What do you do when you win a dress in a silent auction and it doesn’t fit?
Find a seamstress with a sense of adventure and convince her that it will be fun to “make it work”?
In the first photo, I blurred out the client’s breast since this side seam zipper could not be closed.
The plan was to make a new center back “dart” that could be slashed open to insert something 4.5 inches wide and 10 inches long to fill a gap and allow the zipper to close. I sent the client to JoAnn’s for samples.
She returned with some nude knit lining and non-knit lace. I made 4 different samples to pin and preview.
You can see it is a Sue Wong, the price tag was over $400 and it is silk. First, thread trace the actual center of the back through the outside to the inside. This will be the cutting line down the middle of the new dart. I decided to treat the 2 linings as one as the lace will show everything in the end.
As with most dresses, beads can only be cut apart of the new edges have been secured, so every bead is back stitched on and others removed for the new opening…is this tedious or what?
I hand baste a row of stitching on either side of the original red thread basting before cutting. Taking a deep breath and murmuring a quick Hail Mary helps me slash through 3 layers of silk like I know what I am doing. Have I done this countless times before…ah, no.
Once the panel is hand basted into positioned, we have the try-on. In this photo I was showing the client that she could have her halter straps attached unto the dress to feel more secure while also taking in the lace panel to feel tighter with pinning it down the center. This poor little panel has to do a lot of work!
This photo shows the halter ties with the tassels. She opted for that for now.
OK, for those of you who have spotted the fact that the panel dips way below her waist…yes, you can see through it and she will have to wear nude colored panties. So the question comes up…why did you make the panel so long, Mrs Mole? The front of the dress was also pulling too tight across her tummy and once the zipper could be closed, it would have made the front drape sections pull way apart.
The finished panel with the seam allowances all flipped away from the lace edges.
The lace panel edges are serged and hand sewn to the top lining. You can see the very bottom of the dart which is pressed flat. Even though there were 2 layers of satin lining, they all managed to lie flat for me.
Last thing to do was hem the top layer, remove the lower beads, hem and replace the beads.
Now you can see why the back panel had to be so log as the front drapes were very dependent on hanging straight. Funny enough the 2 layers of lining were short enough and did not need hemming, just the over skirt. A close -up of the front beading is a little blurred…sorry.
So another happy customer went out the door!
Have a great week of stress-free sewing everyone!