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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Need help shortening a dress pattern

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Need help shortening a dress pattern
Member since 1/28/13
Posts: 4
Skill: Beginner
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Date: 2/23/13 11:56 PM

This is for the vogue pattern V1342 (Donna Karan dress)
This is how the dress looks:

On the woman pictured, the dress falls below her knees; I am, however, not as tall as she is, and just going off of the lining piece of the dress, it comes down to my calf. I don't want a dress to be that long on me.
I managed to shorten the front and back lining pieces with no problem. However, the pattern piece for this dress is odd shaped.
In the picture below, it shows the bottom of the dress. (most of the dress is 4 pieces taped together). The blue arrow is pointing to a gathering in the dress, so I figured I can't shorten the dress that much from there.
The yellow line is where the actual pattern says to shorten the dress.

Can someone help me figure out how to shorten the dress? (I don't even see the bottom of the dress part in the actual instructions, but looking at the picture from the mccall's website I figured that the triangle part ends up being the upper back part of the dress--hopefully that makes sense)
Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 2/24/13 11:40 AM

Where does the dress need shortening? Your particular figure may require that it be shortened in several places, depending on whether you're a petite or just someone with short legs.

The photo shows the dress comes down about six inches past the knees.

The photo of your pattern pieces doesn't give us any idea which pattern piece you're working with, nor the overall shape of the piece.

The rating is Advanced. I would definitely make a muslin first of the actual dress (maybe even several) and see how it goes. A muslin of the lining for this dress won't really tell you what the challenges are.

-- Edited on 2/24/13 11:50 AM --

Viking Designer II, Babylock Imagine, Babylock BLCS 1 coverstitch

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Date: 2/24/13 10:58 PM

Well, I'm short; about 5 feet tall, so I would technically need to shorten the dress in different places. However on the pattern, there was only one place to shorten the pattern.
About the pattern piece, it's actually 4 pieces taped together to form 1, since there aren't an side seams. I just posted a picture of the bottom, since that is where is could be shortened.
This is what the pattern piece looks like:

(pattern piece #2 is the only piece not connected.)
-- Edited on 2/24/13 11:05 PM --
Member since 10/26/07
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In reply to rinimakes

Date: 2/25/13 1:45 AM

Because the dress is gathered almost to the bottom it is hard to tell where the hem will be. What is the hem finish like? Have you cut out the pattern yet?The dress is tapered so if you shorten it a lot at the bottom it will not taper in as much. You may have to wait until it is constructed to determine what you can take off without changing the shape too much.Maybe wear it a little longer and get higher heels,very 60's looking
unfinishedprojects  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/25/13 2:58 AM

I would cut and overlap small amounts in several areas over the length of the dress to make it shorter but still keep the overall proportions. Hopefully there are a lot of notches or dots on the pattern for reference points to help position the adjustments (my lines are just guesstimates.) You picked a challenging one to shorten!

Blue= shorten above the bust/shoulder strap.
Yellow= shorten through torso and hip.
Red= shorten hemline.

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