Friday, February 10, 2017

The Stepped Dress


When I ordered this black and red maxi dress with a chevron pattern, I envisioned myself wearing it, a long elegant column, like some kind of Greek goddess with vampire undertones. 

Sadly, as with most so-called "maxi" dresses, when I got it, it barely reached to my ankles, a decidedly unflattering length. The chevron pattern only emphasized my hips, producing an effect that was anything but long and elegant. The first time I wore this dress, I felt less like a vampire goddess and more like an engorged tick. I knew that the second time I wore this dress, something would have to change.

Before embarking on a full-blown slash-n-sew project, I decided to see whether I could make the dress work with a reversible alteration.

It had come with knee-high slits in the sides, and folding the front panel underneath, up to the level of the slit, produced a much more pleasing result.

So I carefully sewed a new bottom hem on the front panel, at the level of the top of the slit, then I folded up the excess, tacking the old bottom hem to the inside at the side seams and front center seam with a few stitches at each point. 

This simple 10-minute fix took the dress from embarrassing to something I'm proud to be seen in. Stepped-hem jeans are inexplicably trendy at present, so a stepped dress (I like to think) should be trendy as well!

I probably won't keep this temporary alteration forever; there's a lot of fabric hanging from the attachment point at the front of the dress, tugging it down and making it look a little like the dress itself has a belly button! The question is, do I make the alteration permanent and fix the neckline (which droops too low for my taste), or do I just take the stitches out, sell the dress, and move on to the next phase in my life?

While pondering these deep thoughts, here's how I wore the dress: with knee-high black lace-up boots and silver earrings, to contrast with the dress and match the hardware on the boots.

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