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The dress: About success and failure

This was an excellent practice to wake up my sewing skills in spring 2022: Altering a too big, unworn classical linen shirt dress with many modifications after my long sewing pause.

beige linen dress front and back side
Altered dress front- and backside


Hem, slip pockets, shirt pockets

First I removed the too long side slit, shortened the dress in general and rounded the hemline as a classical button down shirt, backside a bit longer.

In my opinion every dress MUST have pockets, i mean pockets for putting the hands in: So I made slip pockets. They are half success / half fail: One is good, the other is a bit wiggly. These need more practice for my part.

There were two shirt pockets set on the front, each of them got an embroidered pocket flap. I designed the flaps such, that they can be put into the pocket building visually just a light blue line – if I am not in the mood for colorful embroidery and want a more clean look. Success all along the line I would say.

colorful sun and sunset embroidered pocket flaps with pins
Embroidered and pinned pocket flap
light blue embroidered pocket flaps in detail
Flap options
beige linen dress with light blue pocket flaps with sun embroideries

Buttons, double casing

Then I changed the brown buttons to blue ones, the same blue of one wave in the embroidered sunset flap.

For more options I sewed on a double casing in the back and on the left and the right side to be adjusted with 5 mm wide sewn laces of the dress linen. On the left side i attached a button to have even more possibilities.

beige linen dress with a blue button on a printed blue flower
beige linen dress with a blue buttons and a casting

Sleeves and collar

I shortened the shirt sleeve and thus removed the wristband. I am still not content with this solution, because the armhole is cut too low. But I did not find a solution for this problem. Kind of a failure, but it is not the end of the day. If a possible solution will come to my mind, i will implement it. A (dress) transformation can be a never-ending story somehow.

Because the shirt collar was far too wide around the neck and thus looking strange, I removed it. Here again I am again not 100 % content with my approach. But at least it feels better like before .

beige linen dress with light blue embroidered pocket flaps


Almost all the “waste” / surplus cloth (hem length, sleeves, …) got used in the process.

In the end it took me quite a lot of time, because I altered so many things.

It is definitely MY dress now: I have worn it a lot since, and I never wore it before the transformation.

And in any case it was an excellent practice to wake up my sewing skills.

So all in all this project was successful in my view. And learning to live and grow with (my own) limitations and imperfections is a tough, but great endeavor. Isn´t it?


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