Often times a special occasion dress is made which involves much time as well as expense and is worn only a few times. Little girls tend to outgrow the length of the dress before the width. With a little planning the dress can be lengthened and another year or so of wear can be had.
When a hem is taken out, most often the crease line remains visible – not appealing on a beautiful heirloom dress. Since most of the time only a couple inches of length need to be added, a great solution is to cut the dress off at the crease, add a row of beading or insertion, and then you can add the cut off section of hem below the insertion and finish the lower edge with a lace trim or you can add a width of eyelet that compliments the insertion/beading and the remainder of the dress. The goal is to make it look like a plan. You may need to cut a bit more of the skirt length off, depending on what you add to the bottom of the dress. Of course, if you plan ahead when you first make the dress, you can set aside extra trims that you’ve already used in the dress for lengthening later on.
While these pictures are dresses that were not specifically lengthened, they are good examples of how you could lengthen a too short dress.
If you’ve used a floral print for the heirloom dress, the floral fabrics between the added on lace is a pretty choice as well.
Of course, a beautiful lace fancy band is always a wonderful choice!
Just a few more ideas.
Ribbon and lace offer a slightly more cost effective solution.
If you are reading this and thinking that this is way out of your sewing comfort zone, or if you’d love to learn how to do this type of heirloom sewing (it is MUCH easier than you think!), I would encourage you to consider giving yourself a gift of a sewing vacation and sign up for some classes. The Smocking Arts Guild of America will be having their convention on Sept. 17-21 in Orlando, FL. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills with some of the best teachers available in the country! There will be hand sewing, embroidery and machine sewing taught at every level from beginner to advanced, so there’s something for everyone! Check out the brochure to see all the beautiful offerings.
If you have any questions about the convention, please feel free to contact me. I’m looking forward to a wonderful time in Orlando!!!