A Blog of Tales and Tantrums

Tutorial: Altering the Christmas Party Dress

Tis’ the season to be jolly! (Falalalalalalalala!)

While December brings with it lots of warm fuzzy feelings; it also brings with it ALL the parties, dinners and dancing associated with the festive season.  Whether it’s a works night out, Christmas dinner or New Year celebrations, us girls put extra stress on ourselves to find the perfect outfit to suit all of the above.  Something that isn’t going to be too tight after all the eats; but, is still fancy enough for hitting the town for New Years dancing.  So when I found this Hayley Scanlan number, I knew I was sorted.  

I had been eyeing up this dress on Scottish designer, Hayley Scanlan’s website for months.  Being red, sparkly and loose fitting, it ticked all the boxes for the perfect Christmas dress.  When it appeared in the sale a couple of months ago, with only one size left,  I knew it was time to hit the buy button.

However, the only size left was a size up from my usual, and being a loose fitting dress, I knew I would probably have to do some alterations.  Needless to say, I didn’t let that stop me from punching in my card details.

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When my dress arrived on my door step a couple of days later, I was relieved that the fit was pretty much spot on.  Apart from in one place.  The sleeves.  As you can see above, they were just a little too long for me.


So how did I fix this little issue ? Well, I’m glad you asked.


Firstly, I turned the dress inside out and gathered the sleeve at the existing seam which created the dropped shoulder.   I then pinned the fabric so I could measure how much material I would need to remove to make the sleeves shorter.


*I apologies for the pictures: its sooo difficult to try and set up a camera AND demonstrate when you are by yourself!!*

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After removing the garment, I measured that I would need to remove a total of 6 inches all together- 3 from the dress and 3 from the sleeve.  After carefully marking the material- double checking my measurements- I then used my rotary cutter to make the cut.


I’m not going to lie, I was terrified to make this cut.


Like petrified.


It took me 10 minutes to actually build up the courage to do it.

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After the drama of the initial cut, the rest of the alteration was fairly straight forward.  I removed the excess fabric and reattached the sleeve to the dress.  Once one sleeve was done, I tried on the dress to check the fit.  I was really chuffed with how the sewing of this went; but after all of that, I felt that I preferred the dress without sleeves.

This is typical of me.


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So after all the palava of the sleeves, I am really pleased with how my dress turned out.  Paired with my over the knee boots that I got for a bargain in the black Friday sales, I am ready for whatever the festive season has to throw at me!

Have you found your Christmas party dress yet?


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