Wednesday, May 18, 2016

style report: altering a knit dress

There is nothing like getting the right fit the first time, in person, in the store, but convenience has become a huge part of my life right now and so I order clothes online a lot. Most places have free return shipping or the option to return in the store if the fit is off. Old Navy has this as well as zappos and other shoe sights. Just be sure to read the return policy, if you purchase this way to be sure.


I've ordered a few items from Old Navy recently and as cute as they were in the pictures, they were just as cute in person. I don't always luck out, but I have gotten pretty good at knowing what sizes to order and what will look good on my body type.
Often an item or two will need a little altering to fit me the way I want. I have kind of broad shoulders for my frame. You may laugh, but really, I do! I wear xs-small in most tops, but sometimes I choose to buy one size up to accommodate my shoulders. The larger size allows the shoulder line (seam) to lay on my shoulder edge, where it belongs, and not ride up to my neck. With the shoulder seam fitting me properly, I will usually take in just a bit of the side seam from the sleeve down with my sewing machine. This way I have a size small shirt but with shoulders that fit me.

My most recent purchase was this black striped knit T-shrit dress. It has a front pocket and one side slit. The size small, I ordered, was supposed to fit a little loose, but I preferred it to be a little less loose than it really was. Instead of returning the dress to the store, I kept it because the shoulder seams fit me just right. For the sides, you guessed it, I just took them about 1.25" on each side. In the final picture below you can't really tell a huge difference in the 2.5" total taken in, but it feels much better and more flattering.

Stitching the seam on the side with the slit. Be sure to use a ball point needle and use a stretch stitch, or narrow zig zag, available on your machine for knits.
      After sewing up and trimming, I used a zig zag stitch to finish the edges. My serger was packed away or I would have sewn the entire seam with that.


Working around the side slit, the top stitching needed to be unpicked a few inches and then when I was done sewing the sides, I folded the seam allowance back and top stitched it down just as it had been before.
Have any questions, let me know! This is just basic info of what I did, not in too deep detail because I think it's a pretty easy alteration. The same method can be used on basically any shirt/dress with connected sleeves and side seams and not inset sleeves. I'm happy to help if you need more info!

Side seam slit
Before and After

T-shirt dress-Old Navy
Jacket- Old Navy
Shoes- Blowfish
Earrings- Nickel and Suede
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