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Refashioning a new dress
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HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/5/13 1:47 PM

I need a dress very soon with very specific qualities -- don't have time to make one. Totally my fault for procrastinating. I've whined about this on a couple of other fora here, so please excuse the repetition.

I found a dress that looks nice on me and fulfills all my requirements except that the skirt is too narrow. It needs to be at least 20" wider at the bottom. I am getting ready to take the plunge and rip open the back and side seams and add godets. The dress fabric is a drapey polyester, and I am thinking I will use a dressy rayon, maybe cut on the bias, for the godets, and then maybe make some bias tape out of the same fabric and add it around the front neckline to tie the two fabrics together. I might also cover the rhinestone thingy with it (see link at bottom).

Is this totally crazy? Am I going to ruin it? Anything I should watch out for?

Found this:

Inserting godets

This is the dress. It was on sale when I bought it, about $60, so not super cheap but not that expensive, either. (I checked out the offerings at Sears yesterday, and they had the exact same dress for the same price.)

Dress

Thanks so much for any advice.

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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CA USA
Member since 9/18/04
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Date: 11/5/13 2:32 PM

If this were my project, I would buy another dress to use as a source for fabric for alterations, godets, etc. and whatever other alterations may occur to you.

Because this is a time-critical project, I would be concerned about the godet inserts having the same "hand" as the rest of the dress; the same drape and weight.

For $120 total, you can have a dress with the skirt you want and probably a top or blouse from the top of the second dress.

Your basic plan seems good: insert godets to make a fuller skirt, use the contrast fabric for trim elsewhere to tie it together. If you use a second dress for alteration fabric, you can skip the trim part of the project.

Because the godets will be on the bias, you should probably let the dress "rest" on a hanger overnight before you do the final hem.

YMMV, of course, but that's how I would approach this.

CMC



sings2high
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Date: 11/5/13 2:48 PM

If you do go with the alternate fabric for godets and "other", I think it's a great idea. Using the other fabric on the hardware trim sounds ok, but if the rhinestones look good with both fabrics, don't bother covering the hardware but use the other fabric to replace the insert at the neckline. Consider using the alternate fabric to put little godets into the sleeves as well - flutter sleeves are often very flattering to all kinds of arms, depending on where they hit, of course. Or of course you could keep the line of the sleeve as it is but use the alternative fabric to make little shaped cuffs or a cute little overdrape. Leave the sleeves for last - the insert and godets might be just enough and you don't want to overdo it.

------
Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 1
New Projects started in 2014: 2
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 0
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 11/5/13 2:58 PM

Sounds like a good plan. I've done godets more than once and never cut them on the bias. A dress with princess seams worked best because the godets could simply be inserted in the seamlines.
Is your dress black? Try using black chiffon for the godets. I've seen several examples of black chiffon looking really great on other types of black fabric.

Claudia

HarrietHomeowner

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Date: 11/5/13 4:21 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I've started ripping out the first seam -- no turning back now! I'm toying with the idea of doing just one godet, in the back, to avoid problems with the faux wrap flounce in the front -- because it's sewn into one side seam. Or if I want to be really brave, I could cut a slit in the middle of the front and put one there and leave the side seams alone. The flounce would cover most of it.
-- Edited on 11/5/13 4:22 PM --

Linda T in TN
Linda T in TN
Member since 9/27/13
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In reply to HarrietHomeowner <<


Date: 11/5/13 4:33 PM

Could you possibly use part of the front skirt overlap and just make one large godet in the center back which would start at about your lower hip level? It seems that there is quite a bit of fullness in the overlap, so you may be able to take what you need from the side seam area and redistribute the gathers or pleats so that your new edge comes all the way to the side seam.

I've seen some dresses which had a center-back godet, and it looked really nice.

You might also completely remove the front overlap, using it as a pattern to cut out a new overlap (perhaps out of georgette or another drapey semi-sheer fabric). and then attaching the new one in front.

If I can find a picture or pattern which shows what I am trying to describe, I will let you know.

Linda in TN

DonnaH
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Date: 11/5/13 5:06 PM

If you are doing the single, center back godet, you could make the center of it a little longer (only 2-3" would work, but up to floor length would be OK). It should be the same length as the dress at the seams, and gradually get longer.

It looks like a miniature train.

stirwatersblue
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In reply to HarrietHomeowner <<
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Date: 11/5/13 5:25 PM

Quote: HarrietHomeowner
Is this totally crazy? Am I going to ruin it?

My policy in cases like this: Since it's unwearable (for your event) in its current state, you can't possibly ruin it.

I've had to tweak the "properties" of some RTW items, and it always takes me way more courage and time than making something from scratch LOL, but that mantra has saved me many times.

I have to say, though, I am VERY curious about what the Specific Event with Specific Properties is! (At first I read that you needed an additional 120" in the skirt, and then I was really wondering!! )

------
~Gem in the prairie

HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Posts: 782
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 11/5/13 5:40 PM

Quote: stirwatersblue
[quote] Is this totally crazy? Am I going to ruin it?

My policy in cases like this: Since it's unwearable (for your event) in its current state, you can't possibly ruin it.



I've had to tweak the "properties" of some RTW items, and it always takes me way more courage and time than making something from scratch LOL, but that mantra has saved me many times.



I have to say, though, I am VERY curious about what the Specific Event with Specific Properties is! (At first I read that you needed an additional 120" in the skirt, and then I was really wondering!! )[/quote]
The event is a concert. I'm playing a cello solo with an orchestra.

I originally thought I'd just return the dress and get my money back, but I need something to wear -- all my usual concert attire is somewhat bedraggled. I like the way the top part of the dress looks, and it's comfortable -- I can move around in it and it doesn't get in the way. The only problem with it is that the skirt is too narrow.

I thought about taking the entire flounce off, but I'd have to undo the waist -- really, just detach the whole skirt, and then it will get a little too involved.
sings2high
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Date: 11/5/13 6:22 PM

If you're going to use godets, go all the way - in the back and on both sides. You don't need it in the front - it will not make good design sense with that drape. They are going to be a design feature, no getting around that, so don't be timid. Be bold.

------
Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 1
New Projects started in 2014: 2
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 0
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

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