Make a straight dress More Versatile!

She arrived on the 20th day of this month, and her warm, sunny disposition is already touching our lives. As my mama’s poem, written in her long-ago school days, begins, “Spring comes tripping on a carpet of green.” I wish I could remember the whole poem, but it goes on something like this: Spring “waves her magic wand and the tree buds swell.”

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Yes, with graceful cavorting, Spring has come to visit us again, and her liveliness has brought with her the fresh greens on trees and shrubs, and colorful flowers. 😀

So…the warm weather is beckoning: It’s time to break out those warm-weather clothes!!

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DSC_0102 - dress2 B4 - CopyI love those straight, sleeveless maxi dresses, but they’re just dresses…and can be worn only one way: as a dress. Duh! Lol.

As you might have guessed by now, I adore mixin’ it up—and layerin’ it up! Ya can’t do much with a dress to mix it up—unless you add a vest or jacket, a scarf or shawl—or…something.

Those of you who have been following DIY Bohemian for any length of time, know that I’m crazy about tunics…they’re so versatile! Many times, they can serve as a dress, also as a top over jeans or pants, or—depending on the tunic, over a short or long skirt!

Now, this gives ya something to work with!! 😀

So, today, I’m giving you four different ways to rev up your maxi, by “bohemian-izing” the hemline!!

Ok…let’s do it! 😀

tHiS IS an E-Z no-sew pROject!

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The first thing you have to do is: Lose your fear of scissors!!

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The second is: Don’t be afraid to rip up your clothes! Lol.

The thing about buying “thrifties” is: Hey—if you ruin something, at least, you didn’t pay much for it! However, if you put thought into your tearing up, you won’t make mistakes…and you’ll end up with something original. 🙂

So, get out your scissors!

#1

This one doesn’t require much planning—just start cuttin’!

I wanted this to be pixie-like. I thought of Tinkerbell and Peter Pan! 😀

After I cut zig-zaggy, I looked at what I’d cut off and thought: Hmmm…! A lightbulb moment! I used some of the cut-offs to make faerie “sleeves.” Just sew the flat side inside the top of the arm hole and let the zig-zags fall across your shoulders. It’s cute! I like it!!

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#2

This a tad more involved.

DSC_0114 - close up 1. dress2Decide how short you want your short side of the diagonal to be. Put a pin there. Also pin where you want the longest side to be— You’ll want fringe all the way across, so your bottom pin needs to be a few inches from the bottom of the dress.

This is how it’ll look (right).

To start, lay the dress out on a large table and get out your trusty yardstick.

Lay it across your dress from outer pin to outer pin.

Start putting pins all along the yardstick (above) until you have a diagonal line of pins across the front. Do the same for the back of the dress.

DSC_0112 - close up3. dress2Once you have your lines, start tearing strips by clipping the bottom edge of the hem, then tearing a strip up to your pins…to make fringe.

Now that you have diagonal fringe, begin to French braid the strips, adding strands as you braid…stringing on beads, irregularly—wherever it strikes you:

Start with three strands. As you braid, pull into the braid the next strip, then, the next, etc. till you’ve gone a short way, then braid it down, as a regular braid—putting in beads as desired. Then, grab another three strands, adding as you go—French braiding, for a short distance, then braid down again, etc., etc, till you have this (below). It doesn’t need to be exactly spaced… The more irregular, the better.

Then, stitch the ends several times to make them hold.

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#3

The next two are demonstrated on the same dress:

#3- Leave the fringe long, or

#4- cut it short, close to the “V.” I liked the long fringe, but had pictured in my mind a “V”-shaped hemline.

Do the same here, as discussed in #2, using a yardstick and pins to create your lines.

But, first, fold the dress vertically to find the center of the front, and of the back. Place pins to mark the centers at the bottom of the hem.

Determine your shortest point on the sides, mark it with a pin on each side seam.

DSC_0052 - pin a lineLay out the dress. Get your yardstick and make two lines of pins, each from one side, then the other, diagonally, down to the center pin, making a “V” on front and back.

Tear strips from the bottom up to the pins. On each fringe strip, tie a half knot close to the “V.”

It you’ve chosen to leave the fringe long, you’re finished.

If you want the pronounced “V” line, go to #4.

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#4

Follow the steps for #3.

Then, simply clip the fringe strands a couple of inches below the half knot, all the way around.

That’s it! 😀

Enjoy any of these unique “hemlines” (not hemmed, per se— the edges are left raw) with pants, jeans or a skirt—or, use as a dress, each with its own “bohemian-ization!” ❤

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I’d love to hear your comments!!! Lemme know whatcha think!

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