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LF’s pink dress

KharminJ | Posted in Fitting on

Good Afternoon, My Sewing Buddies ~ Hoo boy, have I got a project! My friend LF has been provided with this “lovely” pink dress to wear in a pageant production number. (Cheap fabric, cheap construction, ordered from overseas by bust size -sorta-) All-in-all, Bleahh! (She called it a “pepto-potato-sack”.) But, she’s gotta wear it, and so do all the others, so we’ll do what we can… I haven’t had a chance to see it in person yet, but she sent these photos. (In next post) She has on a strapless bra which can be dedicated to the dress until after the show. The bodice is self lined, and stretch-shirred across the back. My thoughts on “how to fix it” include: ~ Attach the side seams to the bra, with the back pulled out a little more than it is now. ~ Futz with the waist seam, to reverse the pouching at the top of the skirt – looks like the seam allowance is turned down ~ Increase the gathering (possibly add a dart?) under the arm, to reduce gaping. ~ Very last thing, realign the lower row(s) of buttons on the “tie”. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Kharmin


  1. KharminJ | | #1

    Here's the photos of LF's pink dress ~ Warning: it's REALLY pink! (grin) Kharmin

    1. User avater
      rodezzy2 | | #3

      Thank the Heaven's she young and beautiful. 

      Now, I don't do much with clothes, so I outside of the above comment, I'll leave it to more capable people here on this site, there are so many, I'm sure they will help you get that dress to look better. 

    2. Ocrafty1 | | #4

      Ooooooooo!  Looks like a few I've had the privilege to alter...Although I think it would win the prize for worst everything. LOL! She has to wear this where????  It definitely needs to have done what you've described...just a matter of how to go about it.

      Can you take it in at the side seams...tapering it, sort of like a dart?  I think I'd also 'redo' the empire waist seam...it is so weird...looks like it needs to be straightened (and I think you're right...looks like it was pressed(folded) down).  The idea of attaching the bra would probably work...after you fixed all the other stuff.  I'd re-place the lower buttons, as you suggested, as well.

      The back looks like it is rows of zigzag stitching that uses elastic thread in the bobbin.  That was a popular style and technique waaay back when I was in HS, and I made a dress like that. If this is the case, you could also try 'sewing over' the stitching lines using the same method, or possibly 'pull up' the elastic bobbin thread that is already there to make it tighter...does that make sense?

      Hope this helps...you lucky girl, you!!!


      Edited 4/30/2009 8:47 pm ET by Ocrafty1

    3. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #6

      Oh MY GOOD GLORIOUS HEAVEN!!!! Thank you for my morning giggle. I am not laughing at your good friend, but at the horror of having to wear a dress like that. I assume this is a costume for a production number of some sort????
      I think you are on the right track with your thinking. I would resew the bottom bodice seam. I would investigate the gathering at the back to see if it could be pulled tighter (solution A) or take it in (solution B). The Front definitely needs to be taken in. I would also suggest sewing a narrow band of elastic along the underarm and top side front of the bodice to ease in the gaposis going on there, or putting a row of hand stitching in to ease it in a bit. Looks like it got stretched out when it was sewn, as it is on the bias a bit. The bodice also looks rather flimsy, and the bra shows as a ridge. Are you up to putting an added lining into the front? Just a thought. Good luck, it actuallly looks like this is gonna be a fun project, as your friend looks like she has a good sense of humor. :) Cathy

    4. woodruff | | #10

      OMG, OMG, OMG! I am speechless--sorry, no help at all. I think a glass of wine is in order.

      1. KharminJ | | #11

        AhHa! We have results of the Pink Dress Project! One shot, anyway - the others are still in the phone...Here's what Laurie Faith wrote:Thought your sewing group would get a kick out of a stage shot… notice MY dress is the only one fitting properly – I’m the extremely pale lady in the middle. ;) THANK you SOOOO much for making it better then a pepto-sack. Her sash also has trim along the edge...Thank you all so much for the ideas and encouragement (and empathy) ~ You made this a delight instead of a chore!Bright Holiday Blessings!Kharmin

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #12

          Bubble Gum Yum! Honestly you did a fine job! Made a silk purse from a sow's ear with that one Kharmin. Add that picture to your portfolio as an example of a difficult job well done. :) Cathy

          1. KharminJ | | #13

            Thanks, Cathy!I think the most important part of the fix was tacking in the bra and adding a (barely visible) ribbon around the waist seam. The waist was all elastic, and would stretch up over the bra at the slightest provocation. The "hardest" part was getting my 'precision graphics brain' to back off and remember that no-one would be looking at this from less than 30 feet! BB! ~ Khamin

        2. Tatsy | | #14

          Kudos! It looks like a garment instead of a frat toga.

