Dress Hack Advice Please!

I was lucky enough to receive this lovely dress last week via our Buy Nothing Group

Dress hack31

It is beautiful, and from Monsoon, so probably not cheap to buy new.

Dress hack32BUT it’s too long and doesn’t really suit me.
I like the top bit, and it fits well, but I want to shorten it.

Sooooo, how to do it without ruining it?
The label says it is : 40% cotton; 30% viscose; 20% nylon and 10% angora (I know there are issues around Angora wool, but I didn’t buy it, so please don’t shoot me..!)

My first thought is to hack the bottom off at a length that suits me better.
-will it all unravel?
-how should I finish the raw edge-options I have come up with so far include: hemming it, adding a crochet trim; adding a ribbon edge

Any ideas/thoughts/help??


21 thoughts on “Dress Hack Advice Please!

  1. Shorten it and remove sleeves [optional] to wear another colour under it. You can overlock edges and then overstitch with yarn. Or any of the things you have mentioned. Hack away don’t be timid it’s how you learn and get bettter at REfashioning. Mistakes can end up resulting in something even more creative. Here’s part 1 of my REmake and you can find the part 2 and 3 [finished] on my youtube channel

      • Thanks for your reply. Go Jen!! I am wearing my REfashion to Sewing Bee this morning. I made it into a shift dress to inspire one of the members to give upcycling a try – you have to walk the talk, right? Here’s Part 2 and Part 3 of the series. There will be a part 4 with me styling the dress in due course.

        Good Luck xx

  2. Ooh, will be watching this as I have an old cashmere jumper that I want to alter too. The sleeves have worn so thin that I was thinking I could turn it in to a tank top….

  3. A Finnish friend once showed me how to cut through a knitted woollen jumper. Machine-sew two parallel lines – in your case around the level where you want your hem to be – then cut between the two rows of stitching. I would suggest if someone has got an oversewer that you could really neaten up the edge. You could then sew on a trim eg lace dyed to match the dress. Pam

  4. You don’t say if it is made of a woven or jersey fabric. I am guessing it is jersey. I have shortened jersey wrap dresses by stitching two rows: the lower one a zig zag to stop fraying and the next one up a straight line. Cut below the zig zag and then use the straight line as a guide for your hem fold. You can machine stitch the hem with a regular straight stitch rather than hand-hemming. If this is a jersey item it is definitely worth investing in a jersey needle for your machine. Good luck!

  5. Lovely dress! If it’s jersey then you should be fine to chop it if you edge with a zig zag – I’m quite small so I have to do do this alot on dresses, trousers and tshirt sleeves! I’ve never been brave enough to chop wool mix but I did have a wool mix dress that looks like a similar sort of weave, more open than jersey but not as chunky as a wool knit. I cheated and just turned it under and hemmed it by hand – I probably turned it up a good few inches and it looked and sat fine. It was quite a close fit though and I’m not sure if it would work as well if the dress has a flair. There’s no cutting involved so it might be worth a try – if nothing else it will let you test the length!
    Good luck!

    • Hi Louba-I should have made it clearer in the post, it’s like a fine knit woolly jumper. I’m concerned that a traditional hem will be too heavy maybe, and will show?

      • @makeandmendyear instead of hacking it up, why not take a thread(strong one) and needle & stitch a running stitch from the seam at the bottom at the side up to say half way up your thigh(do same on both sides), then pull to ruche up. And tah dah no need to hem or cut anything off, just pull up until it reaches your desired length!

        Nikki 🙂 x

      • Mmm think the weight might make it hang funny with a hem then, I’d be brave and chop! The YouTube tutorial looks brilliant!

  6. Lucky you to get such a cute dress for free! Love it! Personally I would just pin it where you want the length , hem it , and then add your embellishments. Even with a six inch hem it would look cute, very vintage! And if you don’t like the placement of the hem you can always hide it with lace, ribbon , buttons, or whatever notion suits you. By the way I love your site you are doing a fabulous job! Good luck with the dress , can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  7. I have done in the past, cut up mixed wool/fibres, with two rows of stitching, cut between, make hem, the section left, if big enough can make a cowl scarf. good luck, love your e.mails and getting new ideas, thank you.

  8. Pingback: Dress Hack Part 2 (or how to alter a knitted dress..) | My Make Do and Mend Year

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