I got this dress at a thrift shop for a $1! I really liked the material, but it was too loose at my sides and too long (reached the floor!) I figured for a dollar I'd take it home and see what I could do. My first thought was that I would cut apart the material and make something entirely new, but instead I made some really basic alterations to make it just the way I wanted it. I'm super happy with the outcome and for anyone trying out something similar, this didn't require any special sewing gadgets or extra parts (I only used what came with the dress.) These alterations are so easy for anyone just getting into sewing... so don't be intimidated to chop up your clothes and alter them :) Just go for it.
My before picture is dark and not very clear, but I did remember to take one this time for a change.
My dress had a zipper down the back, which helped so I didn't have to worry about making it too tight, or taking out any of the stretch.
My first step was to take in the sides. I turned it inside out and pinned just over an inch on each side, using the location of the seam that was already there. This measurement will vary depending on how loose the garment is. You can either pin it and try it on (Inside out) too see if you pinned enough/too much or you can put it on (Inside out) and pin it while you're wearing it. Having an assistant or a dress form could prove helpful for this step. If you're taking the dress in a lot I would cut off the extra material after you've sewn it. I didn't, just in case I ever want to let it back out. Though, honestly, I don't really foresee that happening.
Decide how long you want the skirt. You can measure the length, or put it on and make a mark, whatever is easiest for you. I cut my skirt approximately four inches higher than I wanted it, (You'll see why in a moment.)
I cut the length using a rotary cutter, but scissors would do the job.
|Cut the length|
After it was cut I then cut a strip (Fourish inches) of the hem off and sewed it onto the bottom of the dress. The bottom of the skirt was wider than the top so I did have to make the strip just a hair smaller. Sewing on the hem like this adds to the style of the dress and makes it so you don't have to sew your own hem. It let's it keep that 'store bought' appearance, if you're not terribly good at hemming.
You can iron the knew seam flat, and you are good to go.