        3. User avater
          rodezzy2 | | #15

          Looks like you conquered the dragon.  Great job.

        4. Teaf5 | | #16

          Wow, you managed what seemed to be an impossible feat--making that "pepto sack" look like a dress! 

          Isn't it amazing that a whole group of women in the same horrid costume look fairly reasonable up there onstage?  There must be something about the huge scale of a theatre that requires big (and sometimes awful) "statement" costuming.

          Thank you for sharing this hilarious episode; it has reminded me that maybe some of my creations aren't quite as ghastly as they appear up close.  Now, if I could just get everyone else to view me from 40 feet away....

          1. sewelegant | | #17

            I had to smile thinking that's exactly how we have to look at bridesmaid dresses, sometimes!

          2. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #19

            You are so right about that. One of the best uses I found for bridesmaid dresses was to convert them to "saloon girl" costumes for an Interscholastic League one act play (in competition with other school districts) my teacher/daughter-in-law was directing. I picked up several for $5.00 each at a thrift store and with very little work, viola! They were perfect.

          3. Ceeayche | | #20

            Ah Bridesmaid dresses.  Several years ago, I was in 8 weddings in 12 months when everybody I knew from college, high school and childhood got married.  Of course not ONE of the weddings was local.  For several years (decades) I kept all those dresses hanging in my closet.  Then one year I cut one up and sent it to one of the brides as a pillow for her anniversary.  Then came a project to make Christmas stockings for a nursing home.  I also painted one set of the satin dyed to match shoes for a costume party.  And, I donated most all of the accessories to a local charity that provides prom dresses to young women who otherwise couldn't afford to have a new dress to participate. I still have a couple of them.  One is a beautiful, timeless gown of silk taffeta and velvet that my mother made and I'm vainly hoping to get back into one day.

          4. Ralphetta | | #21

            Somewhere, maybe this very site, I read about a woman having a party where everyone wore their old bridesmaids dresses, (the uglier, the better.) I thought it was a really fun idea.

          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            Oh yeah, esp. if you don't fit them any more, hee hee hee, haw haw haw! Hmmm, might be a good idea for my ladies group for one of our social dinners......Cathy

          6. Ceeayche | | #23

            that does sound like fun!

        5. Ceeayche | | #18

          Your extra effort was clearly worth it.  Not only did she look wonderful (pepto sack and all), but you solved what could have been wardrobe malfunction ahead of time.  And best of all your young client noticed the difference and appreciated the workmanship.

          I'd say you worked a minor miracle on this one Miss Kharmin!

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    oooooooooh, that should win some kind of prize!!!

    I guess you can't set fire to it, so if she has good legs I'd be sure to cut it off shorter and get rid of some of it that way.

    I'm really curious as to who selected it...and why.

  3. Tatsy | | #5

    Whoa! My eight-year-old niece might look cute in something like that, but a grown woman? Hopefully, it's a short, one-performance show.

    You definitely have gotten some good ideas. The only thing I would add is that some light wire inserted in the underarm might give it stability without having to alter the seam. Just poke it through from the facing side. Shape it the way you want and handstitch it in place.

  4. User avater
    suesewing | | #7

    My daughter has had several pageant dresses that she had to wear, but this one takes the cake. I would absolutely sew the bra in. When you are in a pageant, there is not always much time for changing and adjusting. Are you allow to remove some of the shirring in the back? I would do that and make darts, re sew the empire waist so it comes under her bustline. If you can also raise the center decor piece to bring more attention to her face. Are you able to make it completely strapless, because that might add to the dress. Since the skirt is layered, you might be able to steal some added material from there to fix the bodice. You would have to then have the under dress more form fitting and just have the outer skirt loose. I would check with the pageant directors about how much you are allow to redo the dress before.

    1. Sancin | | #8

      If it is a one time only pageant I would suggest standing in the back row then throwing it out. It doesn't look like it deserves any kind of work. What kind of pageant is it?

      1. KharminJ | | #9

        I knew I could count on youse-guys to see the humor with me! ;0She brought the dress over last night, and I must say, the pink isn't *quite* so bad in person. The fit is another question, though.This will be worn during the "opening number" of a state Ms. Something-or-Other pageant, so the "40 foot rule" is in play (thank all the Gods!). It has to look good from stage, not up-close. But, she is the current crown-holder, so can't just hide in the back. However, "Burn it!" is very high on the after-action options list - right up there with "Goes in 6-YO Allie's dress-up box"!Thanks for the moral support

        ~ Love you all! I'll have "after" pictures next week! Kharmin

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