You can see a picture of what I started with below. It was much too big in the bodice and the waist so I decided to remove the bodice, take it apart completely, cut out a new one, take in the skirt so it fit at the waist and then reattach skirt to the bodice. Easy! A few years ago I would have instantly chopped a fair bit of length off the skirt but I love the length of the skirt as it is now.
I had just enough to cut out a strapless princess seam bodice from my existing front and back pattern pieces, then it was put together. I tried it on and made a few tweaks so that the fit was as good as I could get it. Then it was time to tackle the skirt.
The skirt was a bit more complicated to alter than it could have been because the pockets got in the way a bit. I ended up having to take them out so I could take the skirt in properly and heavily debated putting them back in, but it was well worth the extra time. I do wish that I’d made the pockets a bit bigger though because fitting my phone in them is a bit of a squeeze.
The only problem with the length of the skirt is that there’s quite a lot of fabric in it, which in turn makes it quite heavy. The weight of the skirt then dragged down the bodice, making the waist seam uneven. To battle that I added in a ribbon waist stay to stabilize the waist seam, anchoring the ribbon at each seam, fastening with a couple of hooks and eyes in the centre front.
The insides were all overlocked and the top edge bound. I think that there’s possibly too much fullness in the centre back of the skirt but I’m not worried enough about it to change it. I wonder what would have happened if I had pleated out the excess in the skirt instead of removing it at the side seams. It would have meant that I wouldn’t have had to take the pockets out and then put them back in. Oh, the gift of hindsight!
This dress premiered for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall and it was just perfect for the occasion. It’s one of those pieces of clothing that motivates me to walk a little taller and dare I say, even strut a little. The power of clothing eh!
Thanks very much for reading and to Portia for hosting the refashioners again this year!