Friday, May 3, 2013

Wedding Sewing: The Dress Additions

 I have now successfully completed additions to two out of three bridesmaids dresses! As you probably know if you've read my blog for a while, I'm pretty modest in the way that I dress... I prefer high necklines, long skirts, and long sleeves. My sisters dress the same way, and will also be bridesmaids in my brothers upcoming wedding. So obviously we couldn't keep the dresses like this, cute though they might be:

  Happily, my future-sister-in-law is the farthest thing you can imagine from a bridezilla, and was perfectly fine with us making a few changes. I didn't have to alter the sleeves, since I'm also making boleros, but I did need to change the length and neckline. I knew I wouldn't be able to find a satin that matched well, so I went for a different texture and used lined lace.

  Here's what it looks like with the changes:

  To be honest, I don't really love the look of the length addition, but it does serve its purpose. The color matches a lot more closely than it appears from the photo. I'm kind of proud of the neckline addition though:

  I cut two pieces of the lining and one of the lace in the shape of the neckline opening, with seam allowances. Then I sewed them together and flipped them right side out. I wasn't sure how exactly I was going to attach it to the neckline until the last minute, but I ended up doing it similarly to how I would hand-sew hexagons for a quilt. I lined up one short side, right sides together with the neckline, and whip-stitched it together with tiny little stitches. Then I finagled and folded the pieces until I could line the longer sides up, right sides together, and whip-stitched those together. And finally I did the same thing for the last short side.

  It even looks decent on the inside, and there are no raw edges! And I was really happy with my hand-stitching this time, except for the parts where one of the daughters suddenly jumped on me. I was also pleasantly surprised by how quickly it went. I was expecting each neckline to take at least an hour, but I finished each in under 30 minutes:

  I used French seams for the side seams of the length addition, and a narrow rolled-hem (those are hard even with the rolled-hem presser foot!) on the lining. Then I gathered both layers together and sewed them upside-down to the lining of the dress, flipped them back down, and topstitched. It looks like this if you lift up the outer layer of the dress:

  Most of the time all the stitching will be hidden by the outer layer, like this:

  So the additions may not be perfect, but I think they came out well. =)
  Left to do on the wedding sewing list: Alter my dress and make these same additions, finish my bolero and make two more, and sew a flower-girl dress. I'm getting things done, slowly but surely! =)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. AWWWWZZZ! They are stunning. Completely, entirety, purely stunning. If they head a heart they'd be whole heartedly stunning. Great job!- Pringle woman.

  2. Very nicely done. So great that you can take something and make it perfect for you (and your sisters). The boleros look amazing, too.

    1. Thank you! I do wish I had some other way of changing the length.... maybe removing the ruching from the skirt portion instead of adding a piece, but it is really nice to be able to make things the way we need them. =)

  3. You did a wonderful job altering these dresses to fit your needs. They look wonderful!

    1. Thank you! The changes were simpler than I expected, which was nice. =)