Saturday, February 26, 2011

Corset Back Dress

A very common alteration request is to replace the back zipper  on prom and wedding gowns with a corset back.   While this is not   my personal style, it has been pretty popular for a few years.  If a dress is too tight, corseting the back can give you a few precious inches!

You will need:
     Fashion Fabric
     Small piece of medium weight interfacing (not fusible)
     Air soluble pen

Measure from the top of the dress to where you want the lacing to stop.  Mark with pins.  The measurement for this dress would be 5 inches.

Unpick the zipper from the top of the dress to about 1 or 2 inches  past the bottom pins.  If the dress is lined, open up the lining all around the zipper.

Make some skinny cording.    If you don't know how to do this, look for a tutorial next week.  

Cut two pieces of interfacing 2-3 inches wide and the length of your first measurement plus two inches.
With the soluble pen, draw two parallel lines 3/8" apart (you can narrow this to 1/4" if you don't want much of the loop to show).  Now put a perpendicular mark 1" from the each end.  Divide the space between the two lines according to how you want your loops to look. I usually mark every 1 inch.  Here's what it will look like:

Make the loops by placing the cording between the marks with the curve against the top line and the raw edges at least 1/2" below the bottom line.  Pin the loops in place.  It will look something like this:

Stitch along the bottom line.

Remove the pins.  Fold the interfacing back on itself and serge or zigzag about 1/2" from the fold.  (I serge if there is not a lining in the dress so that it will look nicely finished.  This dress is lined so looks aren't as important.)

Open up the seam allowance of the dress, pin one set of loops on each side and stitch along the seam line.
                  Cut off the excess zipper and add a stop.  Sew the zipper back in up to the end of the loops and continue to top stitch up to the top of the dress.

                  Stitch lining back in place and add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper.

                  Wow, that is not pretty sewing on the hook and eye!!
                  Finally..., make a long tie.  The finished width can be as skinny or wide as you like.  The one for this dress is about 5/8"

                  Here's the finished product:

                  Here's another dress with the same alteration--a totally different look!

                  A modesty panel can be added under the lacing if you want a little more coverage.  I'll do a tutorial on that soon.
                  Modesty Panel Tutorial

                  Monday, February 21, 2011

                  It's Prom Time

                    My clothing rack is almost full,

                  My closets are starting to get full,

                  and there are sequins everywhere!  This can only mean one thing--it's prom time!!  No more fun sewing   for awhile.  I did manage to make a couple skirts for myself using Simplicity # 3845.  I  added a lining to both skirts  (I always add a lining to skirts).  The first is made from a navy wool gabardine and the second from a beige linen.   Good pattern for a simple skirt!

                  Tip:  Don't always play it safe with linings--it's fun to add the unexpected!

                  Over the next couple of months I will blog about altering prom, wedding, and other special occasion dresses.  If you have any questions about alterations, leave me a comment and I will try and answer them!

                  Monday, February 14, 2011

                  Finally Finished!!

                   I have been working on this quilt for several years.  It is finally done!  It was machined pieced and hand quilted.  This was a very time consuming pattern, but I really like how it turned out.  I hope Jay and Amy like it!

                  Saturday, February 5, 2011

                  Valentine Quilt

                  It's almost Valentine's Day!  To honor the occasion, here's the heart quilt I made for my sister.

                  This is a super easy paper pieced quilt that is very fat quarter friendly.  The pattern is by  The Buggy Barn and is called Buggy Barn Heart Crazies.  I followed the pattern and then added some borders.
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