A project never looked so glam! See how I transformed a dress with some basic black ribbons, iron-on adhesive and some thread! No machine needed. A sheer panel dress hem is definitely a classy, romantic addition to any simple dress.
It finally feels like spring here in Canada which means dress season, patio drinks and special occasions (prom, grads, weddings, and engagements!) Alright, so here’s the back story on this post. In March I attended a beautiful wedding, the first one of the year! I spent some time trying to look for a dress to wear but to my dismay, I couldn’t find anything suitable. I was on Pinterest when I came across this dress! I created a style board using the dress and made it come to life! YAAAS!
Polyvore inspiration board by Everyday Theresa.
If you didn’t know, I recently renovated my bedroom and part of the job was cleaning out my closet. Ugh. On the bright side, I found an old (but new) dress I’ve never gotten a chance to wear. A few years ago I purchased it from Forever 21 on a whim thinking it could be my birthday party dress. It’s sort of a dressy/party/sweet all-in-one dress but not something I could wear often. It’s on the shorter side and I prefer to wear longer dresses for formal events like weddings. BUT it looked really similar to the Pinterest dress I’d found… even the colour. I had an A-HA moment and went for a DIY route.
- Dress of choice
- Measuring tape
- HeatnBond Iron-On Adhesive
- Solid satin ribbon, 2″
- Sheer satin ribbon, 1.5″
- Needle and black thread (optional)
OR: use a sewing machine and skip the ironing stage.
I measured the hem around my circle dress and went out to my local fabric store to purchase black ribbon. I wanted two black solid stripes and a sheer stripe in between. I looked for ribbon just like that and I was in luck. The ribbons are basic so I think you could find this at your local craft store as well. I really liked that the sheer ribbon had the solid bands on the outer edges. You’ll see why in a second.
If you know how to sew by machine, this project could take you no time to finish. However, I could not sew a straight line by machine if my life depended on it… so I opted to hand sew. You could also iron the entire project – sewing is optional. This project uses an iron-on adhesive called HeatnBond for a quality finished product. It says its fast hemming without sewing and is machine washable and dryable. I’ve never used such a product before but I hoped for the best. I got the 6mm Ultra one. Remember when I said I liked the sheer ribbon with the solid stripes on the side? The adhesive gets hidden right under those bands for a flawless look!
First you’ll need your solid satin ribbon. It will be twice the length of the hem of your dress (double stripe, remember?). You’ll only need one length of the hem for the sheer part. Solid, sheer, solid. Grab your iron and set it to the lowest setting, or on silk. This iron-on stuff really just needs a quick rub of the iron to adhere some of the stickiness to the fabric.
To create the panel:
- Measure hem and add two more inches. Cut solid ribbon to that length (x2)
- Cut sheer ribbon to the length of above (1)
- Iron on the adhesive to one side of the solid ribbon.
- Place the sheer ribbon on top of the adhesive to fuse together.
- Turn over the attached ribbons and iron on a row of adhesive to the other edge of the sheer ribbon.
- Iron on the last solid ribbon to the adhesive.
However, if you had a dress or skirt that had a smoother hem, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I decided to single stitch the panel with some black thread. When I got all the way around, I overlapped the first section about half an inch, pinned it down and then tried my best to do an invisible stitch down to the bottom. Then I ironed down the seam. I’m not gonna lie, this whole sewing part took a bit of time. These circle types of dresses are so deceiving! It took me maybe an hour to sew this part. See, this could be done in two minutes with a machine!! Note to self: learn to machine sew.
I was so pleased with the results! The panel lengthens the dress to a more formal look, in my opinion. I love the contrast. The total cost of my add on panel was a whopping $17 to upscale my old dress in about 3 hours, two cups of tea, and a lot of Youtube vlogs 🙂
What styles of dresses do you prefer for weddings?