Guest-post: Tailoring tips from Cori of La Vie Petite

Today for Wardrobe Wednesday, I am so jazzed (jazzed? I can say that even if I’m not a fifty-year-old drummer with a hoop earring, right?) that the gorgeous and talented Cori of La Vie Petite has stopped by for a visit to share with us her mad tailoring skills. A clothes-meddler and a fellow English major…she’s my kind of gal! Take it away, Cori!
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Hey all you lovely Five Days…5 Ways readers!  I don’t know about you, but I’m stoked to be over here visiting darling Abbie, cause she is ca-ute.  And she’s totally got a covet-worthy closet.  Mm-yeah.

Top: French Connection (via Marshalls).  Skirt: Thrifted (dress made into a skirt).  Necklace, Boots, Earrings, Watch: Target.

 
I’m coming at you today from my own little corner of blogland: La Vie Petite.
 
I’m small, really small.  Like I never even got close to hitting 5 feet tall, and I didn’t pass the 100 lbs mark until I was 3 1/2 months pregnant with my first baby.  When I was in high school, my mom ordered one of those booster seats for your car, (you know, the ones the little old ladies use) just so I could see over the steering wheel of my Hyundai Accent (which is like the smallest car ever). 
 
I know.  So.  Sad.
 
I’ve never minded being small much, except for all the short jokes, and the fact that finding clothes that fit is a nightmare.
 
I learned early on that if I wanted to wear anything not from the kids section, I was going to have to learn how to hem, roll, pin and tuck.
 
We shorties have to make do.
 
As in, make clothing that’s too big look like it fits.
 
It’s not all bleak, though.  Being vertically challenged has its advantages.
 
First: It taught me the vital importance of fit.  Because everything is naturally too big, I pay really close attention to how things fit, where others might not look as closely.  I have learned that fit is everything.  It doesn’t matter how fabulous the item of clothing is.  If it’s too tight, or too short, or too baggy, or the shoulders don’t hit in the right place, it just looks wrong.
 
Second: It forced me to learn how to sew.  The need to hem and alter virtually all of my clothing, made clothing construction skills a necessity, and now I am so grateful as sewing is one of my favorite things in the whole world.  Honestly, I think every woman should learn to sew.  It’s an invaluable skill to have in a pinch, and it will save you a lot of money with the tailor.
 
Trust me.
 
So today I’m going to show you how I transformed this dress:
 

 
…from every bridesmaid’s worst nightmare…into a deliciously peachy pencil skirt.
 

 
When I found this baby in the thrift store, I was drawn to the color.  I mean a soft peachy salmon? 
 
Hello.  Love.
 
You know what I was not in love with?
 
The style of the dress. 
 
Or the fact that it was about 6 sizes too big.
 
But the fabric was dreamy and  soft, and the $4 price tag was right, so I brought it home to see if I could make something of it.  What did I have to lose?
 
Here’s a little overview of what I did:

1. I pulled out the old zipper from the side.  A little seam ripper action and done.
 
2. Then I cut the dress off at the empire waist line.
 
3.  I cut a band off the top of that to make a waistband out of.
 

skirt: mid-construction.  about the time I start thinking, “what the H have I done?”

4. I put darts in the front and back so the skirt would contour nicely to my curves. 
 
5. I took out the bottom hem and brought the sides in, narrowing the silhouette at the bottom of the skirt, to give it a more pencil shape. 
 
6.I attached the waistband, reattached the same zipper (snipped shorter at the bottom)
 
7. Re-hemmed the skirt, and voila`!
 
Because I had everything I needed already (zipper, thread, etc.), the total cost = $4.
 
Not bad.
 
And you know what I love most about being able to alter and reconstruct my own clothes?
 
They’re custom.  And unique.
 
And let’s face it, every girl wants to feel like she’s one of a kind.
 

Come visit me over at La Vie Petite, where lots of girly goodness ensues daily.
 
Au revoir!
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Cori! You rock, girl!
 
Thank you so much for giving us a peak into how you fashion some of your fabulous duds. And thrifty too! You know I’m loving this post! I’m now completely inspired to go find something whose seams need ripping! (Hmm…if I use another exclamation point, your computer screen will probably tell me to calm down, but that’s how much I love good DIY fashion done right…just barely resisted using another exclamation point).
 
Please go visit Cori’s fantastic blog for more fashion inspiration. (I have it on good authority that tomorrow, she’s letting us in on the secret of how to transform basic white pants into a statement item, and I think the color fuchsia might be involved; I’m so there!)

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3 thoughts on “Guest-post: Tailoring tips from Cori of La Vie Petite

I love comments so much I'd actually consider making them my sixth kid if I could. Seriously. Love. And I read every single one and will do my darndest to respond, especially if you have a question. So, yeah. Comment away! I'm listening!