A few weeks ago I showed you how I made a thrifted dress longer by adding a band of contrast fabric across the hem. That’s an easy method, but what if you don’t want to add contrast fabric? What if you want the lengthened portion to look just like the rest of the dress so no one would ever be able to tell you’ve altered it? Well, if the dress you want to lengthen has a matching lining, you’re in luck. You can use the lining to add a few inches of length to the dress and it will just look like a design detail, not a refashion.
I found this dress at the thrift store and it was just barely too short. In fact, in the dressing room I convinced myself it was long enough, but when I got it home and tried walking around and sitting down in it I realized I’d always be just a bit self conscious. (Anyone else convince themselves clothes work in the dressing room and then get home and wonder what they were thinking?) I loved the bright color, though, and the skirt portion was fully lined, so I decided to find a way to make it about 3 inches longer.
The lining was in a different material than the dress, but the colors matched exactly, so I figured it would work. I actually think the shiny-ness of the lining makes the added length look a little fancy, so I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I started by lifting the skirt portion up away from the lining and cutting off the whole lining portion close to the seam where it was attached.
I wanted a double layer of lining fabric at the hem, one longer than the other, so I cut the lining straight across into 2 pieces. NOTE: for this method to work, your lining needs to be just about the same width as the bottom of your skirt. Mine was.
The bottom of the lining was already hemmed, so I just needed to hem the second piece. I used a double needle to match the hem that was already there. (Double needles are EASY to use and pretty much awesome. Google for a tutorial if you’ve never used one.)
Then I slid one lining piece inside the other, then slid them both up inside the skirt. I pinned everything together right at the hemline of the dress (this was the hardest part since the lining was quite slippery – and it’s not perfectly even all the way around, but it’s not noticeable once the dress is on). Then I again used a double needle to sew all along the original hem, attaching the two lining pieces to the skirt. I trimmed the excess lining, pressed the hem, and had a dress that was long enough for me to be comfortable chasing my kids around in.
I do have to wear a slip with this dress now that it isn’t lined, but that’s a small price to pay for the added length!