DIY: Altering a Formal Dress Part 2

20 Jul

From yesterday’s post, I didn’t write exactly HOW I did the alterations, but I briefly mentioned them. So I’ll try to go into more detail about what I did exactly.

Here”s a quick sketch of what I planned to change for the dress (sorry for the quality)

I had thought that the front portion that “connected” to the band in the back was a waistband, but I didn’t realize that it was connected to the actual twist detail.

From the inside of the dress, it seemed like I could just remove the “waistband” that’s why it seemed so easy to alter. I wanted to pick out the “waistband” and re-attach the bust portion to the skirt. The back portion was simple enough, but the front was more difficult.

The front portion seemed easy to do from the inside, but once I looked from the outside, the twist detail prevented me from removing the “waistband” portion completely.

Original Front (inside)

Original Back (Inside)

Original Outside View

So I ended up overlapping the “waistband” portion over part of the bust section and re-stitching everything in place.

What I Actually Did (Step  by Step)

  1. Remove the side zipper
  2. Partially separate the corset lining from the dress (just the bottom)
  3. Remove stitching at the top of the band in the back
  4. Remove stitching between the bust area and the “waistband” in the front
  5. Flip it inside out, sew in the sides of the dress by half an inch
  6. Overlap the “waistband” over the bust detail and stitch in place
  7. Match the line of the “waistband” to the back band and stitch in place
  8. Sew down the corset lining
  9. Reattach side zipper

Before Alterations

Here’s what the front looks like, I didn’t take a photo of the back, but where the band extends to the side, that’s where the back band connects.

After Alterations

The bust detail looks a lot smaller and the back band is higher than it was originally. I didn’t take photos of the inside since I stitched the corset lining back in place. But I think you can see the general changes from the outside.

I hope that helpful and please let me know if anything was unclear. Thanks! =)


6 Responses to “DIY: Altering a Formal Dress Part 2”

  1. Ping July 20, 2010 at 8:31 AM #

    OMG!!!! You are amazing. I can’t believe you could do all that. wow removing a zipper is difficult. i went to the tailor to get my shirt taken in from the sides and he was going to charge me $25! i was like….hell no!!

    such a great skill to have and this probably saved you so much money.

    • Stylepint July 20, 2010 at 12:19 PM #

      Removing the zipper isn’t that bad, it’s reattaching it that can be a pain. I didn’t have a zipper foot so I could do it on the sewing machine and since it’s a hidden zipper, I had to sew really close to the teeth, so I had to do it by hand to get the result I wanted. If I took this dress to the tailor, the cost of the alterations would probably have been more than what I paid for the dress!

  2. Alterations Needed July 20, 2010 at 8:35 AM #

    Thanks for the inside shots. It makes a lot more sense now. I thought the bust area was one big mangled mess, but looking at the inside, I can see they are actually separate panels. Amazing alteration job!

  3. PetiteXXS July 20, 2010 at 6:18 PM #

    You definitely know your way around a garment! How did you learn to sew?

    • Stylepint July 20, 2010 at 9:59 PM #

      I kind of learned to sew on my own. It’s going to sound silly but in 3rd grade, my teacher taught us how to cross-stitch and sew our own pillows instead of having art class. So since then, I kind of haphazardly would sew things together. Plus, my mom and her fam are awesome seamstresses, so I just watch them and learned to use the sewing machine on my own. I’m not that great at sewing, but I have the patience to think about the construction of things and how to put it back together.

  4. Jen H July 20, 2010 at 11:51 PM #

    what a great alteration/DIY! i just checked out your post before this one and it looks amazing on you! i’m definitely loving the change in the bust detailing. if only i wasn’t so hopeless when it comes to sewing! 😛

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