Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Denim Dress Alterations Finished

These are the changes I've made to the Denim Dress. I removed the sleeves and collar by unpicking (rather than cutting) so that I retained the maximum amount of fabric and the original neckline and armhole shapes. The large shoulder pads were also removed. I restitched the shoulder seam, making it wider at the shoulder tip and narrower towards the neck. I tapered the seam so that I took in about 1/2" at the neck and 1-1/2" at the shoulder tip. This raised the dress slightly so the armhole didn't gape and awful lot. At the underarm I took in about 1" tapering to zero just above the gathered skirt seam. This gave a better fit under the arm. Then I removed some width from the back and front panels so that the shoulder seam ended just in front of the shoulder tip. I tapered this fabric removal to zero about 2" behind and in front of the side seams. I removed fabric from the neck area to give a slightly scooped neckline. I was careful to cut so that the existing button closure was in a "sensible" place for both stitching the facing by machine and as a fastening. I cut bias strips 1-1/2" wide from the sleeve fabric and used these to face the armholes and neck edge. For seams I stitched with blue thread and then changed to a tan thread to match the existing "visible" stitching. I'm quite pleased with the result - a good, everyday "working" dress which doesn't look quite as "Anne of Green Gables - ish" as the original. I'm debating whether to shorten it and also whether to dye it with some red dye so that it becomes purple - although I do like this shade of blue denim.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blue Dress Altered

This the "after" photo. This was a linen dress I bought many years ago. This dress used to reach my ankles and the skirt resembled jodphurs - there was such a pronounced curve at the hip on the side seam. Because the length restricted movement quite a bit and the hip curve looked a bit odd I didn't wear it much.
I decided that taking in the skirt side seams and chopping 10" off the length would be easy to do and I might end up with a dress I could wear more frequently. I like the easy fit of this dress so much now I'm planning to make a paper pattern in a similar style. As it is such a basic dress shape and uses minimal fabric, I can imagine the pattern will be very useful. I like the neckline and it fits well under the arms.