Altering a dress with a mesh back

I have been scouring the internet trying to find a tutorial on how to alter a formal dress with a mesh insert but came up empty handed. The item in need of help is a pageant dress that I will be wearing in spring 2014.

Before I get into the tutorial, you might relate to same situation I went through to find "the" dress. I knew that finding the perfectly fitting dress is nearly impossible, so I went shopping with an open mind.  Soon I discovered this dress and I love it!……..but it didn't fit the way I would like it to. Usually dresses will fit great in the top but not in the bottom and vise versa. So I tried on 2 different sizes and brought home the one that needed the top altered. The smaller size was too small in the hips. I had bought the dress at a shop close to school and over winter break I brought the dress home and was excited to get started on altering it. When I am unsure on how to alter something I just google it, but my search came up empty handed. I ended up texting my seamstress friend and she suggested taking up the excess in a single back seam and disguising my seam with some of the jewels. So I took the plunge (nervously) and I was quite pleased with how it turned out and it looks custom made.
So here are the before pictures

How I did it:
I tried on the dress and had my mom pinch and pin down the back of the mesh lining the pinned fabric up with the back seam of the skirt.
Once I took the dress off, I opened up the pinned fabric, marking each side with mini safety pins because regular pins would fall out.
( I removed more of the jewels after the picture was taken)
I found that the safety pins stayed in the mesh better than quilting pins. Next I then carefully removed all the jewels around the area where my seam would be. The jewels on the back of my dress were all connected so I tied off the existing thread and reenforced the jewel with some new thread.

Marking where the safety pins were with tailor chalk, I then removed the pins, folded right sides together, matching up each side based off my chalk marks.
I sewed the seam from top to bottom, extending the seam down into the skirt (about an inch or so) to give a smooth end of the seam.
Trimming the seam to about a quarter of an inch (not all of the way down) allowed me to open up the seam so it would lay flat. Sewing the jewels on top of the seam helped to camouflage the new seam.
By using this process I was able to take out 2.5 inches out of the bust and waist. Now I can't wait to wear it in the spring.

The after


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1 comment:

  1. You're rocking that dress, Callie! I love how the jewels are seamed on the back side, and how it creates an illusion that they are attached to your skin. Good job on altering it! It would be such a waste if you won’t be able to wear this dress on the pageant just because the size doesn’t fit.

    Serena Hartigan @ The Zip Yard



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