A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dress Enhancement

I spent a good chunk of time in 2016 laboring over flower girl dresses for my brother's wedding.  It was always my intent that these dresses be worn more than once, but somehow they didn't get pulled out for Christmas or Easter following the wedding.

This year, I was determined to get one last use out of them.  Trouble was that my older daughter's was a bit too small.  I couldn't get it zipped up past her mid-back. I sought counsel on Instagram, and decided to alter the dress to a v-back.  It was a dead easy alteration in the end; I literally just turned the dress inside out and sewed a diagonal line on each side, from the point where I wanted the zipper to end, to a couple inches away from the zipper on the neckline.  

I was worried about the zipper stop, but since I sewed my seams across the zipper tape, there was a natural stop.  When I cut off the excess, I made sure to leave an extra 1/2" or so of tape in the seam so it wouldn't pull out.  Then I turned it right-side out and pressed.  Voila, v-back dress that (just barely) fits its owner.  Below you can see the altered dress compared with my other daughter's unaltered dress.

I actually prefer the v-back to the original, and might incorporate it if I make this pattern (the Oliver+ S Fairy Tale Dress) again.  

I attempted some hand-beading to gussy up the fronts of the dresses a bit.  I ran out of time, so they aren't as ornate as I had planned, but the girls were happy with them.

I had decided ahead of time not to bother with making new sashes, as this was likely the last time these dresses would be worn by my girls.  So I just bought some ribbon.  N doesn't like to match Z, and I had initially bought red ribbon for her dress, but I thought it looked better without, so we tied it in her hair instead.

 And that's about all there is to say about that.  I'll be back later this week with a new garment for me, so check back in a few days.  Thanks for reading, and I'll see you back here soon!


  1. Beautiful work! I love the alterations you made, and the beading!

  2. These turned out beautifully. I love them even more now than when you first made them. The details are just perfect.

  3. They are gorgeous. That v-back is absolutely ingenious!


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