Olive Juice is one of my favorite places to buy kids clothes. Or I should say WAS one of my favs. My girls are getting a bit too old for most of it. While I still love it and the younger two could still wear it, for some reason they don’t love it like I do. I think there is some unwritten rule that if your Mom likes it you can’t 😀 Anyone tracking with me here??!!
I bought this dress, new with tags, at a garage sale a couple of years ago. At size 12 I knew it would be awhile before Larke could wear it, but I loved it so I bought it. I paid $10 for it which is way below the retail sticker price. It hung in the closet for at least 2 years. Larke insisted she didn’t like it – of course.
This spring I decided she was going to wear it whether she liked it or not. It was hanging there, she needed church clothes and there was no reason that dress couldn’t be altered to fit her. She will probably never wear a size 12 she is such a twig of a thing! The link was right but it was way to wide for her. So I tore it apart, took about 2 inches out on each side and put it back together.
This is really a very simple process. If you know how to sew simple seams, how to use a seam ripper (or small scissors – I never use a seam ripper) you can do this. I am in the process of doing this for a dress for a little gal to wear in an August wedding. So let’s get going and I’ll do my best to show you with pictures and words how to do this 😀
It’s a bit hard to see just how wide it is on here but can you tell the fit is just a bit too baggy?
See how much I can fold it over at the side? And I could do this on both sides.
I wanted to cut it down by a bit over one inch on the fold, making it a total of around 2.25 total on each side. Yes she is a dink!
This dress has a lining, as most well-made dressy dresses do. I started by tearing apart the lining seam from the dress seam at the armhole. Up where you see the navy trim. Where the dress and lining are sewed together.
You don’t have to take the side seams apart only the seam at the armhole that finished the dress. You CAN open up the side seams if it is helpful in getting to that armhole seam. Most seams at armholes or necklines have been understitched so you will need to take that stitching out too.
I also tore out the seam of the dress that connected the cream fabric to the navy. They were sewn up as 2 separate pieces – a bodice and a skirt – and then sewn together and I wanted to take them both in.
I sewed the same seam allowance all the way down. This dress is not very full and I didn’t want it to hang funny so I took it out all the way down. If you aren’t taking so much out of the dress you can get by with just gradually blending it to the original seam.
This time I took it up about 3/8 of an inch at the armhole and then gradually eased over to the first seam I made as I sewed down. Make it very gradual and blend the two seams well, backstitching so it can’t come apart. Do the exact same thing to the lining.
Serge off the excess so you have a normal seam allowance. Do the same thing to the lining.
What do you think? Could you alter a dress like this? It’s one of the easiest alterations there is!
Sew a Fine Seam
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