Loosen Up

Once in a while I get in a real luxury garment/expensive that has been altered and made too small. A new client brought in a gorgeous princess line sheath dress from Switzerland that was too tight.

Immediately I saw that the bust point of the princess front seam was too high by about 1 inch and she was complaining of the armholes being too tight and high. At one time the dress did fit but with some aggressive alterations done to the side seams it changed the whole shape and fit of the dress.

Here is a basic drawing of a front and back bodice that shows what I am talking about: More so on the back you can see that at some point taking in the side seams more than an inch actually starts making the armhole opening shorter in height and more grabbing under the arm pit. The armhole needed to drop down at least one inch in the back and front and have the side seams let out right to the edge.

Now this dress was a very fine wool with a small amount of stretch and the rayon lining also had some nice stretch. What the dress needed was a way to open the shoulder seam and add a piece. Thankfully the dress had a deep hem and I could cut a 2 pieces for that area and later put in a patch.


Here is the wool patch on the shoulder seam and the way I marked a lining piece to match.

From the right side it just looks like a factory made section that was there from the beginning but here is where it came from:

Next I had to patch the hem with new Ambiance lining.

Pinned into place and ready to be stitched and flipped up.


Now this  patch will lay flat on the inside and not show from the right side.

  The lining piece at the shoulder was attached by hand and lays flat. All it needs are some French tacks with snaps to work as lingerie straps and it is good as new only better. With this extra section added and the side seams let out the client was very happy and the dress fit like it was supposed to.

Next time I share photos of a sample wedding dress that was purchased in San Francisco under the label of “new”. Once the lining in the zipper area was opened, it told a different story. You will see some tips to use when shopping for off the rack sample dresses.

With 2 days of sunshine this week and some veggies planted we all have our fingers crossed that Spring is in it’s way.

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5 Responses to Loosen Up

  1. prttynpnk says:

    Wow. Again I just shake my head at your ability to revive the dead. Phew.

  2. theresa says:

    Looks like a beautiful dress, and how lucky you are such an expert tailor to be able to fix it so nicely. I am sure the customer is over the moon about it. I hope so.
    I never would have thought anyplace would pass off a used dress as new. Live and learn and can;t wait to hear all about the wedding dress.

    • mrsmole says:

      More great photos to come! I see snow is heading your way while Spring is trying it’s best to stay in our valley.

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