!

Thank you so much for reading my first post! Keep checking back, there will be many more tutorials to come!

Love, Lauren 
4/15/2013 12:13:48 pm


4/16/2013 08:19:50 am

niceee job Lauren! :D

4/16/2013 02:33:15 pm

Aww thanks!

4/17/2013 09:04:01 am


4/16/2013 02:32:21 pm

waddup? its wuzzup, lauren. o_O

4/17/2013 09:03:18 am

when r u gonna make another tutorial? im eager. :\

4/17/2013 09:06:13 am

lol, the Chuck Norris poster is in the background of one of these pictures. :)


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    Lauren Adams is a fashion-loving 17-year-old who isn't afraid of a sewing machine. 


    April 2013