You know me. every month is Alteration Month.
This dress belongs to my niece, and while I might take issue with it's content and presentation, she loves it and needs it to be bigger.
And there's virtually nowhere on it to harvest sufficient fabric to widen the bodice 9".
Well, it's a full circle skirt.
She doesn't care if it's less than full.
Kids, we have a plan.
The twist on this is that I could really use an expansion suit for the dress form.
Because this job isn't complicated enough.
The return of the JJ Sloper
(link over on the right, in the tutorials and projects, at the end)
Four very important words
Extension and dart marking
Yes, it got a side zip.
There's a long week of hand stitching fleece into it to give it some heft that I am leaving out here.
All of this so I could get to this side view and ponder the bodice getting wider and the skirt getting narrower.
Behold! My very technical manner of taking measurements and notes.
Her measurements vs what I saw when she tried on the dress.....
from these numbers, I made a pattern for the insert.
And I cut it out of the side seam of the skirt
Center line of the pattern on the seam line. I was expecting to have a seam in my side piece, so that the fabric I harvested would leave a balanced skirt side seam.
Fun alteration fact: I had to pull the thread from the front to pick out the stitching, stitch by stitch, as digging in with the ripper was just snagging the satin. Yes, it is very slow work, but it has it's own rhythm and charm.
The slowest part of this job is always unpicking, and it gives me the time and opportunity to get a sense of how the project needs to go. How shaky is the original stitching, how sturdy or flimsy is the fabric (does it unravel when you look at it) how weak/strong is the thread, how much or how little I can leave as a seam allowance. I learn a lot in this space and sometimes it gives me enough information to make me totally rethink my plans.
For a satin poly, it was pretty sturdy and loved fraying. So all the seams were overlocked
I pinned it together on the ironing board
It was so slippery I had to pin the dress TO the ironing board to keep it from sliding off.
The material I'm filling the lining out with is from a previous alteration for another dress for my niece. Stash for the win. Yes, that's blue nylon tricot in the bodice lining.
This is not my prettiest alteration. It is under the arms, so not as obvious, but finding new fabric to add would have been very time consuming, and time was not a luxury.
I should mention that this is one moment where scanning the fabric and printing a fat quarter of Spoonflower satin to match would have been preferable, but time wasn't an available option.
Sometimes you just run with what you have available.
I did need to lengthen the shoulder straps
So I borrowed from the ends of the ties.
They are cut on the bias. This is not a good option, but it's what I have. (there is that longer term Spoonflower option if that's necessary)
I undid the straps at the back bodice top edge, and added the extra 'straplet' there.
I top stitched the end of the tie closed
And I safety pinned the new strap and the old strap together.
Later this week I will mark it on her and sew a cherry shaped button over the join, but as I understand it she's already wearing it, safety pins and all.
It's not a sturdy piece, but a cheerful one. And sometimes that is really all you need, especially if the person who bought you the dress is visiting this week.