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Topic: help/advice: skirt to dress reconstruction  (Read 857 times)
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2009 07:14:06 PM »

wow! you have been so awesome at helping me work out all of these complicated bits and pieces! i'm really glad and thankful that you were able to make sense of all of my incessant, confusing questions. Grin

and woah! i just measured myself (for the first time, so it's hard to say if i did it accurately) and i'm pretty sure my three measurements are almost identical to yours. what a strange coincidence. Tongue

so, the elastic measurements--that all makes total sense to me now. just to be clear, the "stretching like my life depends on it" is only needed if i have enough fabric to double the shrunken length, correct? otherwise, if i only have about 26 inches of fabric to work with (which i do, ha!) then i only need to stretch out the elastic to that length when i sew it down, is that correct? i'm supposing that if that is correct, i can use pins to secure the elastic, in that outstretched length, in place while sewing?

i'm curious, are you saying that the entire length of the fabric can be up to double because that's the amount that a standard strip of elastic is capable of stretching? i was wondering about that, if there was a way to compute how much a given elastic would measure stretched vs. collapsed.

well... i lied before when i said i didn't have anymore questions. in addition to the above ones, i have (another) last one. there are a couple darts at the front of the skirt that need to be let out before i sew the top front piece. if i take those dart seams out, will i be left with ugly gaping stitch holes in that part of the fabric? that will be the part laying directly over my bust, and i'm a bit concerned it will look somewhat... perforated. Undecided

thank you so much for all your help and encouragement! i can't wait to show you my finished product!
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009 08:24:58 PM »

haha well you did say you were around size 6 and I usually wear a 6 also so that makes sense. Strange that I stumbled onto your question and could help though!
Yes the elastic only needs to be stretched to the width of the fabric. Pinning will be difficult since you need to pin it stretched and it will shrink back. But you can pin it down every few inches so you can spread the stretching out evenly across the whole width of fabric while you're sewing. You don't want to stretch the elastic more in one spot than in another. Don't sew over the elastic when the fabric is gathered, hold it tight behind and in front of the needle so the elastic is stretched and the fabric is flat.
Some elastic has more stretch than other elastic, but if you take a piece, measure it's length, stretch it as far as you can and measure again it will give you the measurement of the longest piece of fabric it can gather. A lot of the time it is double, at least for the elastic I've used, so yes, I'm saying (in my experience) a piece of elastic is capable of stretching to twice it's length.
Chances are letting out the darts will leave little holes. They may close up in the wash or if you rub them between your fingers. Is there a way you could leave them? If they're short enough that they only go over the top of your bust, they may help keep the top of the dress from gaping. If they reach past your chest onto your abdomen, then you could try undoing them and hope for the best.
I definitely have my fingers crossed for you on this project! Can't wait to see it!
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2009 06:57:03 AM »

thanks a ton for everything! you've been such a huge help! i can't wait to see either. Tongue
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