I’m not sure if this really counts as a refashion as all I did was take in this dress a bit to make it fit better, so I guess it’s more of an alteration?! I always find it funny that The Great British Sewing Bee calls their refashion challenge the ‘alteration challenge’ – it’s not like they’re just taking up a hem or something!
Anyway…….here are the before photos – taken ages ago (I had a binge of taking photos of most of the things I have in my to refashion pile):
It doesn’t really look that bad but it was a couple of sizes too big, which you can see especially around the bust area as I’m exaggerating below.
I put the dress on and pinned it at various placed to work out what changed I needed to make. There are bust darts, which needed to be about 1cm deeper over the apex of my bust, graduating out to nothing at the side seams.
There are also back darts which I deepened by 2cm at the waits, tapering to nothing at the original top of the dart. Even just these changes made quite a bit of difference to the shape of the dress.
I also measured that I needed to take some fabric out of the side seams on the bodice – I measure this as 2cm but after sewing the new seams, I tried on the dress and it was waaay to tight – I think I must have measure the various alterations in isolation, not taking into account how much the darts would take in the bodice, meaning I didn’t have to take in the side seams.
I was going to try to alter the sleeves by sewing new sleeves – without having to unpick and resew them – but it didn’t work, so I left them as they were and I think they look okay. If I was being really picky, I would want the sleeve seams 1 or 2cm closer to the collar. Speaking of which, I’m glad the collar fitted well as it was, I didn’t fancy having to change it!
I wasn’t going to change the skirt, but I did unpick it and resew it 1.5cm further up, to raise the waist seam just a little so it sits on the bottom of my ribs instead of on my waist – it seemed like a cuter silhouette. To do this I had to unpick the button bands from the bottom up to just above the waist seam. I then sewed the new waist seam – gathering the back of the skirt so it fitted the new bodice size (because of the new darts), then sandwiched the skirt front edges in the button bands and stitched them back into place. I then hemmed the button bands so they lined up again with the hem.
All in all I’m pretty pleased with how a few changed and only a couple of hours of sewing means I’ve ended up with a dress I’ll wear – and one I can wear to work! It’s also a timely dress to have altered as my 2 best friends and I have been taking for ages about getting tattoos together – we were going to get a teapot, a teacup and a cupcake (one for each of us) but Chloe pointed out the cupcake might look like a pooh, so I think we’re all now going for teapots, so I’ll be able to wear this dress and it will match my tattoo!! We’re probably going to get them in January when we get together for our annual Christmas 2. I’m so excited!
It will be something like this but probably a little smaller.
(image source – via pinterest)
Do you have any tattoos? Do you regret them?
It’s a great dress. That fabric is fantastic! I really like the effect of your alterations — and that they’re not a refashion, because the dress was lovely to begin with, just the fit needed some help. (And you’re absolutely right that the GBSB should call it a Refashion Challenge.)
Looking good, makes a big difference and the raising the waist works so well. I have a few tattoos, my advice is to think about where it is, I have one on the inside of my wrist which I still like but 10years on I wish I’d had it somewhere else.
I think I do need to have a think about where to have my tattoo – I’m sorry to hear you regret your one 😦 I might try drawing it on me in various positions to see where I like it. Thanks for the advice!
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