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We love fashion in the office, and we’re all quick to tell our coworkers how cute their outfits are. And the recipients of these compliments are delighted when they get reply, “I got this at the thrift store for 5 bucks,” or “I found it at a garage sale and then hacked it to fit/repaired it/added embroidery to hide a stain, etc.”

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Recently, when I had a few days off to recover from Maker Faire, I did a little retail therapy at a couple of discount department stores. My favorite purchase was a Vera Wang dress on clearance for $7 in a size XS, which is WAY too small for me. But, I loved the fabric and I thought the skirt portion of the dress just might fit if I cut the top off and hemmed the edges above the elastic waist. And for 7 dollars, it was a chance, and a project, I was willing to take on.
I was careful when I cut the skirt away from the top, or so I thought. I did end up cutting through the elastic in one spot, but I was able to hand stitch it back up without much of a problem. Then, I folded down the ragged edges and ironed them down. I thought seriously about going out and buying some iron-on hem tape to make the job really easy, but I didn’t feel like driving to the store to buy some. The sewing machine was in the basement, so it won out, especially when my husband was kind enough to schlep it up to the kitchen for me.

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A simple stitch around the top, being careful to keep things on the straight and narrow as much as possible, and I was done. Now I need to convince my hubby to take me out to a nice dinner to celebrate the money I saved by modding this dress!