Month: May 2014

Quick alteration

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I have spent all this time, a few months to be exact, working and reworking my dress for my brother-in-law’s rehearsal and I finally took a few moments to take in the dress I am wearing to the wedding!

Here’s how that went.


I know it is hard to tell that there is any difference at all in the dress, but I assure you the bodice is tighter now.

All I did was pop the stitching on the lining side hem and pull the outer fabric in a full inch. Stitched that up then re-hemmed the lining.

A super simple fix. If it is not something overly complicated (like my wedding dress) I will do alterations like this myself. Not need to pay a seamstress a ton of money to do something simple.


Ta Da! Rehearsal Dress Completion

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Let’s get down to business …

First, I removed the offending wings, and bought some lovely black lace. I thought ahead, knowing that lace is a pain to hem, and that it makes unsightly seams, so I got scalloped lace! No hemming required!

Next, I dug through my patterns. I was on the phone with my mother trying to figure out how to make this work when I stumbled across the perfect pattern (McCalls 2401)

It was perfect!

Of course my luck could not be that good. I claimed the only Casa Black Lace with scalloped edges in the whole store, which amounted to only a yard and 15 inches but I needed 2 yards to make this work. I was convinced that I would have to call a different store the next morning to see if they have any more so I could make the sleeves to complete the dress. This phone call was going to determine if I would be able to complete and wear this dress to my brother-in-law’s wedding rehearsal May 16th or if it will have to wait until my cousin’s wedding in October for its debut.

I am happy to report that I had just enough to make elbow length sleeves!

Originally, I had wanted the sleeves to be full length, hence the need for more fabric. I was able to finagle elbow length sleeves, and in all honesty, I think this length looks far better on the dress than the full length would have.

After sewing the sleeves on to the lace dress, I played around with it to make sure that I had it how I wanted it. In the end I stayed the course and kept the over dress as originally designed.

The last picture is the completed dress. I hope to post pictures of me from the rehearsal soon.


Belt, Hem and Done?

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I went to work on the belt. A quick, straight forward project. I sewed the ends of the pieces together, ironed the seam open, sewed the edges together making a tube, turned the tube right side out, ironed the tube flat, threaded it through the button holes on the wings and then tacked the center back of the belt in place next to the zipper so it would not get lost and would hold straight when worn. I am debating tacking the edges of the back wings in place as well, but I will make that decision after I have it hemmed and have tried it on to see how everything lays.

After completing the belt, I tied it in. It was then that I noticed that I had made an error. When I lengthened the bodice I did not think to lengthen the sleeves. Thus the belt that weaves through the sleeves sits an inch too high on the dress. Also in addition to this, I am not a fan of how the dress has turned out over all.

Upon further consideration, I have decided to remove the wings and make a lace over lay to wear over the green sheath dress.

It is unknown at this time if these dress alterations will be done in time for my brother in law’s wedding. If they are not, I have a back up dress and will complete this dress for my cousin’s wedding in October. I would really like to wear it to my brother in law’s wedding so I am going to give it the ol’ college try – check back next week to see how it goes!

Now for the Wings

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One of the reasons that I picked this dress pattern is because of the sleeves. They look like butterfly wings. The pattern calls it the capelet, I call them wings.

Yesterday, I started with the continuous bias strip. It was trickier than I had thought it would be. Imagine, if you will, a Möbius strip. Now try cutting it. Okay not so hard, but when it is made out of flimsy fabric it is a little tricky.

First thing I had to do was to mark the dots. The ends are sewn together off center so marking the dots was very important. Next, I had to mark out all the lines from the pattern. As you can see from the picture I tried it a few times before finding a method that worked. That method was to measure all the way across the fabric using my measuring tape and using my basic math skills to determine the width of each strip. At 15 inches across and needing 6 strips, each strip needed to be 2.5 inches across. I use soap to mark the dots. Next I pinned and sewed the ends together as the pattern called for and flattened the seam. I then began to cut the strip. Because the ends are sewn together off center the strip ends up being super long.

Next, the sheer part of the wings. After cutting them out I added the reinforced button holes for the belt. Upon completion of that, I pinned the strip to the edges. Once pinned, I sewed the edging along the edges of the sheer wing. Once that was completed I began the tedious process of folding the edging over and hand sewing all along the edges finishing off the edging. I left the bit at the shoulders open because I wanted to sew the shoulder straps in to the sleeve to be sure that everything laid properly. I attached the wings by sewing the edging around each strap.

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Over all, this took a lot longer than anticipated, but it is coming together nicely. Just need to complete the belt and hem everything. I should even be done with time to take in my dress for the wedding!

Sizing up a skirt and other errors: Part 2

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I took apart almost the entire skirt to replace the damaged panel. But success! No more melted bit!


While I have everything apart I also shortened the bodice. Next, I attached the skirt lining to the inside bodice lining.

Yes, I know that the skirt lining doesn’t even come close to matching the fabric of the dress. When I ordered the fabric it appeared much closer in color. Dangers of ordering fabric online I guess. Honestly, to the naked eye it is not that bad (mostly because to the naked eye my dress is actually green). Anyway, no one is going to see it aside from me, and obviously all of you.

I then sewed in the hook and eye for the zipper.

So here we are, working on the length of the straps:

And that brings us to the sleeves. Check back next week for my adventures with the sleeves.