Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

A modified striped dress - much easier to wear this DIY!

I made over a dress!

Last spring I made this navy/white striped knit dress, a simple, classic fitted bodice and short sleeved style (worn in a How to Wear DIY post here). I love the classics! Navy + white, nice stripes, simple pattern (Simplicity 1873 and the short sleeves from Simplicity 2444). I liked the bodice shape, but because the skirt was short and not too full, it was more of a sporty look than the girly cap sleeves allowed so I didn't wear it much.

I think I've been seeing a lot of simple tank dresses like this one around this spring, and I wanted something as basic and easy to wear. Rather than make something new, I decided to modify my old one!

It's actually really exciting to me to remake something in my closet because I don't need anything new most of the time, just to maximize what I have by making it more fun to wear. So I remade my sleeved stripey dress... into a playful tank dress to match the classic stripes and summery length!

Modifying a sleeved dress bodice into sleeveless

The bodice was lined in self-fabric, so I knew I had to be careful keeping both layers together as I turned it into a sleeveless dress. So, I put it on my dress form and allowed the layers to stretch evenly as I sketched the approximate line I wanted for the armhole. (I only did it on one side!)

I put some pins around both sides of the line and on the other shoulder side and then, at the machine, sewed directly over the purple fabric pen line in a large basting stitch.

Then I cut 1/4" from the purple line to allow the seam allowance of the bias binding I used.

Then I had a "pattern" of the right sleeve and I pinned it in place inside out on the left side and drew 1/4" from the cutting line to make the left side match; then sewed again in a straight basting stitch to secure the fabric on that side.

Then I installed this single fold bias tape as a bias facing. Here it is inside out so you can see!

That stuff is so handy! Perfect for armholes, especially in an existing dress!

Then I got a chance to wear it over the (mostly nice) weekend to an outdoor grilling party. Big hat necessary!
Shoes: Target (similar/similar). Hat: Old (similar/similar) Belt: Came on pants (similar) Dress: DIY, original here!

So much more fun and wearable now!


  1. Wow! Lovely dress! Doesn't it feel rewarding to modify something you already own so you can wear the heck out of it? Sometimes tweaking a detail as simple as a hem can totally change a garment's look. Fab job!

  2. I love that you revamped this dress into another more trendy wearable dress. Simply wonderful!!

  3. Awesome! This looks so wearable.

  4. Like the remake, looks good and yes def good to remake things already in your wardrobe. I need to do this more, my wardrobe is bulging!!





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