One Man’s Trash — Tank Dress Refashion

I’m pretty pumped to begin blogging.  I’ve had blogs before, but not awesome ones.  And I didn’t keep up with them anyway.  Hopefully this will be different, although I have a feeling that once school starts it’ll get neglected. . .hopefully not!  We’ll see.  Onward!

My mom cleaned out her closet today — there were clothes pretty much covering the entire bedroom.  She had a huge Goodwill pile, which naturally I had to sift through because as a pastime I peruse Pinterest and other refashioning blogs, which give me so much inspiration it’s not even funny.  On my sifting journey I happened upon this beauty:

It’s hugungous! (Also excuse the lack of makeup on face. . .I’ve been home all day, okay?)

It’s a button down tank dress, which is a style I happen to like (I own two already).  Obviously, it’s huge and rather hideous right now.  I wasn’t crazy about the pink and blue vertical stripes (which you can’t really see in this picture), and the material was sort of worn and stained around the hem, but I figured, what the heck.  It’ll be comfy when my athletic shorts are in the wash.

1.  First things first — I removed the hideous pockets.  The one on the breast sat in an awkward spot (it’s not so good to be short when clothes are made for tall people — thank God for seam rippers).  The two on the side went over the side seams, which wasn’t very cute and made the dress bulkier.

Mwahaha — pockets detached!

2.  Next I put the dress on and measured how much I would need to take it in by pinching the excess material on the sides.  It ended up being 3 inches on each side.  Turn the dress inside out, lay it flat, and pin 3 inches in on each side.

Just keep pinning, just keep pinning, just keep pinning, pinning, pinning. . .
My fish pin cushion says hi. Isn’t he cute? (Perhaps someday I’ll show you how to make him. . .)

3.  Sew up the sides where you’ve pinned!  At this point, the color thread you use doesn’t matter because this seam does not show.  (Good for me, because my bobbin was black.)  You can also cut off the extra material with pinking shears.

You don’t see the pins here because I forgot to take a picture before I finished sewing. . .oops.
Snip, snip. Don’t be hasty with the pinking shears! I’ve pinked through seams before.

4.  The fit was good after I took the dress in.  However, it was still pretty lengthy.  I folded up the hem 4 1/2 inches, pinned it, ironed it, and chopped it off.

Measuring and pinning must be done — alas.
Chop, chop!

(I left it pinned while I chopped, because that way I could just stick the scissors into the fold I ironed, which makes for a neat cut.)

5.  The only thing left was to hem the raw edge under.  Have I mentioned I hate measuring and pinning?  Alas, I do not own a serger so I usually end up hemming twice to hide that raw edge.  However, I discovered that you can do a zigzag stitch on the edge of your fabric and line that with a straight stitch — voila.  I tested this on the strip I cut off from the bottom of the dress, then tried to make it fray — it wouldn’t.

Zigzag stitch, then straight stitch on the outer edge.

I did that to the raw edge of my dress, then pinned it up 5/8 of an inch  and sewed.  Hemming twice to hide the raw edge looks much nicer, but this works in a pinch (or if you’re lazy, like me).

Hemming — almost done!

Here is the finished product:

Much better. No more frumpy elephant!

As you can see, the armholes were rather large so I had to stick a tank top under it.  Also the skirt turned out a bit fuller than I would’ve liked.  However, overall I like the way this turned out.  The stained bits got cut off when I hemmed the skirt, so that was taken care of.  This will be a good dress to wear to the pool or working around the house.

Ciao for now!  Keep cutting corners.


    • Thanks! I enjoy blogging about them almost more than I do actually doing them — almost. Just for the record, I adore your blog. You seem like a really interesting person. :D

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