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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Is it worth it? Let me work it. (Or Tale of the Cheap Green Dress)



Today for your Deal Diva inspiration pleasure, our friend and intrepid reporting colleague Hilary Lehman shares a tale of fashion agony, woe and eventual triumph at the artful hands of a blade. She reminds us to not only look at the obvious when shopping, but also the possibilities. Take it away, Hil!

green_dress.This weekend, I was attempting the heroic feat that is braving the sale racks at JCPenney when I stumbled upon an ultra-cute shift dress in my absolute favorite color -- lime green -- at 65 percent off.

The only problem: A horrible ruffle all the way around the neckline. But, I really love that green. So I tried the lie we all tell ourselves: maybe it will look better on.

Fail. On my body, the ruffle turned into a lei, and made the otherwise-adorable dress unwearable to anything but a tacky luau party. Desolate, I checked the stitching.

Only a single thread was holding the ruffle to the neckline of the dress -- a single thread, standing between me and wearability. I decided to risk it. Once I got home, I started hacking at the seam. In about 15 minutes, success!

Now I have my signature dress of this summer, as well as a detached ruffle that I can use in a pinch if I actually am called upon to attend a luau.

A few things to keep in mind if you’re going to rip out a seam:

  • Make sure it’s a simple seam. If the stitching has multiple threads or knots, it’s going to be impossible for you to take out easily and will probably damage the fabric.
  • Consider the type of fabric you’re working with. Cotton should work fine -- the holes left from the seam should disappear over time. Jersey or synthetic fabrics could be more dangerous.
  • Rip, don’t cut. Only use the edge of the scissor to sever the thread, if possible, or even a serrated knife. You don’t want to risk catching the fabric between scissor blades.


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 4:57pm]


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