Posts Tagged ‘alteration



Prom season is in full swing now, and a client recently brought me the prom dress below. In actual fact, it fit her perfectly, and I wouldn’t have expected it to need any alterations. The hemline fell right where it should, a scant 1/4″ above the ground. The bodice had enough space for her bust without falling away from her body. It was both flattering and, by comparison to many of the gowns in stores these days, was actually relatively modest.

promdress41 promdress1

By my standards anyway.

Not by the standards of her private high school however. The list of guidelines for the formal wear which would be approved for prom was lengthy. Not only were spaghetti straps against the rules but furthermore, the neckline of the gown had to come within 2 inches of her collarbone, the back line had to come no lower than the midpoint of her shoulder blades, the straps needed to be a minimum of 2″ wide, the dress needed to come high enough under the arm that a standard bra would be hidden (even if none was to be worn under the gown). They had searched. No such gowns could be found in stores. So, they asked me to redesign the bodice of her gown in time for the dress inspection a few weeks before prom (pass inspection or stay home on prom night!)

The high school student and her mother took the gown with them to the fabric store and purchased black satin that matched the band beneath the bodice, and using that I built out a matching band above the bodice as well to provide the wider straps and additional coverage required, while making the modifications blend as well as possible with the original gown design. Here is what we ended up with:

promdress2 promdress3

She was delighted, and she passed inspection. 🙂


Third time’s a charm!

At last a bra that fits! This one does almost everything it should. The band is snug but not too tight, and sits in place. I used a wide 3/4″ elastic for the bottom edge of the band and it lies flat without curling under and pinching. The cups are large enough. The straps are wide and don’t dig into my shoulders. It is very, very comfortable.

I am going to make a few final tweeks to the shape though. The apex isn’t in quite the right place, and the cups need a bit of reinforcing (probably padding in the lower half of the cups) for the shape and support I want. I’m confident I’ll be able to make these final alterations though, and in the meantime this is absolutely good enough to wear out in public.


Strike Two

Well my second bra making attempt clearly needed further revisions. You can’t tell in the photo here, but I definitely over compensated a bit. The band was a bit too tight and the cups a bit too low cut. Still the overall fit was considerably better than the first and closer to the goal.

Bra 3 is finished too and I’ll try to post it tomorrow.


Where style and a lack of pain meet

This summer’s swimsuit came courtesy of Target for a nice affordable price and minimal time and effort devoted to finding it.  It’s a one piece suit with a little skirt at the bottom and came with a halter tie at the top.  It was cheap and about as flattering as I can hope to expect from off the rack spandex.  🙂

BUT it was uncomfortable.  Halter tie swimsuits are a bit of torture for me, since they demand that the entire weight of my bosom hang precariously from strands knotted right at the nape of my neck.  The weight pressing on that tiny spot almost always leads to headaches.  Especially when you add the almost inevitable ingredients of glaring sunshine, chlorine fumes, and possibly dehydration.

Rather than accept a summertime of headaches by the pool, I decided to take a hint from Eva’s swimsuit and convert the halter tie to a criss cross style strap.  This way, the weight is distributed over my shoulders (which are better designed to carry weight than my neck is!) and as a bonus it keeps the elastic at the back of my suit from scrunching down.  DH helped me mark the suit where I wanted to attach the straps, and then it took just a few minutes to stitch them down.

We’ve gone to the pool a couple of times since I made this easy alteration and I’m happy to say I’m headache free and my suit has stayed securely in place.  I don’t care if it’s a more juvenile style, this is a better approach for us big busted gals and I will likely do this again in the future.

Happy sewing – and swimming – to you all!

June 2018
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