Saturday, January 11, 2014

Altering a "too big" dress, a world of possibilities!

There's just no walking away from a smoking deal on a Lilly Pulitzer dress, even if it is 3 sizes too big, I couldn't put this dress back.
Sew what's a girl to do? (Pun intended)
It was my very first time using my dress form (that has been dialed to be my exact clone) to alter this dress to go from a Large to fit me like a glove.
The stretch in this material made me nervous, as well as the print and lining. I've always said I'd rather make a dress from scratch than have to alter it to fit, there's so much that can go wrong! And with 6 seams that needed to be taken in, I was under pressure... Especially because I LOVE this dress. It absolutely kills me to pay retail, in fact, I don't think I ever have paid retail for Lilly Pulitzer, there are just too many opportunities to get a good price to pay $188 for a dress (although the quality definitely justifies the price.) But do yourself a favor and explore your city's consignment/resale shops! Some are so organized you can just go in with a list of brands you keep an eye out for, and they can search their merch database and tell you what they have.
I was visiting my sister in Atlanta and hitting up some of her favorite re-sale shops. What can I say, our mom raised some bargain hunters. When I saw this dress, I was shocked to see the original tags on it and the store price of $14.99... Be still my heart... Then I saw the size, and wasn't swayed one bit. I had to have it, and knew it would be a fun alteration project when I got home.
I also recently scored 2 gorgeous dresses during the last flash sale on Lily Pulitzer (register your email to get a heads up before their next one), they seem to have about 2 per year, and they sell out in SECONDS, so create an account with your payment information before hand, and they do free shipping so if you're dying to have one dress in particular, my advice is to set your alarm and get it in your tote and check out ASAP, then go back and peruse (quickly) if you want to get more. I learned this the hard way the first time I checked out the sale and all my items were taken out of my tote AS I was checking out (you ladies are hardcore!)
Ok, back to the dress:
$188... Yeah, NO.

So first, I pulled the lining all the way up over the top, so it was out of the way.

Then I started pinching and pinning, on every seam and dart. It was a lengthy process.

I then hemmed the outer shell and lining. I was torn on whether or not to do this, but the knee-length dress made this short girl look even shorter. Nothankyou.

I then serged each seam, and prayed that it was going to fit.



So while the rest of the country is in some cold polar vortex funk, I'm constantly switching my car A/C on while running errands and trying to forbid myself from wearing this dress until spring. I keep forgetting it's January!

Anyway, I hope this inspires YOU to shop smart, buy a good deal when it arises and take a chance on altering it! You can always go smaller, so start in tiny increments if you're leary. Although this dress fits like a glove, I'm going to take my own advice next time so I can really get the fit that I want, but for my first major overhaul (taking this dress 3 sizes in) I'm pretty pleased, and even more so at the ease of doing so with my dress form.

Hope you're all having a fabulous 2014!