I have these two dresses in my stash, both I really like, neither of them fit, I knew they weren't going to fit when I bought them, I got them in a thrift shop for about a total of $10. So today I pulled out my stash of burda magazines as I had decided that I needed a new dress, but none of the patterns were exactly right. But I was going to modify one, then I spotted these and thought, *feck making a new one* do something with these.
so I did. I made this and while I was making it, I did a tutorial.
A few things to pay attention to while doing this, and it can be done for most dresses.
1-Make sure the fabrics are similar weights and similar stretchiness, for bonus points, similar fibre types.
2-If possible choose two dresses that have the same length side seam, this is not essential, but makes things go a lot faster.
3-you don't have to match patterns or colours exactly, if you use a dark solid colour, it will give the illusion of being slimmer, if that is what you want.
Steps to merge two dresses.
A-Decide which is going to be the main dress, which the sacrificial one. I love a wrap dress and the swirly one (great pattern for lumps and bumps) was my main one. I also like the blue one, but it was clearly made for a waif, so the amount of fabric I would have to put into the side seams would look odd.
B- cut off the side seams of the sacrificial dress (giving a nice clean edge to sew with) With this dress, there were a few darts, so pin them, to stop them opening up before you sew the side seams again.
C-You need to measure you and measure the main dress, to decide how much of the side of the sacrificial dress to add in. I matched the armholes and the hem and angled it out a bit (the tape measure shows the side seam on the blue dress), this meant that I didn't have to redo either (quick and dirty!) plus this is a stretch fabric, so very forgiving, you will have to measure more carefully in a non stretch fabric.
D. Cut the required piece out of the sacrificial dress, This can be a wedge as in my pix, as I wanted a fuller skirt, or it can be pretty much a rectangle, or even an hourglass shape, depending on your shape, measure bust, waist and hips of the main dress and you. I am lazy so I eyeballed it and cut down the side of the sacrificial dress (jersey is forgiving!) I Folded that piece over on itself and cut a second time, to give a wedge shaped piece. The blue dress that I sacrificed had a brown band, so I kept that in to define the waistline
E Pin and sew into the main dress.
Some things to remember as you sew
-if your sacrifical dress is shorter than the main dress, you will have to cut a panel from the back of the dress, remember to add half an inch or so to turn over at the armhole and the hem.
-Modern sewing machines wil stretch stitch on my machine, it means that the seams when sewn also have stretch, when you are sewing them, it helps to have a walking foot, But do not stretch the fabric as you are sewing, I push the fabric towards the needle so there is a little hill before it hits the needle. If you stretch as you sew, the seams will be distorted.
-The weight of the fabric off the table before it hits the needle can also distort the seams, so it helps to pin the sides together along the length and support as much of the fabric on the sewing table as possible.