Last week my mother-in-law and I went on a little thrifting/antiquing jaunt. I spotted this dress at a thrift store and snatched it up.

Yeah. It doth have issues.

But I love a shirtwaist, especially a cotton one, and especially a cotton one with pockets. For $4, why not. When I tried it on at home it was too big in the waist, the length made it look dowdy, two buttons were missing at the bottom, and on the subject of the buttons I HATE SHELL BUTTONS.

Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.

On Sunday I canned some black beans, and while the pressure canner was doing its thang I busted out the sewing machine and got to work.

First, I cut about 4 inches off the bottom. Then I nipped in the waist a bit by turning the dress inside out and creating new seams by sewing right over the old ones.

I hemmed the bottom…

…and dug some buttons out of my stash.

And that was that! It took about 2 hours from start to finish. It probably would have taken less time had I worked straight on through until it was finished, but I am a big fan of taking breaks.

Overall I am pretty pleased with the results. The black buttons work much better with the dark fabric, and the length isn’t so ‘schoolmarm’ anymore. The waist is still a bit big, but I was afraid to take it in any more; the buttons were starting to strain a bit in the chestal area. 

 Here’s an action shot – unfortunately, that’s what my face looks like when I’m swatting horseflies.

See you in a few days!

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