Sew & Tell: Lengthen a Dress with Lace


When I was in Vegas this last Fall I bought and wore this cute number from H & M. As we all know, you can get away with a lot in Sin City. Upon my return I decided my dress was too short for everyday use and I needed to add a little length to the bottom.

Materials Needed:
-dress or skirt you want to lengthen
-sewing machine and matching thread
-lace or ribbon
I happen to have some vintage lace a friend gave me and I decided to add both of them to the dress. Lace can be a bit see through and might defeat the purpose of adding length to your dress, but by stacking on on top of the other I was able to add get the look I wanted with less sheerness to it.

I took the lace and laid them on top of each face side down and pinned them together, making it easier to add them to the hem of the skirt.

Step 1: Turn the garment inside out and starting on the front of the dress to the side start pinning the lace to hem of the skirt, leave about an inch of extra lace hanging loose before you start to pin. The lace should be facing down down, just as the skirt is inside out itself.

Step 2: To finish off the edges I decided to create a little peek-a-boo look off to the side of the skirt. Fold the lace over two times on each end. You can then sew on this part like the rest of the skirt. It clearly shows where the lace ends and starts, but creates a fun detail. The first photo below is how I sewed and the second shows the final look.

Step 3: For the rest of the lace, sew right below the hem line with matching thread creating a second tread line below the first that blends perfectly.
Step 3: Sew right below the hem line with matching thread creating a second tread line below the first that blends perfectly.

While it may still be winter in Oregon, I enjoyed my “new” dress while in Mexico this last December. Plus with these crisp, sunny days around here, I’m ready to rock this dress with some tights and a sweater. Do you have any dresses or skirts you want to vamp up for the coming Spring?


7 Responses

  1. Jessica Stokke

    April 30, 2013 7:37 pm

    will you help me do this? i need it so bad for my dot dress! it is seriously kind of inappropriate…

  2. valencia

    November 12, 2013 1:34 am

    Hello Jess & Linz, I’m Valencia, the community manager of WhatIWear. I checked out your blog, and I think your style is awesome! It should be seen by more people! That’s why I’d like to invite you to WhaIWear. With 1,5 million page views a month, WhatIWear is the leading street style website in Asia. Plus, we’re still growing, so it’s perfect for rising fashionistas to have their chance to SHINE at the spotlight. (www[dot]whatiwear[dot]com)

  3. Catherine

    March 23, 2014 5:35 am

    Adorable! I’d been thinking of doing something like this to a couple of dresses/skirts, and your instructions are very clear and make it seem really do-able to even me, who’s just starting not to take every alteration to the tailor . . .


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