How many times have we heard, “We bought this online for $20 and it doesn’t fit and the dance is at the end of the week”?
This girl was referred to me from another good seamstress in town who normally does not get into adding extra fabrics to make things fit.
Normally, when the mother describes the zipper not going up “a little” in the back, I picture an inch or so of a gap…ha ha. How about this? Yes, there is a full 6 inch gap at the top working its way down to the bottom of the 10 inch zipper. The hips are so tight that the back of the dress hikes up at the center back hem as well. Can’t even imagine what happens when this girl sits down and that burnout velvet starts to creep up…oh no!
They explained that they wanted to buy an extra large but they were sold out so they bought the large. Seeing as there are only 2 inches in between RTW sizing, even the next size would not have cut it.
I suggested four wedges/godets 3 inches wide and 12 inches long inserted into the side seams and lining seams to get the zipper to close and give some hip ease at the same time. If we follow the drag lines, they are pointing to her butt and bust equally so the wedges will certainly help!
I’ll skip the actual sewing part as it is black and not easy to capture. All four panels are attached and serged on the edges inside and the new panels are seamed at the armhole and here it is time for the understitching to hold the whole mess together:
Without the lining this cheap burn-out velvet would be very revealing. Seam allowances inside are pressed away from the new panels and then the seams are tacked together to keep them flat.With the new panels installed, the back hem is straight and the zipper goes up…hooray!
The side seams look nicer now too with less drag lines. On the real body, the fabric will drape better than on this poor stiff mannequin but I am not sure I would want my daughter wearing such a revealing dress to a high school dance.
Once she tries it on, there is a little pinning on the left side panel to tweak but otherwise, this is as good as it is going to get. If you are wondering what the front looks like, sorry I did not get a shot of that but it is a mirror image…narrow strip of fabric to the neckline and not much coverage.
Another darling dress was dropped off and this time the dropped waist skirt was raised 4 inches to sit on the natural waist. Now, I know all of you are thinking, or should be thinking…circumference, circumference, circumference. You can’t just hike a hip level skirt up and think it will work.
This skirt needed to be taken in 4 inches all around and also they wanted the waist to be tighter so once again, those side seams were also taken in 2 inches…so then the skirt had to be taken in another 2 inches for a total of 6.
There was no zipper and the fabrics were all knit but we got a great result. Sorry, I have no photos in the process as again…with less than a week to go, I can’t always get everything done the way I want. The girl was delighted and she was doing twirls in the sewing room and her mother hugged me and said, “this is all a mother wants!”.
I have been following a really cool blog about vintage fashion which really makes me appreciate the more simpler way of sewing.
Have a look and see how fashion has evolved through the decades: https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/a-mystery-corset-1820s/
Wishing you all a super sewing week!