Welcome back to Mukashi no Sewing! Work, Finn having to go back to the vet (nothing serious, but he does have to wear a bootie for a couple of weeks so he can’t lick his foot while it heals), and a general deep exhaustion prevented me from doing serious sewing this week, I’m afraid. But I did get to an alteration project that’s been in the pile for some time, so I thought I’d share it! (Sorry that the camera work isn’t as detailed as usual; I took all these with my phone.)
I bought a black sleeveless wool tunic dress from my favorite Japanese atelier Alice Auaa last year on their end of season sale, knowing ahead of time that the bust was about 8cm/3.14″ too small for me. I reached out to their support staff ahead of time asking if altering it to that extent would damage the look of the dress (or be straight up impossible), and they replied that it was totally doable. (I’m really grateful that they have staff who speak excellent English because for things like this I want to be quite sure about what I’m asking, and I wouldn’t want to confuse the issue by possibly saying something confusing or vague in Japanese!) The dress arrived in due course, and life happened, so I haven’t had the chance to alter it until I sat down yesterday evening for a hot minute.
I started by sewing shut two buttonholes on the inner placket because I needed to move the buttons to precisely their locations.
As you can see, it wasn’t a long move, but I needed that exact amount of distance to fit this properly! Getting the last button into place took a little more math since there wasn’t a buttonhole there to crib off of. 😀 Luckily it didn’t take too long, but then when I tried it on, I realized that the second decorative row of buttons was also shifted over 8cm, so now the dress looked really weird! After consideration, I reluctantly concluded that removing that row made the most sense. I love the military-inspired styling of the two rows, but there was no quick way to preserve it and I was definitely going for “I need to be able to wear this instead of it sitting in my to-do pile for another three months.” I did add a snap at the top to change the way the collar laid as well, but that was pretty easy!
Things I will still do when I have the time: steam the front to relax the fibers of the wool where the buttons are removed to smooth the fabric back down, add a couple of stitches to the interior plackets to secure them now they they don’t have buttons, and move two more interior buttons to a new location. But none of those things affect the baseline wearability, so now I have a super cute dress to wear with the new grey blouse that’s in the mail from Alice Auaa right now! 😀
I hope you enjoyed getting to see my little mini-project, and I very much hope to be back in action again next week here on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤
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