The case of the “Sad Sack” sack dress

It has been raining here in the southeast for, like ten days in a row.  So I thought I’d work on my mountain of fabric stash, look for some inspiration.  I found this long-forgotten dress wadded up in one of my bins.  I recall it was given to me by a neighbor with a “here, you sew, can you make something out of this?”  Here it is, in all it’s glory:


Now I remember why it sat untouched for so long.  This is a Chico’s dress, made of two layers of rayon crepe, blue and purple.  It’s a plain sack, too big for me, but there’s so much fabric, I guess I thought I could do something with it.


Oh boy.  Like I said, a big ole’ sack, no darts, no shaping.  And, the ties at the sleeves gotta go.

I wanted to try a few quick-fit adjustments rather than taking the whole thing apart, so I began by sewing some shirring stitches at each shoulder seam:


I just sewed a straight stitch in the ditch across the shoulder seam, with elastic thread in the bobbin.


This brings the armscye up to hit the shoulders better.  You could also use clear elastic, or even sew tucks.  It’s quick and dirty, not perfect.

Next, I shortened the hem, staggering each layer, so they would be visible:





Well, it’s not perfect.  I think it’s still too big and will require more than just the shoulder tucks.  The side seams need to be taken in, which means both layers, since they hang freely from the arm seam.

As long as I’m doing that, I may as well remove the sleeve and alter the shoulder.  It is raining again today, I may as well!

And, I still have to cut off those stupid sleeve ties.

  1. Yeah, sleeve ties are a PITA, but I like your alterations. It looks great shortened and with the shoulders shirred, especially with your accessories.

  2. I like it with just these alterations ( and accessories!). I’d stop now, apart from those sleeves ties…

  3. If for no other reason that yhe fab hem, you should be praised!!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Enjoying a RTW FAST since 2015! Creator of "DESIGNIN' DECEMBER!" Addicted to sewing since the 70's! In a few words, I want to try everything, learn everything and talk about it with you!

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