The secrets to successful prom dress alterations are the same whether they’re for a bargain prom dress or a designer prom dress.
These tips I’m about to share with you will help you to get your prom dress fitting you perfectly. And when you follow these prom dress alteration instructions you won’t have any problems or disappointments.
But first a few tips/clues when you purchase your prom dress in the beginning….
1. Remember when purchasing your prom dress online, to make sure measure yourself accurately and use the store’s measuring chart. We recommend stopping by Perfect Fit Alterations and have them do a professional measurement for free.
2. If you do it yourself, then it’s better to measure yourself too big than too small – it’s easy to do the right prom dress alterations and take a garment in but a bit difficult to add fabric on! AND besides whether you have to take it in 1″ or 5″, the price is the same.
3. Whatever you do, don’t order your designer prom dress in a size that you THINK you might be on Prom Night and hope to diet into it! (It very rarely works) And besides there might not be enough fabric in the seams to let it out anywhere – much easier to do your prom dress alterations and take a garment in.
4. Most dresses are made for those of us under 5’9″. If you are taller than this and are hoping to have a full length prom dress for Prom Night, a special order from Sydney’s Closet would have to be the easiest way to do it.
5. A plus size prom dress is not just for a person with above average weight, it is also for a person with above average height! If you can’t find anything there you can still do a couple of things with a 5’9″ designer prom dress.
6. High/Low hemlines are definitely in for 2012. So take up the hem at the front and use the extra fabric to make a false hem at the back.
7. Wear flat shoes. Most of the models you see are between 5’8″ and 5’10” AND they are all wearing high heels. So maybe you could get away with wearing flats. Make sure you bring the shoes you are going to wear to the alterations fitting.
8. Order a shawl in a complementary fabric and add it to the bottom of the gown and add some of the same fabric somewhere to the top as well so that it doesn’t look added on.
9. Loralie.com is one of my favorite prom dress sites. – They stock extra fabric they can sell you, the same as the gown. And because they manufacture their own gowns they should be able to make a gown a bit longer for you anyway.
10. If your fabulous prom dress has a small train, add a hook and eye to the back of your prom dress so that your train can be brought up to the length of your gown when you are dancing (a lot less likely to trip over it!! – which is definitely not a good thing to do.)
11. Don’t forget about your accessories, they are really the best way to bring personality to your prom look. You don’t always have to spend a lot on your dress, if you spend a little more on accessories that you are going to wear over and over again. Buying a fabulous pair of shoes or a great necklace can transform a ally a simple dress into something amazing.
12. When you do want to have your prom dress alteration done, stop by Perfect Fit Alterations and have a free fitting, you will then know the estimated cost of the alterations and how soon you can pick it up. You don’t want any surprises and you want to have time to make sure you get that perfect fit.
- Buy the best fabric you can afford
Sewing is a tactile craft. Better fabrics are easier to work with, hold up to frequent washing, cleaning and wearing and usually produce a better product.
- Understand Your Fabric Terminology
Fabrics have selvages, a crosswise grain, a lengthwise grain and a bias. Look these up if you don’t know what they mean.
- Know the Difference between Right and Wrong
The right side of the fabric is the pretty side that faces the outside of the project and usually has the brightest colors.
The wrong side of the fabric is the side that faces the inside of the project where the seams are.
- Put your foot down before sewing
Put the presser foot down. Lower the foot when you start to sew, and raise the foot to pivot at a corner.
- Stop and start sewing the right way
Stop sewing at the end of the stitch cycle, shich is when the needle is out of the fabric and the take-up lever is at the highest position.
When stitching a corner, stop with the needle in the dead-lowest position before pivoting at the corner to avoid a skipped stitch.
Start sewing by pulling the threads to the right hand side of the presser foot, parallel to the front bed of the machine, and then put your presser foot down on the edge of the fabric. This way the pressure created by the presser foot holding the fabric in place also holds the threads firmly so they don’t tangle when taking the first stitch.
- Righty, Tighty: Lefty, Loosey
This refers to the tension knobs on your sewing machine and serger. Turning the tension dials to the right makes them tight. Turning them to the left makes them loose.
- Test-stitch first
When sewing you want your seams and buttonholes to turn out as flat and as good-looking as possible so you aren’t fighting them when you press. Test the stitch you intend to use for the seam on a scrap piece of fabric before you sew the real deal.
After you do a test stitch, follow the two rules:
If your fabric puckers, shorten the stitch length.
If your fabric waves out of shape, lengthen the stitch.
- Sew from the Bottom up and from the center out
To keep your fabric pattern pieces in good shape for easy pressing and fitting remember:
When you sew a vertical seam, (like a side seam on a skirt) sew from the hem edge to the waistline.
When you sew a horizontal, (like a shoulder seam), sew from the outside edges toward the center.
- Press seams together and then open or to one side
Proper pressing and ironing techniques transform homemade project into custom-make masterpieces.
Press the seam flat and together: Place the project on your ironing board with the wring side up, like the seam looks when sewing. Press the iron over the seam line from the wrong side of the fabric. Doing so sets or blends the stitches in the fabric.
Press the seam open: Press a 5/8 in seam from the wrong side of the fabric so that one seam allowance falls to the right and the other seam allowance falls to the left. The seamline itself ends up centered between the seam allowances.
Press the seam to one side: Press a ¼ in seam from the wrong side of the fabric to one side or the other so that the crack of the seam faces the back of the project.
- Clip with the tips of your scissors
Don’t cut a hole in your project where you don’t want one! Any time you cut from an edge into a seam allowance use the very tip of your scissors or shears. This way, you don’t accidentally cut into the seamline.
No matter what you are told, try your completed tuxedo ensemble at least 3 days before the wedding.
Make sure everything for one person is in one bag.
Double check using a checklist for everything that should be in the bag.
Not a bad idea to have an extra tie, cummerbund, set of studs, just in case something is missing.
Make sure the person picking up the suits know exactly how many he should pick up.
| Tuxedo/Suit Fit Jacket
Fitting tips that will make your clothing alterations perfect.
- Have the correct shoes and undergarments for the fitting.
- Wash or dry-clean any clothing that may shrink
- Try on garments within two weeks of your fitting.
- Make sure all garments are clean.
Pefect Fit Alterations