Do It Yourself

Lemon Twist

We have grown into a society that believes we fit a certain model. When it comes to clothing we expect that we are a small, medium or large – we believe that because its a 10 we should be able to fit. To our horror when its too big or too small. I have been convinced over the years that I have larger than normal upper arms because many items that have sleeves don’t fit – I can’t even get them on. 

Other times the length of pants or a dress is much too long for my 5’3″ height. Every body is unique and there is no such thing as a one size fits all. This is why a little sewing can go a long way. No real skill required but a sewing machine makes a world of difference. My mom once said the beauty of what I do is that I have no formal training, I don’t know the “do’s and don’ts” of sewing. I have no fear of cutting apart a sweater or a dress. 

You just have to be ready for it to fail, unravel or shred like crazy. Not every alteration works, but when it does… its magic.

Changing the Design

I posted this lemon print dress on Instagram asking what I should do with it. There were tons of great suggestions I just had to ultimately decide what was more my style. Some said a skirt and crop top (I don’t do crop!), shorten it, cut the sleeves off and shorten… Or leave it as is and just style it better.

There was so much material the possibilities were endless. Finally I just stood in front of a mirror and started trying different things. It was a very intuitive project as I had no set plan I just wanted to see where it would take me.

After several hours of finicky stitching, some pinning and a hint of frustration I came up with an asymmetrical look. I had only a short length of white tassels left over from a kimono – that I wanted to use as well. I cut the sleeves off and used one as a bow on one shoulder. I removed the zipper from the back completely and ended up with a faux wrap style bottom with single shoulder top.

When I showed the finished product the first time it was considerably longer. The more I looked at the photo, I realized it wasn’t the right length. The following day (a Monday morning before work) I decided to take it up to above the knee. The final product isn’t perfect but it works great for me. Its more fitted, fun and I have enough fabric left over to make a beautiful scarf!

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