Monday, May 7, 2012

An Epic Tale of Epic Proportion

 ...or how I altered this dress TWICE!  (I know.)

The original pattern is the wedding dress to the right, lovely lines, interesting neckline, plunging back, etc...  

The final version (I say this as I sit in it, still full of pins and needing to be re-hemmed) is more of a cocktail dress, but the bones are there.

Although lovely, trains and enormous skirts really don't fit into my day to day life.   (Although, I've found being odd lets me get away with pretty much anything.  I'd be willing to bet I could show up to work in a dress with a train and most people wouldn't bat an eye.  But, that may be more of a comment on the office.  There were people who didn't realize I'd been wearing a dinosaur costume all day.)  

Anyhow, I removed a lot of the volume and brought the skirt up to right below my knees while still in the tissue paper stage.   This all predates the blog, so I have no pictures of the process to show.

I liked it, and wore it around a few times.... but it always seemed somewhat   I eventually realized the sleeves just weren't working for me, and off they went.

I forgot to get a picture ahead of time, so this one was taken midway through the sleeve-ectomy.    (This is alteration #1 for anyone keeping track.)

So, I wore it like that once or twice, but it was still a problem -- the plunging back, while pretty, doesn't play well with my standard bra straps, and I really hate going strapless -- the only viable choice when wearing this number in public.

So, having a little bit of the original fabric left over, I decided to cut off the current straps and put in new ones that would allow me to wear a normal bra, and have the added effect of preventing the straps from sliding off my shoulders on a regular basis.  Call me crazy, but I like my clothing to stay on whilst out and about.

(Ignore the gap at the top, I forgot to close the clasp.  Its bugging the living daylights out of me, but everything is already loaded and I'm lazier than I am annoyed.)

Fancy new straps!  Which stay on!  And cover my underthings!  Yay!

(Alteration #2, part 1)

 Whilst playing with the straps, I started paying more attention to the neckline... the curved V just never looked right one me, so I decided to turn it into a scoop.    The left side of the image shows the original neckline, while the right shows the new version.  I unpicked the seam, marked the new neckline, cut it down, pinned and cut whatever those little nips are called that lets curves expand properly, and then resewed it up by hand.

(alteration #2, part 2)

Finally, I undid the side seams up to (but not including) the bodice and repinned them to better follow my figure.   (See how loose it is in the sleeve-ectomy picture?)     This is the current result, and I'm very happy with it.   I still need to sew it up, and I plan to redo the hem (my standard have gone up in the 2ish years since I made this for the first time) but its nearly there.

And I need to remember to put the pockets back in... that's an important one.

(alteration #2 part 3)


  1. The re-do is very flattering. Funny, I've often eyed that same pattern as having great bones for a regular day dress. Happy to see it made up. you look great in it.

    1. thanks! you should try it to. Its a fairly friendly pattern -- but beware of the back straps. They are not meant for daily use.

  2. Wow, you are so meticulous..I wouldn't have the patience or courage, but then you will end up with the perfect dress ( again)
    Great work!!

    1. hahah, thank you! I would have gone with obsessive and insane, but I think meticulous sounds a lot better. :)

  3. Your final version turned out beautifully! I love how the back turned out, and this color is stunning on you! Yes, don't forget those pockets - those are super important :)


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