Well adjusted?

So. I am welcoming myself into the world of adjusting pre-existing clothing that isn’t right for one reason or another (also known as, the usual reason to make adjustments). It’s taking me SO long to make the dress and shirt with seemingly endless muslins that all look completely different. So let’s just focus on something that should take minimal effort to transform something I never wear, into a new favourite.

Let’s start with this little beauty from Joy:

Louche dress from Joy

Louche dress from Joy

So – cute little dress that I’ve had for a couple of years – but it’s just wrong. I’ve never been very good at dresses with collars, the sleeves are the wrong length, the shape of the top just does nothing for me, and the colour – well let’s just say pasty blonde doesn’t really go with mustard. But I absolutely love the skirt. Let’s chop it up!

You’ll see that the skirt isn’t just stitched on to the bodice in one nice straight line and I was reluctant to unpick everything and then have to reattach and risk things not lining up nicely, so I decided to keep some of the mustard. As long as it’s not against my skin it should be ok.

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Obviously I have no idea what I’m doing and no plan, so just taking it one step at a time. Firstly cut below the armpits but still above the top of the zip. Then another strip off so that I can hem the top over the 2nd button and have a sort of high waisted skirt top above the belt. Maybe weird, maybe not. I’ll have to take in the darts so that it’s nice and snug as it’s not interfaced. An experiment that I hope doesn’t go wrong. For the time being I have to wait to see what happens as I need practice using a walking foot and it’s after midnight and my sewing machine is much too noisy to use in a flat with neighbours above and below. To be continued…..

And another Louche / Joy dress:

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This doesn’t actually look too bad in the photos, but the way the sleeves were cut just looks so wrong on me – I think I have quite broad shoulders which also slope a lot, so I don’t want to make them look even wider, as well as having weird sticking out bits next to the bust. So – I released the folded cuff and am going to make a sort of fitted cap sleeve, which involves an adjustment all the way from the waist to the armpit, and then I think I’ll need to add some sort of dart to the outside of the sleeve to stop it pointing straight out. Same reason as above – noisy sewing machine – means I have to wait and see what happens. No idea what I’m doing.

It’s the next day and steps have been taken… Sadly trying to take photos myself is just not going to work, so a thousand words will have to suffice – I stitched the bottom of the arm hole closed parallel to the original seam, then pivoted and sewed down tapering to nothing at the waistline. Then I sewed a mini box pleat at the top of the sleeve to stop it sticking out. And it looks so much better! Sure, it’s quite a forgiving fabric, being black and stretchy, and this job is by no means perfect, or even great, but it’s an improvement.

But why stop there? Why not add my new favourite future sewing project – a Peter Pan collar? To be continued….

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