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Unread 04-18-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
muckypup
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A daunting project...

Continuing my theme of "biting off more than I can chew, but having things just about work out so I never learn my lesson" I have just purchased a used wedding dress.

It was so pretty (and cheap, due to broken clasps etc) that my crafty self couldn't resist the thought of it as a plan B for my actual dress.
However, I'd really appreciate being able to ask, check and have fresh eyes see how things develop.

It's not cosplay (but may end up that way, if directions change) but is this section of the forum okay for that?
If not, do any of you wonderfully creative people know of a site/community that might be better suited?

Thank you in advance!
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Unread 04-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #2
Mangochutney
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This sounds like a cool idea, but I get the idea that we're missing some information about one or more steps of your plan.

Like, are you planning to make your own wedding dress and looking for advice? Are you trying to refurbish this old one? Are you planning to modify it in some way?
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Unread 04-18-2017, 09:23 PM   #3
muckypup
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Mangochutney, I wish I was organised enough to have a plan!

I have panic-purchased the dress already! It has some broken clasps (which I think I can handle) but also some points I would be interested with tweaking (A-line to a more fitted on the hips, possibly adding sleeves kind of things). I just didn't want to start asking away and clog up the board if this wasn't the right place!
I just know people here are making lovely things and I received great advice before.
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Unread 04-19-2017, 07:31 AM   #4
Penlowe
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Yes we will answer any sewing related questions at all.
You have roused my curiosity though: what is the dress for?
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Unread 04-20-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
muckypup
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Thank you so much!
Well long story short, I do not want a part in the ridiculous rental prices & rules for wedding dresses out here in Japan. So I started to look around and found a sweet dress on an auction site which was very cheap as it is being sold as junk.
Cup pads missing, 2 corset hooks missing, a mention of "back decoration" missing (bow perhaps? but I prefer less faff so that's fine) I was expecting stains, slight damage but it arrived last night have found none! huzzah!
However, it's an a-line with volume. I would love to have it toned down, possible more fitted on the hips and reduce the train.
Here are two pics.
http://imgur.com/cVMnx4f
http://imgur.com/rRWSWbQ
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Unread 04-21-2017, 07:44 AM   #6
Penlowe
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Everything you want to do will be tricky because of the lace insets. If you want to retain the lace, you'll have to carefully remove it from the outer hem, place it higher on the skirt (wherever you want to shorten the train to), sew it down, then trim out the solid fabric under the new lace location. Narrowing the slope along the hips will run you into the same lace issue at the hem because you can't just run a seam through the middle of it, you've got to trim the lace in the patterns and re-sew. Not impossible, but a LOT of tedious work. That's why wedding dresses are so expensive to alter.

In short:
- take all the lace off the entire hem
- alter the skirt width & length
- replace all the lace
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Unread 04-21-2017, 09:38 AM   #7
muckypup
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Penlowe, as always Thank you! That's pretty much the lines I was thinking. so as long-winded as it is going to be, I think I might be able to manage. Luckily, time is something I have plenty of for the next few months.

I'm more concerned about altering the shape to be honest. I've only ever done it on skirts by taking in the sides but not sure if i should be doing it a different way in this case.

I'll reapply the lace when everything else is done, as I just can't imagine not buggering things up and then adjusting later!
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Unread 04-22-2017, 06:57 AM   #8
Penlowe
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Actually from the photo I think that skirt will be very easy to bring in. Take it in wherever the seams are, don't make new ones. It's more than likely 5 panels, one front center putting seams down the fronts of your legs, side fronts putting the next seams down the outside of your hips, and two back panels putting the last seam down the middle of the train.
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Unread 04-24-2017, 09:46 AM   #9
muckypup
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The skirt has 7 panels, but pretty much in the layout you imagined (one at the front, and then 3 along on each side to the back).

Would you advise bringing in along all seams or do you thing i can leave the seams on the front panel? I'm thinking to take the built-in underskirt out and then adjust to the finished shape at the end. Gosh it's got so much more fabric that i first realised...

http://imgur.com/6VUGFyB
Dress sketch looks like an avacado...
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Unread 04-25-2017, 08:24 AM   #10
Penlowe
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Eh, pin it (A lot, not just a couple but 6-10 down each seam) to where you think you want it and put it on. Take pictures or better yet get someone else to take pictures so you can look at it a couple hours later more objectively.That's between personal preference and how it fits you.

The average wedding dress is about 10 yards of outer fabric and 15 lining and under layers.
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Unread 05-11-2017, 03:17 AM   #11
muckypup
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The clasps and such are fixed and I'm ready to move on to the next step but I've hit a snag.

The pearls/beading for the lace see to have been applied after the trim was done. So removing the lace will sever the thread for the embellishments.
Options seem to be..
1. cut very closely around the lace, and reapply in it's new place. The dress fabric isnt very "swishy" to begin with, but I'm guessing this will make it a little stiffer along the edge.
I'm not sure if it will look odd, but this would be the easiest option by far.
2. Remove the lace and opaque backing and resew the embellishments. Not impossible but very time consuming.
3. Secure the the threads in a way that I can remove the lace and opaque layer, and only have to restitch the beading which overlaps with the main fabric.
That's all I can think of. Is the reason one of these methods wouldn't be recommended, or any pointers when carrying this out?
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Unread 05-11-2017, 07:39 AM   #12
Penlowe
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Ah, bummer. Sounds like someone put a lot of money into that dress on the first go-round, after market beading being not cheap.

I'd go with option 1, partly because you already stated you are shortening the length, so it will do no harm. Also I'm not sure why you think it will make it stiffer, unless you were planning to be supremely lazy and glue it back on but : shudder :
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Unread 05-11-2017, 10:20 AM   #13
muckypup
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Gosh no! I was just a little worried as i'd be including a trim of the dresses fabric so it would essentially be doubled up.
But I assumed that was the naughty option so i'm so happy! You've saved me so much time and a good deal of mental health!

And yes the dress would have been incredibly expensive, seems like it's from a designer collection. But i'm not very fashion conscious and usually think brand doesn't equal quality most times... Still quite shocked at how cheaply to was able to buy it though!
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Unread 05-12-2017, 07:35 AM   #14
Penlowe
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I admit I held on to my wedding dress way longer than necessary. I realized neither of my daughters would fit into it (they are both taller than me now). When I finally relented, I took it to a thrift shop that supports a youth ranch (really an orphanage). One of the girls who had grown up there was getting married, but needed everything. My dress fit her, it never went up for sale.
So yeah, wedding dresses have a way of finding their bride.
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