Over a year ago I purchased a second hand RTW dress from eBay. At the time this wasn’t just any dress though. This was one of the coolest dresses I had ever seen! I was so excited when I purchased it because it had dinosaurs on it which I think is an uncommon print in womens clothes. I was even more excited when it arrived in the mail, until I tried it on.
The dress was way too big for me! As you can see below, the waist sits almost at my hips, and the skirt almost reaches my ankles. This is of course a risk you take with buying clothes online though, and I quickly figured out that the dress was probably in US sizing not Australian sizing. So the dress ended up packed away in a box.
For reference, I did some research and found that the dress was most likely purchased from ModCloth and is still available if you love this print as much as I do. The dress isn’t a fitted style, however it is definitely is not meant to look the way that it does on me!
Fast forward to August 2018, and I found the dress again sorting through my wardrobe and decided it was time to try to alter this dress. Now I am not a fan of alterations and for that reason I’m also not very experienced in them. I really don’t enjoy unpicking stitches! So I wasn’t confident that this would be successful.
The biggest problem was that the armholes were way bigger than they needed to be, so I started by lowering the shoulder seams. The other problem was that the bodice didn’t really taper in at all towards the waist so I changed the shape slightly and increased the size of the bust darts so that it did. I didn’t take any length from the skirt because I figured I could do that once the dress was constructed, however in the end I was actually happy with the length so I didn’t need to adjust this at all.
As I had reduced the size of waist by tapering the side seams of the bodice, the waist no longer matched up perfectly with the skirt, so rather than taking in the skirt, I decided to just gather the skirt slightly as I attached it to the bodice. Originally I planned to attach the elastic back into the waist so that it was the same as the original dress, however I tried it on prior to doing this and decided that I actually really liked how it looked without so I left that out.
The Finished Dress
So the final dress is a more loose fitting style than the original dress. I decided to leave it loose fitting as I feel like it will make it a great dress for Summer. Due to how much I had to take up the shoulder seams, the waist is now slightly raised, as opposed to sitting at my natural waist, however I think this is what makes this dress work as a loose fitting dress. I also decided not to re-attach the sleeves as I think it looks better without them.
I can also achieve a similar look to the original dress just by adding a belt.
Whilst I wouldn’t say this dress is perfect, and it certainly didn’t go as originally planned, I am really happy with the result. I am excited to have successfully altered an item that I have wanted to be able to wear for a long time. I am also happy to have some looser fitting dresses in my wardrobe as I don’t often buy RTW dresses in this style.
If you have any alteration stories you’d like to share let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!