Wednesday, 22 June 2016


This peachy/salmon pink dress is one of my favourite dresses. I've always had a thing for shirtwaist dresses and this one has pockets as well which kind of seals the deal. I bought it at a vintage store in Berlin when we were there with Eddi in 2010.

But -there's always a but - it is a bit too tight over the chest and is now hopefully next to my sewing machine waiting for alteration!

The top always was a bit on the smaller side and I'd often wear a slip of lace top underneath in order to be able to keep the buttons opened as far down as possible. But nowadays it just makes me look stuffed, so I can't really rely on that trick anymore.

I have been thinking about how to alter it to add spaced around the bust; adding a strip of fabric in the middle of the dress, under/next to the decorative panel that runs vertically across the top, or make it diamond shaped or so? Or do I just add more fabric from under the arms? The dress it's rather well made so I am afraid to fck it up. Any sewing wizards out there with advice?


The Glamourologist said...

Absolutely no sewing advice at all but that colour is so beautiful on you.

Danielle said...

I don't have much advice on how to alter this but, I often run into the same problem with vintage clothing. I have seen people put triangular panels under each armpit. Seems like a discrete place to try adding fabric. I haven't tried it though.

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Samala said...

What about add peach lace strips at a) either side of the buttons or b)where the vertical bust darts sit(which actually run the whole way down the front of the bodice already)? Anyway, excuse the lingo, I'm obviously not a professional sewer!

Unknown said...

For me this style (with a t-shirt behind), it looks more vintage! However, I'd suggest to make a skirt from that dress and combine with some similar top. I've seen a lot of similar skirts where I buy them myself buy dressy skirts wholesale - I think they look wonderful and this dress would probably be better if cut :)

Cait Marquis said...

my mum refitted a dress similar to this for me, & taught me how to do it for myself in the future. stitch ripper at the ready:

- separate top & skirt. that button placket i'm hoping is just sewn on top of the skirt, otherwise you may be about to encounter your first headache.
- if you want to use the same fabric, i would advise shortening the skirt, but if not go with a contrast or complementing fabric. i find vintage bedsheets will have the same weight and wash as something bought vintage/second-hand. they tend to be a little bit "washed out" already which helps.
- separate top along the underarms and side-seams. this is where we add the fabric.
- paying attention to the original shape (i find sketching it out with notes about dart placement, matching up seams, so on this peachy one you've got the two folds/pleats down the front), you basically add a wedge of fabric in under the arms. since you've got a mannequin you might find it easier to do the lions share of reshaping on there before trying on for fit. otherwise you will spend a lot of time stabbing yourself with pins.
- i can't see bust darts in the photos, which will add a more flattering fit once you've added the extra girth at the sides. however adding darts may throw off the pleat pattern/feature on the front (just something else to think about haha)
- alternatively, or perhaps additionally, you may need to refit the shoulders once you've played about with the sideseams. (again, something else to think about)

it's actually really simple and straight forward, but requires a lot of patience. if you have trouble with the fabric fraying, i suggest spray starch or you can buy anti-fray spray but i find starch works just as well tbh.

good luck..!? :D

The Freelancer's FashionBlog said...

Cat Marquis : thanks; even tough I actually fixed the dress already! But pretty much in the way you described, although I did not separate the skirt first, because buttons and gathered skirt and so on. (I did some other stuff to it too, because I noticed some more dilemmas as well :) And I did use an old sheet for the extra fabric!