Make it: Outfit alterations

I do this thing, where I buy clothes that are not quite right from the high street, second hand shops or vintage clothes that just need a little something doing to them.  Then they languish in my wardrobe for roughly 4 months, before I get a large enough collection together, before I finally admit defeat and actually alter them to be able to wear them.

I don't know why I don't just do it a little at a time, I guess its like ironing, you wait until there is a large enough pile to warrant you getting the iron and ironing board out, so you end up doing a whole batch at a time, rather than just small bits.  But lets not get me onto ironing, because I have been known to send things to the charity shop once I have worn them once and realised they need ironing for the next wear.  My iron only comes out when I am crafting or dressmaking!

I thought I would show you a few of the items I managed to do this time and let you know what I did, so that you can perhaps get some inspiration to alter those almost perfect items into perfect pieces. 

Firstly the skirt at the top of this post, unfortunately I don't have a before shot!  I got a bit too scissor happy before I thought to photograph it!  This was once a button up dress from a charity shop that I loved, yes because its blue and spotty.  The top part didn't fit and so I lopped it off and made a hem over the elastic waistband, so that it becomes a great skirt.  Brilliant for the summer.

Next up, was this maxi dress from Primark for £13 that I loved the pattern of - it's this season and so you might still be able to find it.  The length just wasn't quite long enough for my liking, I like my maxi dresses to be right onto the floor and this was more mid calf length.  In Primark the short dresses are far too short for me and so I thought that I could just make a longer dress into my desired length instead.

All I did, was to hang it in front of a dress I already liked the length of and then go around and pin in to the desired length, making sure its nice and even all the way around, again this is made so much easier having another dress to match it up to, especially if you are a single girl, so no help hemming up from a friend!

Then it was just a case of hemming it at the right length and using pinking shears to stop it from fraying too much.  You could also roll hem or double hem if you prefer.

I bought this dress about 8 months ago (the shame) from Frock and Roll for about £12 and loved it from first sight.  As you can see it was just a little too long for me as it drowned me a little and it had no shape to it.

So with my trusty friend Sammy with me I asked her to help me create some darts in the back.  All it needed for a little shape at the top.  She grabbed about an inch section on two sides of my back and that was enough to make the darts at the back.  I then put the dress in front of another dress to do the same hemming as the other dress.

This last dress has been in my wardrobe for years and I have worn it - honest!  But everytime I put it on, it just didn't quite feel right.  I bought it years ago from Pop Boutique  for about £10 and had to re-elasticate the waist back then, but it still didn't quite fit properly and so it has been put on and taken off more times than it has actually been worn.

Again, this dress was just a little too long and so I pulled up the skirt into the waistband to shorten it, making sure it was straight all the way around.  The sleeves were a little too baggy but as the top of the sleeves has some tucks, it was the bottom part of the sleeve that got altered.  I just took a little bit off from the inside of the arm, making the curve dip into the armpit area a bit more and it has given it much more shape.

So, what do you think.  These are all really simple things to do and so I really should do it more often, rather than waiting for a pile up.  Is there any big transformations you have made or smaller alterations, just to make things fit that little bit better?  Let us know in the comments or share with us on Instagram or Twitter with #livelovemake.

Just off to find some more goodies.
H, xxx