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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Cincinnati Reds Alteration!

In honor of my beloved Cincinnati REDS becoming National League Central Champs last night, I have decided to do an alteration for myself today. I've had this Bench #5 baseball shirt for many years, but seldom wear it because it is soooo big. I've put off altering it because I don't see and easy way to cut it down. If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comment box below. I'm open to almost anything.

fraying bra strap

Here is the front of the shirt. The sides are way too big and it is too long. It could use some princess seams, too. Maybe. But it's gotten to the point where several people in my family may wear this to a Reds game, so I don't want to make it too gender specific!

fraying bra strap

As you can see, I can't really take up the shoulders, because of the way they are constructed. That's my usual first place to alter.

Sew new strap to front

Here is the back. I'm tempted to add some princess seams here too, but I hesitate because of the stripes and the lettering.

fraying bra strap

As you can see, the side seams need to come in. The problem is, they are flat felled seams, so duplicating that would take a longggg time. Stay tuned. We'll see what I decide to do.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lengthening a Hem When There's no Hem Allowance Left

As fall moves in, many of our school children have dusted off those uniform skirts and headed back to class. After walking the halls for a few days, some girls are "kindly" reminded by a teacher that the skirt needs to be a bit longer. But how do you lengthen something that has already been let down as much as possible? That's easy, you put in a faced hem. Here's what it looks like.

faced hem
I used 7/8" wide single fold bias tape here to extend the length of the skirt. That becomes the hem allowance, so the skirt can be lengthened the maximum amount. The facing will not show on the right side.
faced hem
When you sew the facing onto the end of the skirt hem, it goes as close to the edge as possible. This means it is sewn about ¼" from the edge. Then it is turned up on the folded edge and stitched.
faced hem
Here is a close up of the stitching and the new hem allowance. 
Kids grow. It's hard to keep up with them. Give that uniform skirt one more new life by adding a hem facing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

For all You Plus Size Ladies Out There!

Have you finally found that great looking dress that fits well in the bust area? Then you find that it gaps terribly when you lean over! The new page I've put on the website can help you to alter you dress to fit.
The page outlines taking in princess seams in a plus size formal. However, the instructions will work for any size formal, dress or even a bridal gown.
You'll find the instructions here at .

Let me know what you think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

There is now a search box on the left side

I'm starting to get many posts that overlap a bit, so I put a search box at the top left of this blog. Hopefully, you can find what you want. You can also click on any of the labels listed below.

A page on taking in the bust area of a formal has been requested and I'm almost finished with it. I will also be posting about how to add straps to a strapless dress, or a dress where the straps are too narrow.

Homecoming season is upon us, so you may need some tips on altering formals. Let me know if I can help. Leave a comment here, or if you want to keep it private, use the "Contact Me" to your left.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Laura's Dress is Finished!

Remember last month when I had a live model for a  vintage dress remake ? Well, Laura's dress is now finished and here are pictures of the results. Sorry about the flash in the first one. Obviously I'm a better seamstress than photographer.  I'm glad I got the chance to work on such a fun project. I will write up the full details on the  LearningAlterations website soon.


The dress fits Laura well, now. And the design is much more updated. No more '80's shoulder pads and cap sleeves! She hasn't gotten a bra yet that will accomodate that scooped back, but we want to show off the dress.

Here you can kind of see both sides. Tightening that side seam brought the side edge up closer under her arms and made it fit snugger in the back as well.

Well, ignoring the exposed bra, you get an idea of how the back fits. The buttons at the neck are offset, since I moved the clasps. She will decide later whether or not to take those off, center them or reposition them side by side. The dress is  a hit and she can't wait to wear it. Right Laura??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I need your help with this Bridal Alteration

As most of you know, I don't do a lot of bridal gown alterations any more. Today I have a veil to work on and I would love to have your thoughts. 
The bride's mom is constructing the veil. She has assembled it and attached it to the comb. You can't tell from these pictures, but it has a blusher also. 
After she sewed a small strip of beads to the bottom edge, it began to "ripple". The beads are lightweight and they are woven together with some cotton thread.

fraying bra strap

Here is the veil as it hangs from the comb. See how wavy the bottom is? The bride doesn't want this.
fraying bra strap

Here is a close up of the bottom edge. You can see that the beads are definitely not straight across.
Sew new strap to front
Here is a closer look at the beads. The seem to be lightweight to me, but they do add a bit of weight to the whole thing. Let me know what you think. Either leave a comment here, go to the "Contact Me" button on the left, or add a comment on Facebook.
Thank You ...Thank You ... Thank You ... for your help!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

For those of us in the States, Labor Day signals the end of summer, the beginning of a new school year and the beginning of the season of Fall. Enjoy your holiday and thank you to those military folks and civilians who serve our country,