A Blog of Tales and Tantrums

Tutorial : Alteration Stations

Tutorial : Alteration Stations

Oh no, it happened again.

I went online shopping.

Bought a pretty dress.

That didn’t fit.

And then forgot to send it back.



Luckily for me though, my super sewing skills were here to save the day once more.

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I bought this over sized dress from ASOS and when it got delivered it was MASSIVE.  And, of course, that was the smallest size they had.  So, I  decided to take the plunge and alter the dress myself…This was a really simple alteration as the way this dress was originally sewn was a continuous stitch going from sleeve to hem.

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Keep reading below to find out how I altered my dress.


Step 1:

Firstly, I put the dress on inside out and pinned the sides to get a rough idea of how much I would need to take it in. (Three and a bit inches on each side…)  Then I decided to do something a bit daring.  I cut off the existing seams.  I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I did it anyway.

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Step 2:

I then but the dress back on (inside out) and pinned the side seams again- just to make sure I wasn’t taking off too much from each side.  After double checking the measurements, I decided that I was only going to take 3 inches from each side so the dress still had a baggy look to it- with out the sack of tatties feel to it!

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Step 3:

I marked in the new seam lines using chalk and a french curve and then made sure that the colour blocks matched up as well as I could: we don’t want dodgey colour matching here!  After using a full packet of pins to make sure the fabric didn’t move-darn stretch material- I then used my machine to create the new side seams.

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TOP TIP: when working with stretch fabrics make sure you are using stretch needles.  They grip the fibres of the material better and will stop the fabric from puckering in the machine.  Making your life *so* much easier!

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Step 4:

After trying on the garment again to check fit, I then used my over-locker to finish the edges.  Aside from giving a great finish it removes all the excess material from the seam allowance.

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And voila! I now have a great fitting over sized tunic dress that doesn’t make me look like a frump!  Will you be taking the plunge to alter your own shop bought clothes? Let me know in the comments box below!

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Until next time,


2 thoughts on “Tutorial : Alteration Stations”

    • Thanks Melissa. Sewing my own clothes has really opened my eyes to bad fitting RTW garments! I am much less likely to buy new clothes now as I know that I could give it a go myself – getting a better fit and finish in some cases ! Thanks for reading x

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