Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sewing Question

Last night I attempted to go through my sewing pile. I've gained weight, which sucks, but the good thing is that now I don't have to mend as many things as before! I swear my boobs have grown as some things are getting tight in the bust now, and I never, ever had that problem before! Quite the opposite actually. But I really need to get going on my sewing pile. Some things I can do myself but some will need to go to a seamstress.

I tried to see what I can do to this dress to make it work for me:

Its homemade so some of it is a bit wonky. The skirt is way too long! Normally I could hem it, but with the sarong its going to be a bit tough. Also, the bust fits a bit weird and has ruching (sp?), which makes the waist look a bit big on me. But, I think if I take this to a seamstress she can make it work for me.

Sadly, I don't think there's anything I can do with this dress:

The seller listed it as a 32 bust. No way!! Its closer to a 36/38. The waist ties, so its adjustable, but fits a 26/28 bes. It would also look better on a taller girl, as the bodice is long and so is the skirt. Not floor length, but a bit too long for me (I'm only 5'2). Because of the ric rack trim I can't really take in the bust. I'd literally have to have it taken apart and I don't really want to do that. So my only option is to sell it. If anyone is interested in it drop me a note. If not I will probably put it on Ebay or Etsy. Its really a great dress! In great shape, no stains, and its positively adorable! I'm really sad I have to part with it.

Now onto my question. I am not very good at sewing. I should be, because most vintage items I buy need to be hemmed or mended in some way. I can do basic stuff, but the more complicated stuff is outside my realm. I really should take a class. Anyways, I bought this amazing black, beaded cocktail dress. Here's a picture of the bust:

Its a linen/cotton blend, I believe, and the skirt is more of a flowy A line. It appeared to be in perfect condition, but when I went to wear it I noticed this:

Along my right hip the seam is coming apart. Its only in this one area but I have no idea what to do! So I figured I'd put it to my readers who are probably better seamstresses than me. Is there something semi easy I can do to repair this or will I have to take it to a seamstress?

I am also wondering if anyone has any advice on how I can learn to sew? What did you do? Did you take a class, or read books? Any advice would be really helpful! I really wish I would've had my mother teach me :-(


  1. OMG my boobs went on vacation to your house! Please tell my missing boobs to come home...I need them!


  2. I love that red/white flowery number! I would be interested in buying it! I promise it would go to a very good home!

  3. Mary-Don't worry. My boobs may be bigger but they still arent big!

    Slam Helliott-That would be awesome! If you want more pics I can get them to you. I paid $41 for it so that is what I'd like to get for it. If you need any other info on it just let me know!

  4. That black dress is such an easy fix! Simply turn the dress inside out and sew a straight line right along the hem where it's coming apart. You can hand sew it or use a machine. That's all there is to it! If you need more help (or a better explanation) email me! I've been sewing for 13 years (and I'm 25!). My grandma and great grandma taught me. It takes practice, a lot of trial and error, but you can do it!! The best way to learn is to dive in!
    You can find sewing classes at your local fabric stores, community colleges and sewing machine repair stores. You can buy a good little affordable sewing machine at walmart or target for less than $100. I got a little Singer at Target for $50 about 2 years ago. Sewing machines come with manuals to teach you how to thread it and get started. If you want to sew, start something easy like an apron or skirt and go from there! All modern sewing patterns have a difficulty level printed on the back of the pattern, so if you spot a cute little dress, make sure it says "easy" or "very easy" and give it a go! If you have a friend or relative who sews, that's even better!
    I'll be posting a 16 part "vintage sewing lessons" series on my blog soon for all of my readers who want to sew. I have a few 1940's sewing books that cover all the basics of sewing and have good instructions! For your first major project, sew on cotton. You can often get 50% off coupons for fabric and shop fabric store pattern sales, otherwise sewing gets expensive!!
    As for your dresses that are too big in the boobs, a seamstress can often fix that by taking the sides in or putting darts in the bust. With a little practice, you'll be able to do it on your own! :) Good luck!!

  5. Brittany-Thanks so much! All your advice is really helpful. I will try that with the black dress and may be emailing you with any trouble I may have. I need to invest in a sewing machine and just start playing around with it. I've been putting it off too long. And I can't wait for your vintage sewing series!! I'm sure tons of Bloggers will be following it too!

  6. i would be TOTALLY interested in buying that dress from you! i even took a screen grab of it when you first posted it because i wanted to sew my own! put it up on etsy, if the price is right, i'll buy it immediately!

  7. Slam Helliott and Krissy-I may have to put it on Etsy and sell it to the first come first serve just so that its fair. I was actually thinking of putting a few items up on Etsy. I will make sure and let everyone know once I decide what to do!

  8. My sewing trick? Safety pins!! LOL. I'm an expert safety pinner. I can pull in, shorten, tighten, hide errors, whatever you need! I work magic with safety pins!
    Sewing??? No idea. I can probably hand sew a button and that's as far as it goes. :)

  9. Glad to help! My email is bluegurl1700@yahoo.com
    If you ever have any sewing questions, drop me a line and I'll help as much as I can over the internet! I just posted a sew-a-long for making a retro apron. I'm going to do a detailed step-by-step guide teaching readers how to do the basics. The sew-a-long will begin on August 13th!

  10. You can totally repair that! Like someone else said above -- turn the dress inside out, and sew a straight line along the seam, closing it up. You can even do this by hand if the tear isn't that bad. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  11. Let me know when you put it up on Etsy! Thanks!

  12. I'm going to go through my things tonight and hopefully get some stuff up on Etsy and Ebay by monday. I will let everyone know for sure when I'm going to do it so I can give everyone ample time to prepare for it. I'll post it on my blog.


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