I doubt I was the only one to hit up the Anthropologie Tag Sale this month. I’ve been on the hunt for some good shirt dresses to wear around the house with Gray this summer. I’ve found putting on real outfits has given me a touch of my humanity back amongst the chaos of a newborn, but with it being so warm and my mornings often being so cram packed, I’ve been leaning towards one step outfits that can be spiffed up with some accessories if I need to run out for some errands. While I scoped everything out, I didn’t see a lot of what I was looking for. I did see this indigo dress though and I was struck by the color and design, but I was bummed because I also needed the piece to have a button front so that I could easily feed Gray throughout the day. I decided to order it anyways and see what I could do about making it work. Once I got it home, I decided to open up the front and add a couple of buttons to make things easier for me.
Now, I’ll start by saying that I’m no seamstress and I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable run ins with sewing machines. So this is a very tossed together DIY that I’m sure some of you who do know what you’re doing with needle and thread will be face palming by the end of the post, but it worked well for me and is an easy fix for those of you in a similar pinch!
First thing I did was try on the dress and mark where I needed it to open to. Afterwhich I sat there for about 5 minutes asking myself, “Am I really going to cut this brand new dress I just bought???” The answer was yes.
I wanted the process to be as neat as possible so I began by opening up the seam on the interior of the collar with a seam ripper. Once I did that I had access to the fabric of the body of the dress and could begin cutting.
Again, I took a few minutes to consider my choice. Again, I proceeded.
I cut a bit further than where I had marked just to leave room to fold over the fabric into a small hem at the bottom.
Once things were cut and there was no turning back, I folded over the parts of the collar I had set free and tacked them down from the inside.
I then sewed small hems down either side of the cut. A more prepared person would have matched their thread to the color of the dress, but cream was all I had on hand and Gray was in the middle of a solid nap and everyone knows- never wake a sleeping babe.
Once I finished the hems, I sewed the buttons into place so that I could tell just where to sew my toggles. I then measured how long I needed the fastener to be, made a loop and sewed it into place. I just used some sturdy, wool yarn that I had on hand, but you can use anything really. Some thin rope would have been a nice detail as well. But again, I was just trying to get through naptime with a small ounce of productivity and that’s what I had on hand.
And that’s the finished project! It’s slightly hap hazard, but everything is sewn nice and tight so I’m confident it will hold up! For those of you wanting to replicate this project as home, just take some time before you start to pick up some matching thread and different material for your toggle if you desire. I might end up replacing mine at some point, but for now it’s working out really well and I’m content with my 20 minute naptime project!
For all you moms out there who are afraid of sewing, take heart! I purposefully did this project by hand and not on the machine just to prove anyone can do it! Truly. I’ve been working on a set of curtains for 3 months now and put 2 sewing machines out of commission in the process. Trust me- if I can do it, you certainly can too!
Until next time!