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