Once upon a time, I found a pretty nice lace duster from a flea market. It had only one flaw: it was four sizes too big.
I bought it anyway, thinking I might use the lace for a whole new creation. I took it home, tried it on, and realized it was one of those rare garments that don't want to be anything else.
But still, it was four sizes too big. So I decided to just take it in at the side seams.
The process is relatively simple, but requires basic skills in sewing. Also, understanding how a garment is made helps. Many tutorials tell you to just sew a new seam to make a top smaller. but that doesn't look very nice, nor does it feel good. If you take the two seams in at the same time, the garment will cinch under the arm.
So today, we shall do this My way.
First, take the sleeves off.
Try them on, and pin down the excess fabric. Sew a new seam, try the sleeves on again, and cut off the extra material.
Next, try on the bodice. It's best to do this with the garment inside out, and pin down the seams while it's on you. Or a sewing mannequin.
I also took a little bit off the shoulder line so that the duster would have a better fit.
Sew, try on, and cut. I did this in the wrong order, because I've had to do this many, many times before, and knew what to do. But I do recommend sewing first and cutting later. That way, you can shape the seam again if it doesn't look or feel just right.
Next stop, set the sleeves.
It may be necessary to shape both the sleeve arc and the armhole for a perfect fit.
The last thing I did was to add darts to the back of the duster.
The finished garment was happy to get a second try at life, and I'm happy with my new duster. It works wonderfully with knee-length and full-length dresses. Although it isn't very warm, it adds texture to outfits.
The dark lace is see-through, and wearing it over a brighter dress would create a lovely contrast.
I hope this helps in taking in those too-big tops!
Until next Wednesday.