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Sunday, August 29, 2010

A New Web Page is Live: Shorten Shoulder Straps on a Casual Dress

You'll find the latest web page here at LearningAlterations.com .

There are many ways to shorten the straps on a dress. Here I take you through the steps for shortening straps on a casual dress. Even if your dress is constructed differently, you will be able to use these pictures to guide you. You'll find a world of difference in the fit of your dress, doing this simple alteration. Give it a try next time you have a problem with the fit in the bust area, the armholes or the neckline. You'll be surprised at the difference it will make.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cutting the Sleeves and Redesigning Laura's Dress


The dress has been fitted on Laura and it only needs a minor adjustment. In order to keep the sides flat against her body, I need to take in the side seams a little bit. Below you see the steps I have taken so far. My next post will show you how I finish the dress. Woohoo, we're almost there!



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Since this dress is lined, the first thing I did was baste the lining and outer fabric together. I made my basting stitches right on the line that I marked with pins. This created the finished "seamline". Then I cut away the sleeve bodice area. I cut about an inch to the outside of the basting thread, so I could have a 1" seam allowance.

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I marked the lining with tailor's chalk. This line is also the "seamline". I couldn't mark the outer lace with tailor's chalk, since it was so bumpy. So I used thread to trace the new seamline. Next I removed all the basting thread, so the two layers could be separated.

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The easiest way to attach these two layers for the fitting was to fold each one inward on the marked line. Then I pinned, using many pins and adjusting so the curved line was symetrical.

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I think Laura would be reluctant to try the dress on with all those pins, so I basted the two layers together, then removed the pins. Here you see the white thread marking the new seamline. The pink thread is the basting.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reworking a Vintage Dress


Today's post includes a "live model"! My friend Laura has a dress for me to rework. She has such vision when shopping that she can pick out something that the average shopper would gag over, and turn it into a work of art.



Join me and watch as we transform this vintage beauty (the dress, not you, Laura!)


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Eeek, look what this 80's dress looks like before we alter it. The ginormous shoulder pads have already been removed. Laura wants to remove all evidence that there have been sleeves on this dress. The neckline will bear the weight of the dress, instead of the shoulders.

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Here I have pinned the new line where she wants the dress to end. The challenge will be to keep the dress from gapping along the bust/underarm area. I may have to add some clear elastic or a dart.

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Here you see the front of the dress. The clasp at the back neck will likely need to be tightened, since it is going to be asked to support the whole dress.