Category Archives: Alterations

Alteration to Shift Dress

Regular readers will be aware that I dislike alterations but I have in my wardrobe a shift dress that I made when first exploring jersey sewing and it was in need of some radical alteration.

The dress was originally made according to a Prima pattern APRIL 1997 designed for woven and having been washed and worn over the years was now too big. The dress bore the styling of the the eighties including shoulder pads and was very long. I have never liked the faced neckline which was a little too high and also the shoulders were too wide for current fashion.

To start the alteration I first removed the facing and re-cut a lower neckline. I removed the sleeves and shoulder pads before restitching the shoulder seam. Then I stitched new side seams, taking off approximately 1 inch from each side seam. The sleeves were then re-inserted.

I cut about 4 inches from the length of the dress and used some of that to make a neckband. I re-hemmed the dress with a 1 inch turning.

Altered dress

The dress is now much more flattering although it could still do with some skimming down at the hips. I will wait and see if I lose any more weight to make it worthwhile altering the dress further.

I plan to revisit this pattern in 2020 and try this different silhouette as a change from my numerous shirt dresses!

completed 28th November 2019

Re-fashion SOI hack dress

After the Sew Southampton meet up in 2018 I bought 4 metres of a cotton printed fabric from Fabricland, Southampton branch and used it to make a ‘hack’ of two Sew Over It patterns. The top was the Libby blouse attached to the skirt of the Betty dress.

The garment was beautifully made with all seams neatened and on this occasion the collar on the Libby bodice went really well. However, I never wore the dress as on the two times I planned to wear it I put it on and then took it off again! I simply could not get over seeing all that neutral (bland?) colour and print on me. What could I do to rescue the garment?

Original Dress hack of Libby & Betty

Regular readers of my blog will know how I dislike alterations but this time I had to do something to rescue the garment.

I removed the skirt and from that cut two shaped pieces which I then gathered and re-attached to the waistline of the bodice as a peplum.

Re-fashioned Tunic Top

The re-fashioned garment looks fine over skinny jeans or leggings and a by-product is that re-visiting the dress has reignited my love of the Libby blouse pattern. I must make some more…..

completed 31st October 2019

Altered Joni Top

Original Joni dress

I used whatever fabric was left over when I made this Joni dress to make a top. Unfortunately it was not quite long enough and has therefore been stuck at the back of the wardrobe – unworn. Until now, I found a length of the fabric that was just sufficient to add a frill. So with no further ado, I gathered up the length, added a twin-needle stitched hem and hey presto, the top is now just the right length!

Joni top with added frill

A long-time-coming Alteration

As regular readers of my blog will know, I dislike making alterations. I would much rather dispose of the offending garment and start again afresh.

However, last year I made this charming Daisy-printed denim dress which I wore just once before I lost weight and it became too big. Since then the dress has been hanging in my ’roundtoit’ space awaiting attention.

‘Mandy’ Daisy-printed denim dress

Assisted by a good friend, one day I put the dress on inside out and my friend kindly pinned in at the side and centre back seams.

An eternity later I got around to unpicking the waistline seam and tacking the pinned alterations.

Right Side seam alteration
Left side seam alteration

Another eternity later I finally installed the correct colour thread on my sewing machine and overlocker so that the alterations are now complete.

One thing that I have noticed is that now I do not have such an impressive bust, (having gone down a cup size) the scoop neckline is a little more revealing than I would like. I have to wear the dress with a lace-trimmed camisole underneath so that I don’t frighten the horses!