Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Long And The Short Of It

It is so frustrating when a dress fits beautifully, but is too short. My friend had a favourite black M&S dress she wanted to wear when singing in her choir, but it was somewhere above the knee and she felt it should be mid calf. Could I put a piece on the bottom for her?

IMG_1617The dress fitted well because it was cut in shaped panels [twelve of them] but I was reluctant to try and make twelve extra bits- that was a lot of seams to match up. I spread the dress on the carpet and looked at it carefully. As well as the panels, there was also the problem of matching the fabric.IMG_1620

It was a textured nylon crepe with a slight stretch to it. No way would I be able to get an exact match. But I did have some very similar plain black fabric in the Great Stash.


I put the folded fabric under the dress, and using a pair of rulers, and tailor’s chalk, I drew lines extending the seams to the chosen length. This gave me a bottom line to cut along. Then it was just a matter of sewing two side seams and attaching the fabric to the bottom of the dress [having first trimmed off the original hem] I used my twin needle to get a neat hem along the bottom, with a bit of ‘give’. I also overlocked the seams. [slightly concerned by the number of contestants on the GBSB this week who admitted to never having used overlockers or twin needles! these are allegedly the nation’s ‘top needleworkers’]


I put a line of black ricrac over the join, to give a neat effect, and also added some to the sleeves, to tie in with the skirt trim. I am happy with the result.  Not so pleased with my photos- taking pictures of black on black is hard. I had to make them grey to show the textures and contrasts! Dress 25cm longer- job done!!


  1. I think the proviso that they need to be "amateur" is why they are relatively inexperienced. A lot of people who are really good at sewing are selling crafts or running classes, which might rule them out, I think.

    A lot of people urge my sister in law to go on Masterchef, but she's afraid of looking a fool on TV. That may also be a factor for potential contestants of GBSB.

    Great telly though, isn't it!

    I have done a bit of sewing, but I am out of practice. Thinking of going for lessons after seeing what you can do.

    1. You are right - they are chosen for GBSB because they will make 'great telly'. I will let you know if I ever run any sewing classes, as I don't think you are too far away from here.

  2. Well you are certainly very gifted!! I wouldn't have even attempted such a task. It sounds like it turned out beautifully. Good for you!

  3. "It is so frustrating when a dress fits beautifully, but is too short." I know, that's one of my biggest frustrations too :-)

  4. Wow, that's so impressive! Not even one of your 52 projects. You are very talented. Vee x

  5. You are an amazing and innovative seamstress, Ang!

  6. Wow, you are so clever!!!! Clever AND kind you! I wished I lived near by you- I'd gladly come to 'Sew along with Ang!'
    I also wish you lived near me just because!!!x


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