Thursday, July 31, 2014

V8571: Damage Control Mode: What would you do?

It's too big and the bodice is too long.
Here you can see how much lower than my bust the dress bustline is....

Tonight I finally basted the skirt to the bodice, sewed the side seams and discovered two issues:

1.  The bodice length is too long!  The gathered bodice is almost 2"-ish below my bust line.  When I pinned the bodice on my dress form, and even looked at it on myself, I had not noticed these issues before....but now that the skirt is on it's really obvious.


2.  I prematurely bound the armhole, thinking "I'll just finish it off when I sew the side seams".
Um, no, that is not going to work.  The side seams need to be finished and then the armhole needs to be bound.

So, I got out my binder clips and clipped the shoulder seam up an inch, and it looks a lot better but then the armholes are not deep enough.
clipped V8571
There's a sway back issue too but since there is a horizontal back seam, that's easy to fix.
clipped V8571
Overall the dress is probably a size too big on the bottom, and possibly in the bust too. That would be easy to fix.

clipped V8571

How to fix the too low underbust seam???

Plan A:  Cut off the armhole binding, undo the facing at the shoulder seam, resew the shoulder seam with  additional 1" SA, resew the facing in that area.  Fine tune the fit in the bodice and along the side seams.  Rebind the armhole.

Pros to plan A:  This raises the neckline so it is not as low. The armhole gets rebound and finished properly..

Cons to plan A:  front and back are no longer symmetrical with an additional 1" SA so it's probably not as easy as "just sew it straight across".    The shoulder width might be too narrow.

Plan B:  Sew bodice to the skirt with additional 1" SA.

Pros:  I don't have to mess with my facings at the neckline.  The armhole is the same size as it currently is.

Cons:  I still have to fix the shoulder seam binding.  The neckline stays the same, which is a tad too low.  Bodice and skirt at this seam probably wouldn't match.

Plan C:  I have enough of this fabric that I could, cough cough, cut a new bodice, neckband and facings with basically the size 8 at the shoulder seam and size 8 neckline....

Pros:  This would fix the majority of issues

Cons:  Well, "throwing away" all the work I already did with the neckline facing, gathering the bustline so nicely, etc.   And that was a lot of hours.

Which would you choose?  Are there any options I haven't thought of???

Be well!


  1. Modified Plan A:
    Take an uneven amount F and B on the shoulder seam allowance.
    Why does it have to be 1" on both the F and B? Take out what you need to fit your bust. It looks like, if you take out a bit more on the B than the F, then the under-bodice seam will be even.

  2. Do a little bit of Plan A to raise the neckline. Then go to Plan B and re-sew the bodice to the skirt with a greater SA. Call this a wearable muslin, and start again on a new dress. This is such a pretty style for you and I think you need to cut a smaller size overall. The bodice is too long, especially dragging down in the back. What does it look like when worn? I think starting again is a good solution.

  3. I like the idea of starting with the neckline issues and then working down to the waist. So I think you're plans have all the right elements to make this dress work.
    If you start over, you'll still have the original work looking at you.

  4. I don't have lots of patience for "altering" an almost finished, non-fitting garment. Knowing me, I'd put it away for a while (so the pain of the time spent is not fresh on my mind) and then start over. but that's just crazy me.............

  5. Plan C is ultimately the quickest fix. Save the discarded top and scavenge its fabric for later use. All that unpicking and re-sewing puts a lot of strain on the fabric as well as your nerves -- plus, injuring yourself with a seam ripper is always a possibility. (On the plus side, this color will hide a lot of bloodstains ... but better to avoid the cuts.)

  6. Uuuugh. I spent part of last night un-binding armholes and I do not particularly recommend it for a fun-filled evening!

    For the too long bodice: what if you simply added a 2-ish inch inset band as a new design element? I don't really know quite what to call it, but look at V9023 for an example of what I mean. That way, you wouldn't have to mess around with the armhole depth and you wouldn't lose skirt length either. And minimal new piece cutting. However, it would be a new design element, so not sure you would want to go there. Good luck!

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  8. I was originally going to say "A" but then there a host of new issues that may pop up that could be frustrating again, and delay completion again. So I'll vote "C". Fresh start. I think it will all go faster because you've done it once.

  9. As shitty as it sounds, In the end you will probably be most happy with C: starting over. If it was me (and it has been... multiple times in the past), there would be a temper tantrum ending in the unfinished dress in a ball in the corner or garbage... and probably cookies. LOTS of cookies.

  10. Magic Closet, for sure.

    Heck with the cookies, you need some serious chocolate while this is in that closet.

    If you have enough fabric, cut the smaller size bodice with an eye out for it being too low. I hear you on the gathering time already spent.

  11. I also say Plan C, only because, even after you put in all the work for plans A and B, you still may not like the end result.

  12. I am of the school of make it work and if all else fails start anew with the bodice. Really like Clio's suggestion, shorten the bodice and add a midriff band.


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