Member since 6/9/05
Date: 7/24/14 0:35 AM
I have a nice April Cornell long dress with a long-sleeve lace overlay. The dress is shapeless and I look dowdy in it. I would love to make some simple changes to it to give it a little shape and updated style. I am a former hourglass figure who is peri-menopausal with the big tummy to prove it. I guess I'm a rectangle now. Anyway, the dress has no zippers, etc. I really like the fabric and would like to do SOMETHING with it! Maybe even shorten it to a tunic to wear with white pants. Ideas?
Cornell lace dress
Member since 6/10/14
Date: 7/24/14 0:42 AM
the fabric and color is beautiful.
Would darts help to add shape?
I'm a fan of tunic-length conversions. Dresses 'frump me too
Member since 7/25/08
2 members like this.
Date: 7/24/14 6:55 AM
Several things to try-
Pin up the overlay on the diagonal towards one shoulder and see how it looks. A wavier, loose overlay will draw the eye up. Allover lace can look too mature and RTW often has partial overlays. Try a knee-length irregular hem.
Shorten to cap sleeves or make them swingy. Open up one side hem to the knee. Tie a scarf around to see if an empire waist would work. I made over a dated straight ankle-length thrift find by using the cut-off bottom for a more casual outside tunnel-waist with drawstring. When they recommend belting it always seems to emphasize a squarish waist, but a loosely tied woven/beaded belt on the hip works.
With the overlay out of the way, pin up some small diagonal pleats from under bust to 3/4 of the way to opposite hip for a tummy ruching effect. They can be sewn on the inside, or the outside for interest. If that works, then play with a partial overlay so the tucks show.
Lovely color, we await your makeover!
-- Edited on Today at 7:06 AM --
Member since 12/13/08
1 member likes this.
Date: 7/26/14 4:34 PM
First, have you tried a belt? You may need to experiment with the type/width of the belt to see what shape works best. If a literal belt doesn't look right with the lace (it seems pretty formal) you can put in a sash or waistband instead.
Second, how about shortening the sleeves and opening up the neckline? That can *immediately* make something "dowdy" look more flattering!
This blogger remade a jersey dress with a lower neckline and it really made a big difference:
(Not probably the exact technique you want, but the idea is sound!)
~Gem in the prairie
Member since 4/17/12
Date: 7/26/14 9:07 PM
The unpressed pleats I think I see at the waist would be difficult with the tummy issue, as would the at-waist waist seam. Maybe open up the waist seam, dart above it, raise the waist, and redo those pleats? Ideas: get rid of them in favor of a princess seamed skirt; or make the skirt flat over the tummy, with pleats to the side center, if that makes sense . . .
Member since 12/25/13
1 member likes this.
Date: 7/27/14 1:41 PM
Shorten the sleeves...cap, short or 3/4. Or remove them altogether? Take a look at Colette's "Moneta", for an updated gathered waist look. That style can be found in patterns for knits or wovens and is currently very popular with curvy sewers. Or... cut it off and make a skirt?
-- Edited on Today at 1:55 PM --
SM's: Nina 450 Aurora, Singers: 66 w/ back clamping feet, 15-91, 221, 500A Rocketeer, Touch Tronic 2000.