by Karen DIY

Sissy’s favorite dress grew too short

1 (3)
Sissy’s latest growth spurt caused her favorite jumper to shrink.

The Jumper

Sissy loves glitter, silk, cheetah and pink. Her favorite jumper gave her all of that and warmth, too. But as little girls do, she grew. Her favorite dress suddenly became too short. Since at least two more months of winter loom ahead, my plan involved lengthening the hem to get her through to spring.

2 (2)
The half inch hem could not be let out to lengthen it.

 Plan B

Adding wide ribbon to the bottom would give Sissy a bit of grow room. It’s a simple fix.

3 (2)
I have only one bobbin, so I need to “upload” only enough thread for any particular project. I hope to find more bobbins at a rummage sale soon!
My only working foot. Same problem as the bobbin!

Everything looks good as I begin to add the ribbon. After a couple inches I check it to see the end product.

I am not sure how this combination of ribbon and fluffy/stretchy material will work together.



Not the look I wanted. I’ve had lots of practice with the seam ripper


With the ribbon close to the edge, the stitches slip off the edge too easily. I’ll lose a little length, but I’ve got to move it up.


Pinning it down helps keep the stitches smooth and in place. I own about 16 pins at the moment. Somehow they always disappear.


That’s what I wanted. It adds about an inch, which is a lot on a 34″ tall toddler.

Attempt #2 hits the mark. I’m ready to do the whole hem.

Sissy likes to pick out her own clothes now. I’ll be doing the laundry often to keep this one in circulation for her.

Sissy is going to love it!

Is a sewing machine for you?

My mom sews like a professional and my sister makes a living sewing. I use my sewing machine for easier projects, a little quilting and rips/repairs. I’ve found replacement parts at yard sales, fabric at thrift stores and inherited a button basket that will last through my great-great-grandchildren’s childhoods.

All the money I’ve put into it has more than repaid me in savings. If you want to begin sewing, look for a used machine from your area. Call a craft store to find if they offer classes or tutoring, and ask around the neighborhood or at church for help.

During my junior high years, I taught my 10-year-old sister Leeann how to thread my mom’s sewing machine. That’s all it took for her to start a love for sewing. It’s “sew” much easier than you think.






  1. It is such a cute dress! Love how you added the ribbon at the bottom to lengthen it! My mom used to do the same thing to my dresses when they got too short, she’d sew some lace or length of fabric that matched to make it look like a decorative hem! I sew need to get my sewing machine fixed!

  2. What a genius idea! Ive thought of doing similar things to my own clothing that I wish was just a *tad* longer. Thank you for the reminder!

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