When my daughter was asked to Prom this year, we went searching for a modest dress. This proved to be a difficult task. We could not find anything in the stores that would work. They were also really expensive. $150.00 for a dress I would have to alter was too much. So, we improvised…
Now I must make a disclaimer that I am NOT a seamstress. My sewing skills are pretty basic.
We decided to check out the thrift stores and found a beautiful basic aqua colored dress. The problem…It was strapless. It was only $8.00, so I figured even if I completely ruined it by trying to add sleeves, I was not out too much money. Next I searched the internet for a simple method to add sleeves. I found what I was looking for HERE. Straight lines and hand stitching. It sounded good to me.
I knew I would not be able to match the color of the dress, so we decided on white for the sleeves. I found a great polyester satin at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 a yard. I cut out the sleeves and sewed them together. I did stray from the pattern here. The satin frayed really badly, so I cut double the width and sewed it together pillow case style with right sides together, flipped it right side out and stitched the ends closed.
I gathered and hand stitched one end of the sleeves to the front of the dress. We strayed from the pattern for the next step too. I was worried that with my limited sewing skills, I would make sleeves that would keep falling off her shoulder. I sewed a piece of elastic, under where the sleeve would cover, from the front to the back snug enough that she could move, but provided some support. Next I tacked the sleeve in the back in just one spot. I also tacked the bottom layer of the sleeve to the piece of elastic going over her shoulder. We wanted the back of the dress to be a little higher, so I sewed a small hook and eye fastener up where we wanted it to close. At this point, the ends of the sleeves hung down a little ways in the back. We didn’t like the way that looked, so I sewed a loop of elastic into some of the white satin to make a “scrunchy”. We slid it up on the ends to make it come together. We made some flowers from the satin to add a little something to the front of the dress. The dress turned out really nice and only cost us a total of $10.99. Not to shabby :)
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