Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting

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Easy DIYs: Lengthening a dress

IMG_1780Remember this post? Well, I finally got around to lengthening the first dress and I thought that this would also make the perfect Easy DIY feature. It was pretty simple to do and didn’t require much effort, so if you have an abnormal amount of too short dresses, or just one that you’d like to lengthen, then here’s your chance. Let’s get started!

What you’ll need:

IMG_1777-The dress you’d like to lengthen

-Another dress or fabric to lengthen with

-A tape measure

-Fabric scissors


-A stitch unpicker

-And, of course, either a sewing machine or a needle and thread

The method:

1. Unpick the hem of the dress you want to lengthen

2. Decide on the length you want your dress to be. It may be helpful to measure it against another dress which you wear often and you know is a good length. Note the extra length down


3. Measure the width of the first dress (at the hem) while it is flat. Make sure there are no kinks in the fabric when you do this though, as it’ll affect the alterations. I found it easier to do the front and back separately, which gave me different measures

I used a teal dress instead of fabric as I found that the colour matched almost perfectly to my altered dress

I used a teal dress instead of fabric as I found that the colour matched almost perfectly to my altered dress

4. Cut out your fabric (or second dress, in my case) according to the measures you have taken. Look at the original seams of the dress and try to follow suit. For mine I cut out two back pieces and one long front piece. Remember to add an extra inch or so for seam allowances on the side and hemming on the bottom

If your fabric has a slight stretch to it it may help to cut out a template from a piece of newspaper first

If your fabric has a slight stretch to it it may help to cut out a template from a piece of newspaper first

5. Pin the pieces of fabric to the dress (right sides together), turn over and check that you’re happy with it


6. Sew the fabric to the dress


7. Once this is done, and you’re happy with how it looks, sew the sides together, creating a seam. Make sure you follow the line of the original seam and, if you find it easier, unpick a few stitches of the original seam to help you

8. All that’s left to do now is to hem the dress and try it on


Et voila! A dress that was once almost indecent has been converted into a wearable garment once again.


How to find sewing tutorials online

IMG_1733You all know how much I love to sew, right? I think, at my speediest, I’ve been able to draft and sew most of a dress in a day. But it wasn’t always that easy for me and I still feel that there are plenty of better skilled people out there.

When I first started out (and when I want to make something now but am out of ideas), I often looked online for ideas and easy tutorials. This is a great place to start if you’re new at sewing and websites are great places for picking up tips on how to make a circle skirt, or starting a dress. These patterns are often quite easy and, therefore, manageable for the novice and more experienced crafters amongst you and so I’ve compiled a list below of the best (in my opinion) places on the internet to find tutorials. You can thank me later!


I’m going to start with the one website I turned to when I was first getting into sewing and wanted to try everything, which was Craftster. Creations are sorted into categories, ranging from clothing and sewing in general to crafty business advice. Although you have to be a member to post or comment on other people’s work, it’s handy to sign up to the site and I’d highly recommend it, if only for the tips and tricks posted there.


Although you have to pay for some of the patterns on Burdastyle, the website does once again enable its members to post their own projects and versions of the paid-for patterns. Burdastyle is probably a better website than Craftster if you’re looking for professional patterns, but both are equally good if you don’t mind searching through the archives for a handmade gem or unusual project. Burdastyle is also perfect for those of you who are ethically minded, with the option to print at home onto PDF.


This suggestion is a lot more generalised than the above, as I couldn’t possibly choose between different sewing blogs, as there are so many and I just wouldn’t know where to start. Sewing and craft blogs are always great places to find easy tutorials and patterns and with such a vast selection, there’s always something for everyone. Some personal favourites of mine are Tilly and the Buttons, Casey Brown Designs and So, Zo…, but you can often find a tutorial or pattern just by googling ‘How to make an A line skirt’ (or whatever you like!). And remember, all these sewing bloggers started off as beginners too.


Finally, there’s Youtube. The video sharing site is perfect for anyone looking for the basics of sewing, the more intricate techniques and for tutorials, such as this one that I’ve been wanting to make for years. Videos are also better at showing exactly how things should be done, so if you’re ever in doubt, head to Youtube.

I hope that’s helped any of you wanting some inspiration at the moment. I know I often need it. If you feel I haven’t mentioned some other places where you can find tutorials, then please share in the comments. Thanks!