Altered Dresses (May 2012)

I have finally been able to edit the fotos I took in may of the dresses I altered. I find altering can be just as hard as sewing from scratch, or even harder, as you’re not starting with a length of fabric, so you’re limited in what you have to work with.

The first dress I altered (my first time sewing again!) was simply shortening the waist on this dress:

I got it over the internet, and now that it fits me (well, it became a little short in the process, but I always wear legging-cut-off-shorts underneath) I wear it so much! it’s very comfortable. It’s amazing how much better and more “expensive” cheap clothing looks when it fits right!

above, before altering (but with a couple of pins in it), below: after

This one I got in Paris for € 45, and I did quite some altering. It seems to me that this dress was handmade by someone! A lot of the hand stitching had come undone, and some more of it had to be opened to alter the dress. I really like how it turned out! I did make the waist a little too tight for it to be as comfortable as the polka dot one above (which has elastic shirring around the waist), but it should work fine for cooler summer days at work.


Ok, this one I got on ebay for $24(!!!) and it’s my favorite! Buuut, it’s also the hardest to work with fabric wise. I made the skirt waaay to tight the first time:

Couldn’t sit down! Second time around is better, but I’ve worn it once and I really have to put in a walking slit at the back, I had to take tiny steps! Plus, I was too scared to cut off the hem when I shortened it, I just folded it and it become quite thick, which explains the wonky hem. I’ll have to fix that. Quite a bit of altering had been done on this dress. It was originally made in Hong Kong, in the early 60ies probably. It reminds me of Joan from Mad Men! She had on this Asia-Inspired Floral Dress on in season 5 if I remember correctly… (oh btw, how dark was this past mad men season? I mean, no feet chopped off, no wild affairs for Don, and still, the season went very gradually from “hey, everything might actually work out this time!” to “everything’s so depressing and I can’t put my finger on how it happened exactly”. Very much like real life though. I really liked Megan, even though I didn’t think I would at first, and now that marriage is over, they made that pretty clear in the end… ok enough with the Mad Men talk!)

Mint Dress – Design

I feel like tie-backed dresses have been following me! First of all, I’ve been thinking of sewing another one of these:

(another dress I made for my Maturaarbeit last year, it’s not exactly “tied”, but it has that shape too)

And then I found these online yesterday:

1. from (the look has been deleted… or at least that’s what the site tells me) 2. from burdastyle user cationdesigns

So that’s what the back of the dress will be, tied (see sketch below). I had a hard time deciding what I wanted the front to look like:

But after going through my 40s/50s/60s inspirations folder, I settled on this picture for inspiration:

(via Gertie’s Blog)

A sweetheart neckline! I’ve been wanting to make one for a while, so why not now? I will make straps though.

So I spent some time today drafting the pattern for the front. From what I can tell there’s a center front seam, a side bust dart, and two center bust darts. Not sure if there is a bust dart coming from the bottom, but I drafted a pattern without one:

the cut out piece is the pattern I used for the floral dress, slightly altered to fit this design. The bottom one is the next step where I pivoted the bust dart to the center front seam. I then added another fold to the center front (just by holding it up to my body and pinching the tissue paper):

(ignore the top dart (drawing mistake), just the two along the center front seam and the side seam will be there)

I’ll do the back bodice piece tomorrow and sew a muslin too :)