A few months ago I was asked to alter a wedding dress. The very idea was terrifying - what do you do if you make a mistake on someone's wedding dress?! It was originally described to me as “beaded.” I, of course, had visions of a dress completely covered in beads. Thankfully, it was a little less embellished than I had imagined.
There are, of course, many different ways to alter clothing. But I wanted to accomplish this with as little back and forth as possible.
I was hoping the initial fitting, some work in my sewing room, and one final fitting/hem check would do it.
The color white makes things even more tricky. There are plenty of marking pencils/pens/chalk available, but they have a habit of sticking around where they are not wanted. I brought grey silk thread to the first fitting, along with quite a few pins.
The dress was put on wrong-side-out, the excess ease taken up in the existing back darts and pinned into place. Then the dress came off, and I quickly basted the new darts into place and put the dress back on with right-side-out to make sure everything was fitting properly. (It really is crazy what a difference this minor change makes!)
I came home with the dress looking like the dart on the right side of the picture above. Back in the sewing room, I used pink thread to baste around the new and improved dart to the left and right of the fold (as seen on the left dart).
Out came the grey thread holding everything together, along with the original dart stitching. The most irritating part was seam ripping white thread on a white knit fabric.
Look at that twisted fabric in the original dart – tsk, tsk. Although I have to say, it is always a relief to see that even professionals make mistakes!
After opening the original dart, it was time to remove the excess beads. Some were holding on for dear life, and other just flew off with little to no coaxing.
Once the extra beads were removed, the remaining beads had to be secured.
The new dart was stitched by hand using white silk thread and very small back-stitches.
Thankfully, the altered fit was spot on (helped, of course, by the fact that the fabric had a bit of stretch). And there you have it, a successful dress alteration – I survived the adventure!