I admit, while doing some last minute Christmas shopping I bought a few gifts for myself. My holiday shopping may have turned into a “one for you and one for me” situation. There were so many great sales, how could I say no?
I scooped up a dress at Banana Republic for an amazing price. Originally $188, marked down to $21.97 and an extra 40% off…..for a final price of $13! So exciting, except my size was no where to be found. So, the sale MADE me buy a dress that’s a size too big.
I promised myself I would fix it up this week instead of throwing it in my alter pile. And, I did.
Below is a before picture. The top fits perfectly, but the waist down is about a size too big. There’s little waist definition, and the skirt has just a little to much fabric creating a billowy look.
I’m not an expert at this, but here’s how I took in the dress:
1) I inspected the seams and decided which ones would have the most impact. I decided to take in:
The two vertical back seams on either side of the zipper (how cute is the exposed zipper?). This will help create definition in the waistline. And……
Both side seams, starting at the waist all the way down to the hem. Taking in the side seams will also help create waistline definition and a sleeker fit in the skirt.
2) I turned the dress inside out to start pinning the seams and encountered the dress lining. Eeeeeeek!! A lining means you have to take in the dress and the lining, right?
My secret is that I never take in the lining, especially when just altering down a size or two. It really doesn’t make a difference.
So, at the bottom of the dress I clipped the thread on each side of the hem attaching the lining and the dress.
And pulled the lining to the top, exposing the seams. The picture below shows one of the side seams.
3) I started with the side seams and let out the hem just enough to expose the seam running to the bottom.
Here’s the end of the seam. This step is important to maintain a clean hemline.
4) At the bottom and top of the seam there’s probably a part where the seam is sewn down.
Clip this, it will make pinning and sewing much easier.
5) Pin along the original seam, taking in as much as needed.
6) Sew along the line you pinned. This may seam (haha, get it?) intense, but it’s really not. All I’m doing is following the line of the original seam.
When finished sewing the side seams, stitch the open hem by hand.
7) Do the same pinning and sewing process for the two back seams. As you can see below, the back seams are at a diagonal. When you get to the end, it’s important to sew right off the fabric. Then, tie a knot leaving a little room to breath so the fabric doesn’t pucker.
And, finished! The changes aren’t dramatic, but what I’ve created is a fitted waistline that shows definition. Also, the skirt is much sleeker and doesn’t have all the extra fabric.
This really only took about an hour total. I’d say about 30 minutes pinning and trying on and then another 30 minutes sewing. Totally worth my hour to save $175!
Sorry for the headless pictures. It’s vacation week for me and makeup and hair styling has become almost non-existent :)