Adding a fabric band to a dress; or, super short to super cute!

Hi! It's been a hot minute! I'm still not knitting. Bummer. I did go and see my physiotherapist again this week, and I have some new stretches to try, so keep your fingers and other appendages crossed for me!! 

In the meantime, I've been going medium stir crazy. I HAD to find an outlet. Now, I'm not much of a sewer; advanced beginner at best, I think. One thing I do have a little bit of experience with is simple alterations - mostly hemming, but the occasional tweak as well. Recently, I picked up a couple of really cute, really cheap dresses, and with a simple alteration, made them WAY more wearable! 

Photos? Yes. Let's. 

The top two in this little pile are the dresses I altered. Both are exactly the same shape, just different prints: a simple rectangle with holes for sleeves and neck, and an elasticized waist.

Also, um, quite short. Even for under-five-feet me. But! I had an idea! What if I could find some plain, bold coloured fabric and add a bright band to the bottom? Lengthen just enough and add a little extra PEP? (I hate to admit it but I do kind of like pep.)

I googled around and found several encouraging tutorials  - the last link was particularly instructive, and I followed a lot of the method used there (so go check it out!) I was imagining a bright, punchy mustard fabric, but...

Then I found this awesome coral pink! It seemed like it would be great with black and white...

And it totally was! YEAH! So I got down to business. SEWING BUSINESS. First, I unpicked the existing hem. I wanted to squeeze out all the length I could.

I could have just sewn the new band on top of the existing hem, but I didn't want it to be bulky - it's a pretty lightweight fabric, and it would have shown. Then! I cut two identical pieces of the band, in the length I wanted, plus allowance for seaming and hemming. I sewed the two side seams, and zigzagged (alas, I am WAY not experienced enough to have a serger, so I finish edges with zigzags.) Then, I sewed the tubey band to the bottom of the dress. 

In this one, you can see the band-to-dress seam and its zigzag finish, and the hem pressed & pinned, ready to be sewn. Oh, and also my feet. Oops. 

In this one, you can see the band-to-dress seam and its zigzag finish, and the hem pressed & pinned, ready to be sewn. Oh, and also my feet. Oops. 

Hopefully this won't jinx future hems, but I think this is the straightest hem I've ever sewn! (Note: not actually that huge of an accomplishment, most of my previous hems were hella wonky.)

YAY! It turned out cute! I love the colour!! PLUS, surprise surprise, the extra band fabric matched really well with the other print, too! 

This was a quick and fun alteration that I'll definitely try again in the future, if I end up with any more too short dresses. Normally, though, I'm HEMMING instead of trying to add more dress. On that subject, up next...

(I'm not turning this into a sewing blog. I just need to do SOMETHING creative while I can't do my regular creatives. Plus also fun dress things!)