Repurposing a dud purchase

Repurposing a dud purchase

Sometimes in life we make mistakes.  Luckily, most of the mistakes we make aren’t that serious, or we can fix them (and learn from them) pretty easily.  Gather ‘round, and hear this story of a shopping mistake I made, and how I’ve made it right just in time for the upcoming spring.  

Remember this post?  In it I mention that I found the dress awkward, because when I lifted my arms I also lifted the dress.  Shift dresses, why you gotta play me like this?  However, I love the fabric of this dress, so it cut me to the core that I wasn’t wearing it.  I thought about wearing it in winter layered over a polo neck and some tights, but to me this is totally a summer print and fabric combo. I was super annoyed at myself for spending money on something I wasn’t going to wear, but I was also resistant to getting rid of it.  It was, as always, an unnecessary emotional journey.

Then inspiration (finally) struck me – I could just cut the bottom off and wear this as a contributor in one of my five favourite looks: “Boxy AF”.  And thus the following events ensued.  Please note I started this at 9pm, like the sensible woman I am.

Put on dress. Lifted arms one last time in case a miracle had occurred. It had not.

Looked at self in mirror. 

Put a pin where I thought the hem should be.  Accidentally stabbed the soft flesh of my tummy.

Checked for blood – no blood.  Resumed pinning.

Took off dress With Extreme Care.  Had flashback to stabbing self with pins when being fitted by my mother as a child.

Carefully cut around the dress approximately an inch from pin.  That’s right – I used one pin as the reference point for an entire hemline.  I may or may not be a professional.

Ironed in a hem.  Deeply pleased this is a linen dress and ironing it was a two second job.

Hand sewed the hem.  Not a two second job.  Tried watching the YouTube nail tutorials that I love but impossible to watch a woman make incredible acrylic nails and sew simultaneously.

Fiiiiiiiinally finished sewing.  Tried on new top.  Success – hem is sufficiently even to wear top untucked.


Then I got really bold and tried to hem a jacquard pencil skirt, which was nearly a success except I made one side like 2mm shorter than the other where the vent is at the back, so I need to correct that.  Possibly should not have tried to cheap out on that one.

The point is, not every purchase is perfect right off the shelf.  Sometimes you have to wear something properly to see how it goes. We’ve all had that skirt that weirdly rode up, or twisted, or the shirt that wouldn’t stay buttoned properly, slowly driving you mad through the day.  I really feel like if I ended up in the Greek personalised version of hell, my “push a rock up a hill for eternity” punishment would be “walk in shoes that are slightly too high” or “wear a shirt with an itchy seam”.  Forget eternity, I’d be a tormented soul by the end of day one. 

(Also, doesn’t Greek hell seem very 2017 with its personalised approach? Does that rock come with a monogram?)


I’m a big fan of putting a bit more effort in so that something will work for me, and not annoy me.  All my button down shirts have a small dome thingy sewed in to prevent gaping, various high heels have non-slip pads in/on them to make sure they’re super easy to walk in (if you can’t run in them, don’t wear them), and many a pair of jeans have had their hems cut off to make them the correct length for me.  Don’t like those sleeves? Take them off! Jacket has shoulder pads?  Tear them out!  I hate pockets that stick out of the side of pants – so I sew them shut.  I add ribbon belt loops to the back of pants that lack the one at the small of the back.  When I read this back I question how I have time for fulltime job.

What little projects have you done to get rid of the irritating bit of an otherwise entirely excellent piece of clothing?  

This top was a dress from Moah, since closed down :( similar, but much much nicer, from Staple + Cloth.  Pants are from Ruby, currently available on sale.  Earrings are from Trade Aid, and were in the Wellington CBD store about a week ago when I last popped in.  Sunnies are good old Glassons from a million years ago, and shoes are Ted Baker from a season or two ago.  Similar here