Fix it! Making smaller my mom’s gingham dress

I started to learn to use a sewing machine in 2017, under Liisa’s guidance (here, see what she makes). And only now I’m finally starting to grasp – in tiniest baby steps and with great help from Carmen from Opció Diamant (I cannot recommend them enough if you are looking for sewing courses in Spanish in Barcelona) – the basics of garment construction and textile properties. So this is a section of ‘look what I did to make this garment work better for me’ or ‘…to prolong its lifespan’. This post is a feature of a jersey dress I adopted during the last purge of my mom’s wardrobe. It was too big for me even as a relaxed cut, so it got a very simple shape change.

A standard disclaimer: these are not detailed tutorials but inspirational pieces instead. However, my level is so basic that you can probably do this too. Here we go.

It’s a ‘made in Spain’ jersey dress from Mango’s Violeta sub-brand which caused quite a controversy upon its launch in 2014 due to them suggesting that ‘plus sizes’ start at size 40.

I have no idea about the precise fabric composition. Thanks, mom! I imagine it was one of those scratchy labels…

The most important point I learnt with this one was a bit of the magic that happens around the armpits and bust, i.e. how the a two-dimensional material takes the desired shape. As I was taking a good chunk off the whole side seam, it meant losing both part of the sleeve’s curve and the bust dart. Carmen’s expert advice was to wing the sleeve relying on the forgiveness of the jersey and…

…creating a new bust dart, following the line of the old one:

The new shape, from the end of the sleeve to the hemline, followed by a long trrrrrr with a stretchy stitch:

Voilà! The new shape once the extra fabric is cut off:

These are the leftovers:

And this is my new dress:


What have you been up to, my talented friends? Have you done any life-giving fixes recently? Made any garments? Or is there something you would like to fix and don’t know how to?

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