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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Need the alter bride's dress to allow room for breathing. ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Need the alter bride's dress to allow room for breathing.
alterations
sharker
sharker
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Member since 10/11/11
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Date: 10/11/11 1:04 PM

My friend brought her bride's maid dress to me for alteration. I can doing the hemming part, but she can't breath. The bust line in fine (she right below that) but, she can't breath. Since the dress is already made, how do I make room for her to breath. The wedding is in 2 weeks!

gramma b
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gramma b
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In reply to sharker


Date: 10/11/11 1:28 PM

That's imposing a little, even for a friend. She should take it back to where she bought it for alterations, assuming it was a bridal shop.
Or let her pay for a local seamstress who makes wedding dresses.

It seems those of us who sew have to learn to say "that's beyond me" or "sorry, I'm booked up" sometimes....

Cisa
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Cisa
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Subject: Need the alter brides dress to allow room for breathing. Date: 10/11/11 2:06 PM

I'm with Gramma B on this one. If you're not a regular at doing formal wear alterations, refer her to a local tailor or seamstress. The only thing that can really be done is to see if the manufacturer left any seam allowance in the sides or center back that you could let out. Another possibility (that is probably much more work than you want to get yourself into, is to only zip the dress up to wear she is comfortable and then shorten the top of the zipper to that point. Above that, you create fabric loops and convert the dress to a partial lace-up back. Other than that, there aren't really any options that won't ruin the look of the dress.

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Coconuts
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Date: 10/11/11 2:13 PM

You have her take it somewhere else to have it altered.

It's far better to tell a friend that you don't know how to do something than it is to tell them you've ruined their dress.

purplebouquet
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Date: 10/11/11 3:07 PM

Slim Fast?

Claudia

2mulie
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Subject: Need the alter brides dress to allow room for breathing. Date: 10/11/11 3:35 PM

breathing is over-rated...fainting at the alter makes for great reminiscing when you all get old and fat

stirwatersblue
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Subject: Need the alter brides dress to allow room for breathing. Date: 10/11/11 3:54 PM

I had this issue with the dress I wore to my brother's wedding. It fit, but it was uncomfortably snug (too much so for me to actually wear it), and the next size up was way too big. Since I was in the process of losing weight, I had bought the dress only three weeks before his wedding, which left no time for any professional alterations person to take it on.

Although I'd never done anything of the kind before, I undertook to alter it myself. It was a princess seam dress with a back zip, so I knew I'd have at least six places I could work with to let it out. Even though the manufacturer hadn't left much by the way of seam allowances, I was able to eke out a little more than an eighth of an inch in each seam, giving me almost an inch extra room overall. Bridesmaids' dresses are made to be altered, so your friend's dress should have generous seam allowances to work with.

I carefully unpicked the lining and made the alterations to that first. I only did two seams at a time and tested the fit after each pair (side seams first, then the back princess seams, then the front princess seams). If I recall correctly, just the sides and backs gave me enough room to breathe comfortably.

Now, I bought this dress knowing I might be able to alter it, precisely because of those seams. If your friend's dress is not so straightforward (lots of complicated detailing to the bodice construction), or is a tricky fabric to work with (covered in sequins or something), it might not be that easy, in which case I'd take the advice given here and have her take it to a pro.

Good luck!
-- Edited on 10/11/11 3:56 PM --

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~Gem in the prairie

auntie bellums
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Date: 10/11/11 6:54 PM

If she is your friend, don't do it. If you mess it up, it's a good way to mess up a friendship. Depending on where the dress was made, trying to alter it may be a worse choice than wearing it as is. I have altered two bridesmaids dresses recently that were falling appart the more I handled them.

Best thing you could do is go with her when she goes to get it altered.

------
It's not your mamma's sewing.....It's your great grandmamma's

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