Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fixing for Family - Part One

This week was a bit different than others - because I am not in these pictures! This week, I was asked to fix two dresses for my gorgeous sister-in-law, Mandy. As we spent all weekend away in a vacation rental with the family watching March Madness mayhem, I happily obliged. A weekend of vacation and then a Sunday blog post where I didn't have to think of a project? Sold.
Here she is with the first dress. Certainly taking a better "Before" picture than I take...
So the problems she had with this dress was that it was a good foot taller than she was, and she was not partial to the strapless idea. I went to work as soon as I got home. After shopping. And a nap. And a beer. (It was a vacation - don't judge.)
While at the vacation house, Mandy put on the dress and I pinned the bottom to a length where she wouldn't fall over herself. Keeping the pins in, Mandy then turned over the dress to me and wished it the best of luck.
When I got home, I measured from the pins how much I had to take off - it was 8 inches. I don't know who this dress was made for, but "giant" must have been in the description. I'm not going to lie... cutting into someone else's dress is a bit nerve-racking. This was the face I had pretty much the entire time.
I cut off the appropriate length and then folded up the hem. Then, because I don't want Mandy to think I do shoddy work (because that only happens on my own clothing) I folded it again to make a proper hem and ironed it down. Once it was nice and flat, I sewed it down.
Next, I dealt with the strap(less) issue. The scraps I had from the bottom was plenty enough to make some straps. I had two strips from the bottom - one from the front and one from the back of the dress. I took one of the bottom scraps and cut the original hem off so I would have a flat surface, then folded it in half, wrong side out and pinned it down. Next, I sewed down the opening, trimmed the excess close to my stitches and pushed the tube right side out. (In the picture below, to the left is the finished tube, and the right is the scrap I made it from)

In the end, I had a brand new dress that was long enough for a normal person and had straps to ensure it was comfortable any and all the time. I only tacked on the straps for now; because the top is super stretchy I want to ensure I have proper placement so they are long enough and in the right spot when Mandy is actually wearing the dress. For now, only Sophie can do the dress justice but I will post an "After" once Mandy tries it on.
As you can plainly see, this is only one dress and Mandy gave me two. Therefore, the second dress (Part 2) will be coming up this week when I get it done. It'll be a bit more complicated, so I want to be able to dedicate a night to it. Here's a sneak peek: