B5333 Dress – A conundrum

I got the bright idea to cut a dress earlier this week based on the fact that the fabric is seven years aged in stash as is the pattern, and I wanted a new dress for summer. However, I didn’t really think through my plan, and so I have this unfinished project.
Mistake number one, not checking what alterations were needed for success.  I always have to shorten the bodice, but the bust point matched mine, so I just went ahead with the size 10 through the shoulders out to a 12 under the bust.  That’s it.  Umm, I know better, I swear, but look at this wreck.  The bust dart comes up and over my bust point.  How on Earth is that supposed to work for anyone?

Oh, in case it isn’t obvious, this is just basted together for all of the vertical seams to check the fit.  I knew that the bodice was wonky, so I figured if I assembled enough I could decide if this is worth salvaging.  I have enough fabric to recut a front bodice, but nothing else.

The marked waistline is at my waist here and you can see the extra length present in both the front and back bodice pieces.  The front is slightly less terrible as I did not do a full bust adjustment, though a slight one would have helped if nothing else than dropping that bust point as right now there is too much fabric above the waist but instead of the mass of horizontal wrinkles, the fabric has enough body to just lift away from my shoulders.

Ignoring the not great zipper basting job here, look at all of the wrinkles in the small of my back.  The back bodice ended up being huge and I really do need a narrow shoulder adjustment going forward.  If this were finished properly, my bra straps would definitely be visible.  The back neckline gapes by a ton, and the back dart is going too far into my shoulder blade.  This would be a total wadder if not for the fact that the color looks fantastic in the pictures.  I just don’t know how motivated I am to fix this, though on the plus side, it is another 2.5 yards of material out of stash.

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4 thoughts on “B5333 Dress – A conundrum

  1. Good luck! Provided you have good seam allowances, this is definitely salvageable. What if you just make it wider below the waist to allow it to drop further down? It seems to “land” too soon, if you see what I mean. I seem to have heard that adjustments should be made from the bottom up, as fixing the fit in the lower parts can totally change the fit further up.

    • I know what you mean about it looking like it’s landing too soon, but I truly am that short waisted. The marked waistline is at my waist, so I’m not inclined to mess with the skirt piece. However, I think you are right about starting low because I think the midriff piece is a big chunk of my problem. It simply has too much height, so I’m thinking of removing some of the length there and seeing what happens before messing with the bodice.

  2. Hi, this is a lovely colour on you, so I think it’s worth fixing! I think your empire line is too wide, that’s the measurement just under the bust. This dress has a seam along the empire line, and the vertical boob darts are supposed to start on the empire and end just below the nipples to give a nice rounded effect. So I would say, start by making that middle band to fit you fairly snugly between your waist and the empire line, check both the width and the height. Remember that it does not have to divide exactly half-half between front and back, people are not symmetrical – your rib cage protrudes to the front, not to the back. Make sure that it is snug but comfortable! Then adjust the bottom of the bodice to match the top of the empire piece, fix the darts, and check the height of the arm hole. What is left over at the top, can be trimmed at the shoulders.
    Good luck!

    • Thank you for such clear suggestions on how to proceed on fixing this. Having slept on it, I do want to fix this project, so I will be tackling that middle band first thing!

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