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strapless dress alterations

Robsewn | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello to all!
This is my very first post to an online sewing board. I have a problem dress to alter, and hope I can find some suggestions here.
I have alot of alteration and dress sewing experience, but never this before. I have to take in a strapless bridesmaid dress in the front only. Because of the placement of the zipper(side) and the style of the back, I can only do the front. Of course there is boning in the lining, so I am wondering if I can somehow take in the princess seams on the dress, without taking out the boning from the lining and having to put it all back in the lining. Do you think I can get away with just taking a dart in the lining? If it were just the front alteration, I wouldnt care about having to re-do the lining, but I also have to hem the dress and the flair train, and bustle the train with an underbustle. Yikes!, I am not looking forward to this job, but it’s a neighbor and I already committed to it.
Thanks so much


  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    Wow. Problems like this make me glad I'm not doing that anymore. Sounds like a salesperson said "Sure, some good seamstress can take this in for you!" Are you sure that it wouldn't be easier to do this at the side seams - even removing and replacing the zipper? Otherwise you can take in the princess seams but be sure to leave the center front panel wide enough - in other words, take most of the excess width off the side front pieces. You might be able to get away with taking in the excess lining elsewhere. You just want to be sure that whatever you do doesn't show through to the front. A seam that isn't directly under another seam on the front fabric may show through. Good luck

  2. sewchris703 | | #2

    I'd probably try to take in at the side seams, removing and replacing the zipper, before I'd tackle the front princess seams. I always remove the boning, alter the seam, and resew the boning as it was done originally. To give you a time frame, the average time for me (I've been doing bridal alterations for 11 years) to alter the seams, hem the gown, and do the bustle takes about 2.5-3.5 hours, barring any special details such as beadwork, pleating, appliques, etc. Unless the train is way too long when the gown is hemmed, I don't cut it shorter but only hem the front of the gown, tapering the hem to merge with the train at the side seams.

    1. Robsewn | | #3

      thanks to you both for the input and suggestions, it will help greatly!

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