Quick Fix — Wide Shoulder Dress or Top

Here’s a quick little post to show y’all a trick for keeping a wide shoulder dress or top from falling down your shoulders.  Scroll down for a bonus thrift-store sundress refashion!

Wide Shoulder Dress or Top Combo
left: what happens — right: what I want to happen

The bandana dress we’re working on today was my outfit of choice for last September’s West Asheville Refashioning Competition.  I thrifted this dress shortly before the competition and this was the first time I’d worn it.  Little did I know it would proceed to incessantly fall down my shoulders while I scrambled to cut, pin, sew and hot glue up a storm.  By the time we finished creating our entry, I had had it with the dress.  I liked it well enough–great fit, cute, cheap, super soft fabric–but it was not worth wearing when I had to constantly push the sleeves back up to keep from exposing myself.  If a piece of clothing is too much work to wear, I end up not wearing it.

Wide Shoulder Dress or Top refashioning competition
I had probably tugged the sleeves back up 100 times at this point.

I wasn’t ready to completely abandon the bandana dress just yet, so I set it aside in my refashion pile thinking at the very least I could salvage the fabric for another project later.  Then when spring rolled around and I started unpacking my warm weather clothes, I found this cowl-necked neon yellow shirt and it just hit me–the perfect quick, easy fix to make the bandana dress wearable again!

Wide Shoulder Dress or Top inspiration shirt
Back of inspiration shirt, see where this is going?

Quick Fix — Wide Shoulder Dress or Top

I decided to first test my theory by safety pinning an old collar that I’d cut from a t-shirt to the back of the dress, inside out, so that the pins weren’t really visible on the outside.  I then wore it to a friend’s house for a papier-mâché mask making night to try it out, figuring that wearing it while doing something active and messy was a true test of how well it would stay up.  If you’re short on time this is a super quick fix using only a scrap of fabric and a couple of safety pins.  It worked like a charm, no issues with the dress sneaking down my shoulders, so no tugging/smearing my clothes with papier-mâché goo.  Yay!

Wide Shoulder Dress or Top Safety Pins Quick Fix
No time to sew? Meet my friends, safety pins!

To make it a permanent fix, I used the same black t-shirt collar, but embellished it by zigzagging along the top and bottom edges with contrasting grey thread (which made the t-shirt collar look like less of a t-shirt collar, and hid the raw bottom edge), then sewed it to the back of the dress.  You can be creative here and use whatever you have on hand to make the strip: braided yarn, ribbon, scrap fabric, rope, etc.  If you’re feeling extra crafty, take it a step further and embellish the strip with embroidery, beads, or decorative stitching.  I love how mine turned out!

Wide Shoulder Dress or Top ready to sew
Inside out, ready to sew!

And done!  It works well, went quickly, looks legit, and cost me $0.   My kinda project!

Final Quick Fix Wide Shoulder Dress or Top

And now, if you’re still with me…
Bonus Sundress Refashion!

final combo

A friend recently thrifted this dress for me, and while I love the print and the cute little button embellishment, all those ruffles just weren’t doing it for me.  Not one to be easily dissuaded, I decided to fix it by picking apart the seams where the ruffles were attached and removing them.  It was time-consuming, but made a great excuse to marathon Game of Thrones on a lazy Sunday at home.  Once I’d removed the ruffles, I had to resew the hem along the top of the dress and reattach the straps, which only took a few minutes at the sewing machine.  Now I have myself a breezy little sundress just in time for the hottest days of summer, and it doesn’t make me look like a frilly cupcake.  😀

Refashion Bonus Quick Fix Wide Shouldered Dress or Top
No frills, and also RBF(oops).

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