DIY with a Tailor: Off the Shoulder Dress

DIY with a Tailor 5

Sometimes I start a DIY and I realize I’m going to need some help. I think this is ok. I can sew–barely; I’m definitely a novice. But my lovely tailor in my neighborhood is amazing. And, she’s so sweet! I got started on this DIY and by the end realized when it came to the sewing, I’d need her help.

Let me back up: when I saw this long sleeve, crew neck dress in HM on sale for only $12, I instantly saw it as an off the shoulder dress for spring. At some point I’ll have to stop with all the off the shoulder styles, but for now, I’m deciding to go with what works, and this style works for me!

DIY with a Tailor 1

Here’s what I did to turn this long sleeve dress into an off the shoulder one:

1. Choose a long sleeve tee or dress.

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This DIY could be done with a long sleeve tee or dress. It could even be done with a regular old tee shirt (see here for the easiest t-shirt DIY ever).

2. Put the item on, and using four pins, measure.

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First, pin the point at which you would like the top to sit on your chest. (I went on the high side since I did not want to show cleavage while wearing this dress.)  Then, take another pin and mark where you plan to cut which would be folded over for the hem. I went about an inch higher than the top’s hemmed edge. Finally, mark the sleeve in the same way.

3. Now, cut across at the top pin.

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Luckily for me, I was able to cut right along the line, so an item with stripes is highly recommendable. Otherwise, using a ruler, measure how far is needed to cut, take that measurement, and mark the garment across evenly. Then, cut across that line.

4. Hem and sew. Or, at this point, take it to a tailor.

Now, fold to the second pin mark, and hem. This is where I decided that my tailor would be better at sewing the hem. For this dress, I also hemmed the length–shorter just works better for me and my legs!

DIY with a Tailor 2

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DIY with a Tailor 3

Now, tell me:

Have you embraced the off the shoulder trend? Do you intend to? I’ve definitely got more of this look coming. This spring going into summer, I can’t seem to get enough of it!

*Thank you Norbyah for these pics. You got the sun and me just right! 

*Also this post has been linked up to the Project Sister Act, #iwillwearwhatilike, Turning Heads.

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  • Hmmm. Great minds! Or is it just whats on trend right now. I have my one off the shoulder dress I am posting soon. Love that you thought of this. I cant sew worth a darn, but very smart! Love the look on you with the sneakers.
    jess xx

    • Thank you so much Jess! I’ll try to come by on Tuesday. (It’s always so tricky because it’s already Tuesday over here! Time zones….!) And I can’t wait to see your off the shoulder goodness. I really have so much of it these days, but it’s a style that works for my sloping shoulders! Love, Ann

  • Ruth Maldonado

    This is so cute and is so easy to do! I’ll have to try it! The first picture you totally look like Jackie O! Love the stripes!

    • Oh wow! Jackie O!? What a compliment!! Thank you Ruth!

      Do give it a try. It was super, super easy–the only kind of DIY I’ll do. Love, Ann

  • So this dress was cute in its original form, but you definitely took it up about 10 fashion notches. So adorable! The off the shoulder trend is not for me, but it looks great on you and so many others I have seen wearing it so well!

    • Why do you say not for you? Have you tried? I think it’s a great style for so many different body types. For me and my sloping shoulders this style really helps me out somehow. I love your “10 fashion notches” comment. Thank you!! Love, Ann

      • I have not tried it yet. My shoulders get too cold! And I have very broad “swimmer” shoulders, so I think I would look like a linebacker rather than getting the desired feminine look from this! But I will try it and see…
        Thanks for the push, Ann!

  • Anna Parkes

    Another great little masterclass Ann, thank you. Like you, I’m a novice at sewing, but do like to take on a little challenge from time to time. The off-the-shoulder look really suits your young sun-kissed limbs, so yes, go for it girl! Lovely look x

    • Aww, thanks so much Anna! I have to slow down though because now I have this dress, my pinstripe shirt option, two white tops, a black one (to be featured soon), and a blush one. Enough is enough right? Or maybe…more is more!! Hahha. Love, Ann

  • Good golly Miss Molly….You look great!!!
    A simple look (so clever) that is executed to perfection.
    Great accessorising.
    And, don’t even get me started on your toned and tanned limbs…..grrrrr (I should be hating you right now!!)

    • Thank you Samantha! Have you tried out Jergens? I swear that’s my trick!! I think I should write a post about it….these pics were evidence of the first sun in months!! And it was brightest right at this golden hour. Other than that, we’re covered in grey clouds. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true! Jergens and Tan Towels. That’s the ticket!! 😀 Love, Annie

  • I wish I could sew but my sewing is as good as my drawing stick men. Terrible! And yes, it is ok to get help! This turned out just grand and suits you to an absolute tee! It’s fun and you look so happy and carefree in the photos. Yup, Norbyah did a fabulous job capturing in the light.
    I’d love to do off the shoulder but bras are always a nightmare! My boobs are waaaay to big for strapless bras to be even worthy of consideration. I shall live vicariously through you whilst contemplating that I might investigate a cold shoulder top instead!

    • Yes, my sewing would not have helped this dress to turn out as well as it did–hence the help from my local tailor. We’re striking up quite a relationship. When I enter the shop, she seems to anticipate my next project with the little smirky grin on her face.

      This is what I told Shelbee: my Girls are also way too big. I simple take my bra and push the straps to the side. So much easier. If the straps don’t want to budge, just loosen them a bit. I need the support of my bra–for sure! Give it a go, and let me know what you think. And yes, I have a cold shoulder coming….! I can’t wait to try it out!!

      Thanks for stopping by Jacqueline! Love, Ann

  • If I had your shoulders I would certainly embrace it. Now.. my shoulders aren’t bad, but I have problems with strapless bras. Somehow I always seem to end up with 4 boobs.
    This DIY is amazing. The dress looks so much nicer. It is really very beautiful on you. You will make people turn their heads.

    • Thank you Greetje! I have a secret too: I most often just wear a regular bra with this off the shoulder style. Strapless bras stink! So I just slide the bra straps off to the side. Presto–regular support for the Girls!! Try it;D Love, Ann