Ukay Manila Dress Mod

3 May 2010

I joined the Ukay Manila online contest just for kicks, but I never expected that I would win! Admittedly, I’m not very lucky with these random-pick contests/raffles, so this was quite a surprise.

I got my prizes in less than a week and tried the dress on immediately because based on the measurements, I didn’t expect it to fit me. If it didn’t, then I’d probably give it to my younger cousin as a gift. But it did fit. The sleeves weren’t too tight and the length was just right. It was perfect except for one tiny thing: the slit between the buttons at the bust area is a gaping hole. Wow, I never thought that my chest would ever be too big for anything. LOL.

Because I was a crafty little devil, I thought up ways of how I could fix that tiny problem. A pin would’ve been the easiest, but it would only be temporary, and I didn’t have any good nice brooches I could use. Plus, it’d look odd if I had a brooch right smack in the middle, right? I also thought of making a necklace with a huge pendant but that doesn’t work because I don’t prefer wearing those and I’m very active and the slightest movement would reveal the gap. So what I did was cut the garter that was the root cause of the hole and replaced it with something to tie a ribbon at the back so that the shape of the dress would still be the same. Here’s how I did it:

I rummaged around my stuff and found a big piece of cloth with the perfect shade of cream (lucky!). It’s just like making piping for upholstery and clothes: I cut a long ribbon out of it (about an inch and a half wide), folded it in half lengthwise and stitch along its long side (I have yet to relearn how to use our ancient Singer sewing machine so it’s all hand-stitching for me), making sure it’s thin enough to match the width of the existing garter but wide enough so that a mid-sized safety pin could fit inside.

See how perfectly the color matched? It’s providential, I tell you.

Starting my sewing. See how my stitches changed from long to small? No, that’s not distortion due to perspective. I realized that the weave was too loose for large stitches so I made them smaller.

After sewing the entire length of the ribbon, I cut off the excess cloth which could make it harder for me to turn the “tube” inside-out. Here’s where the safety pin comes in. I secured it to one end and inserted the safety pin until it goes out the other side. Finally, I closed off the ends with a blanket stitch. I made two of these of equal lengths. The length was dictated by the size of the fabric I found, which was about two feet long.

Cutting off the excess

Safety pin in action

The piping is now turned inside-out

At the side seam of the dress I cut a small slit to reveal the garter. I shimmied the garter and cloth around so that the front would be slacker than it originally was, then sewed one of my cloth pipings to secure the garter and close off the slit. I did the same to the other side. My sewing is a bit messy, but it’ll do.

The garter pulled out from the slit

Finally sewed on the piping.

The gaping hole is now… a smaller hole. After all that trouble I still wasn’t able to close it off. In the end I just sewed it shut because I didn’t really have to unfasten the buttons when I wore or took off the dress. Even though the cloth piping didn’t serve their original purpose, I still like how it looks. It adds a bit more sweetness to the already sweet little icing of a dress.



  1. Love your crafting project! I’m glad you found a way to fix the dress problem. ^_^ Would’ve been better if you showed a full body pic hahaha.

    Congrats on your new blog. I’ve always liked crafting my own stuff too! Excited to see your next posts.

    • Wow, thanks! 😀 Haha I wasn’t wearing proper, ehem, brassiere there. Hence, the partial shot. I’ll just post a full body when I actually use the dress outdoors.
      Thanks again (both for the prize and the visit) 🙂

  2. Wow, I admire your creativity and resourcefulness! I used to sew and do DIY adjustments, but I’ve been very lazy as of late. Congratulations on winning! 🙂

    • heeeeee ^____^ Thanks. I hope to make more clothing DIY because my wardrobe direly needs an upgrade but I’m too stingy to buy new clothes. That’s also why I’m so thankful for this dress! 😀

  3. grabe ang tiyaga mo. haha. i hve little patience with sewing although i know how to sew. haha.

    tama ka, it looks sweeter and more demure with the new detail. 🙂

    – reena

    • haha Thanks 😀

  4. ingenius! The ViXeN’s LaiR

    • salamat 😀

  5. […] wearing, for the first time, the dress I won from UkayManila (which I modified slightly), and some of my co-inductees. Just look at how many inserts I just did in that previous […]

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