A Quick Alteration

My mother asked if I could shorten her Liberty Lawn dress to make it less swamping.  The original (top left) was nearly floor length.  The fabric is fresh and the colours very much classic but the voluminous, dropped waist style….  With shoulder pads??  I didn’t dare whisper the embarrassing question: “Mum, is it from the eighties?!”  😯

We agreed to slice off 20cm which would have been a 15 minute job had I just taken them off the hem.  But that would have made the dress unbalanced, with a long waist and a relatively boxy skirt.  Instead, I took 10cm off the bodice and 10cm from the hem, a more time consuming job which involved:

1. Basting the skirt pleats in place

2. Unpicking the bottom of the zip from the centre back bodice

3. Separating the bodice from the skirt, trimming off 10cm from the bodice, creating a centre back seam in the skirt and re-attaching the zip to run into the skirt

4. Shortening and hemming the skirt

I’m not sure if the alteration (top right) is a particularly flattering improvement as I haven’t yet seen the dress on, but I hope that it gets a few outings over this summer, something this dress hasn’t had in a while.

The job took 2.5 hours.  Ok, so I did stop off for at least one dreamy tea break during which I wondered how much I’d charge for this kind of job had it been for a client rather than mum.  “Twenty quid?  For shortening a dress?  I can get a new dress for that,” I imagine the indignation. 

When I came back from the kitchen, I found this:

And this: