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Message Board > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > alterations to ready-made garments

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alterations to ready-made garments
Shoulder pads on 80's garments
lauriesannie
lauriesannie  Friend of PR
Member since 3/1/11
Posts: 5
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Date: 5/2/12 12:32 PM

I have several lovely, and loved, Diane Freis dresses. They are from the 1980's and look so dated with their shoulder pads. Of course, I can take the pads out but then the bodice sags and the sleeve heads are still too puffy. Can these issues be addressed in order to bring the dresses into the 21st c.? Thanks.

NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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Date: 5/2/12 12:53 PM

lauriesannie, Diane Freis dresses are beautiful. I think change is very do-able. I've modified patterns drafted with shoulder pads so this seems like the same process.

You're going to have to take the shoulder slope down (slopier/less square) to compensate for the lack of shoulder pad height. The sleeve cap also needs to be lowered and the sleeve made smaller. Without the shoulder pad the sleeve cap is shorter and arm hole is smaller.

I don't see your sewing level so us know if you need more details and the group can chime in.

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I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

genierita
genierita  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/3/12 10:36 AM

Hi Lauriesannie - I would agree with doing the same - I do this quite a lot in my clothing alterations work.I tend to take out the pads and detach the sleeve head from the shoulder line area first (leave attached at underarm point at least up to where the sleeve changes curve - usually about the back and front notches). Get someone to pin a new shoulder line to fit you nicely. Whatever you take in at the shoulder point eg 1/2 inch - is pretty much what comes off the sleeve head depth at the shoulder point position. Gradually blend the new cutting line to nothing where the sleeve is still attached. The reduced sleeve head should now fit back into the 'new' armhole area with a little easing. Hope this makes sense and good luck! Rita

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/3/12 5:32 PM

Yes and the dresses probably need to be shortened too.

A women in the sewing lab at a local college successfully remodeled a jacket and coat from that era and they look fabulous.

lauriesannie
lauriesannie  Friend of PR
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In reply to NhiHuynh <<


Date: 5/9/12 3:23 PM

Thanks so much. I've been sewing many years but have never done pattern alterations aside from bust dart location. Maybe I should try this on a muslin first. If you have any further suggestions I would appreciate them.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/9/12 8:55 PM

Take out the sleeves but leave attached at the very bottom.
Take out the shoulder pads.
Pin fit the shoulder slope and sew the new shoulder.

Now check the sleeves. Will they fit into the new armhole?
Maybe with gathers?

Mel.J
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Mel.J
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Member since 7/30/02
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Date: 5/10/12 0:57 AM

For the muslin, see if you can get an 80s garment from a thrift shop (so you can have a go without risking a loved dress).

------
Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

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