The Sewing Place

Help and Advice Please

Linda M

Help and Advice Please
« on: April 03, 2019, 12:08:00 PM »
Hi, Im new here and looking for some help.

Eventually after months of searching I found the perfect outfit for my sons wedding which is in September. Unfortunately it was not available in my size, I am between a size 16 and a size 18. The dress was only available in a size 10 and a size 12. I decided to buy both in the hope that a dressmaker may be able to alter one to fit me using fabric from the other. I dont know if this type of alteration is even possible ?  I would be grateful for any advice, Thank you Linda
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 12:11:18 PM by Linda M »


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 12:17:45 PM »
Looking at the construction, you would need to alter the width of the side panels and the collar. The smaller sizes would not give you the material you need so it would mean putting in extra panels at the side and piecing the collar somehow. I think it would be quite difficult, take a lot of time (which means expensive) and might not look that good after all. If someone asked me to do it, I would recommend them to spend their money on a good fabric and get someone to make up a dress from scratch.  There are some lovely patterns around. 


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 12:24:03 PM »
Hello Linda M. Welcome to the forum.  :)

My job is altering and repairing clothes and I've been doing it for over 35 years.

Righty ho then.....Lovely outfit.  :)  Well done for getting a second one for cutting up. I'd be chuffed to bits to have all that extra fabric to play with.
Without seeing exactly how it's all put together...I'd say that it ought? to be possible to enlarge it. It's certainly the type of job I've done before.

I do a lot of alterations for a lady and probably 90% of them involve me putting pieces in the sides...She's always delighted with them.
It it all in one, or is it a skirt and overdress? Does the collar sit/fit OK? Collar could be a bit more tricky to adjust wider...

It's probably going to be a 'Big Job'  ><  So expect it to cost accordingly.


snoozi soozi

Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 12:24:38 PM »
If you really want it I don't see why it can't be done, you did buy two after all. The dress in the pics isn't pattern matched so it would just be a case of chopping up your second dress and putting panels in.
Not saying it would be easy but if you're willing to pay I'm sure you'd find someone who'll give it a go  ><
Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 14:10:49 PM »
I have done things like this before, but my concern is that going up from 12 to 16 means the waist height and total length will be wrong.

Linda M

Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 16:52:43 PM »
Thank you everyone for your replies and advice, at least I now know it is possible. I really dont mind the cost if I can have this made to fit.

I have lost over 2 and a half stone but still have a way to go, the thought of a nice wedding outfit has been my inspiration and I love this one.

 If I could source the same fabric, I would probably get a complete new outfit made to fit but have had no success in my hunt for the fabric. I will now to try and source a dressmaker who will be willing to take on the alterations. Thanks again, Linda.


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 17:05:46 PM »
Still losing weight rings alarm bells- you will only have a good fit when you reach your target weight.
Myself, I would send back the bought dresses and start again.
 As others have said, it costs (a lot) to remodel.
Good luck!
Make do and mender


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 17:32:35 PM »
You will be increasing the existing size 12 by 4"-6" so that means adding a panel 2"-3" down each side.  You will also have to add to the same amount to each sleeve, or at least to the top of each sleeve, it could taper towards the cuff.  Those two alterations should be relatively straighforward but time consuming to do if there is enough fabric, but it could mean that the princess seams won't come down over the fullest part of your bust  (a supportive bra with a power-bar to push them together and forwards might help).

Those alterations will add to the width of the garment from high bust level down, they won't alter the collar, which I suspect would be rather more difficult to change without looking very odd, and possibly impossible to try on the existing garment to know how it currently fits.

Then there's the skirt to consider.  Side panels in a pencil skirt would look rather odd and scream let-out!

IMO it's do-able but might well look bodged even if done by an excellent seamstress.  I agree with others, send both dresses back and continue with your search.  Well done on the weight loss and if when you find the ideal outfit if you then loose a bit more weight it's much easier to take in at the seams than to make bigger.

Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 18:17:39 PM »
Have you got the name of the design,  dress fabric and model number? An internet search and possible appeal for info on Pinterest and the like might just reveal some odd stock. A google picture search might be worth doing just in case another outlet has something. A phone call to the outlet asking them to contact the rep could be an option, or pressing the manager for the rep or factory number. What sort of outlet was it?

Good look, it’s an excellent choice though - I admire your choice
I think I have joined the 201 club

Linda M

Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2019, 17:56:02 PM »
Thank you everyone for your replies, they are very much appreciated. Ive taken all of your advice and will take into account all that has been said. I have tried everyway possible to try and track down any other sizes of the outfit or the fabric without success. The designer is Carla Ruiz, she is Spanish therefore Im assuming the fabric may be Spanish too.

I have managed to find a dressmaker from Glasgow who seems quite confident that she can make the required alterations. I still have some concerns which I have discussed with her, however have agreed to meet with her on Wednesday to let her see the dress and take measurements from me. I will keep you all posted on her thoughts. Thanks once again for helping me out. Linda


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 18:01:54 PM »
That’s sounding like a result.

Might be wise to get a firm quote, so everyone is clear on the cost.
I think I have joined the 201 club


Re: Help and Advice Please
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 18:52:06 PM »
@Linda M how did it go? I’m with Sandra it is possible to do you have to find the right person of course but it is something I have done there are lots of things to consider but I’m hoping you get it done that dress is wonderful
Dressmaker - but first......tea