Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Alayna's MORP Dress

Last week our granddaughter Alayna called and asked for help with a MORP dress.  I knew I was getting into something serious, but little did I know that it would mean changing the design of the dress.

I should have known.  I tend to get into these situations easily.  But who can say no to, "Grandmay, please."  Not me, apparently.  So they arrived late that evening for a fitting, giving me a couple of days to I could figure out the problem and start considering some solutions.  

The dress was just too big.  When her mom ordered the dress online, she had to measure Alayna.  Scared of getting a too-small dress, she was generous with her measurements.  

I would think it was a half-size larger than needed in the bust-line and back.  The halter straps on the bodice were much too long, but there were a couple of hooks so they could be adjusted.

I realized that the straps could be the solution if I could just figure out how to change them to regular straps that would hook in the back. So that's what I did--I moved the straps.  

Instead of a halter top, she now has a dress with straps that connect to the back.  Since the straps weren't long enough to reach the bodice back, I made slim little bands using cording and slivers of fabric stolen from one of the side seams.  Since the dress is covered in chiffon, I had no choice but to treat it with extra care.  I sewed everything before cutting and used fray check to help control the fraying on the little cords.  

I had to hand sew the cord ends onto the back, then attached it to the wider straps.  There are lots of beads on the straps, so I didn't want to fold them under and have them pinching and pricking her skin all night.  I also didn't want to cut the cord and risk messy ends sticking out.  I certainly did not want to take any stitches out!  

So I chose to hand-stitch the cord to the strap from one edge to the other. It worked very well!  To give them a finished look, I added some beading on the small corded bands.  The beads don't match exactly, but they are close enough that even Alayna thought I'd somehow found matching beads.

They returned on Thursday to pick up the dress, redesigned, finished and pressed.  A boxed ride from the manufacturer to Louisiana is pretty rough on an evening dress, so it needed a little TLC in the form of my little steamer.  Alayna seemed very pleased: for a young lady who is very quiet and shows little emotion, she was downright giddy with happiness!  Go Grandmay!  

Quick update: I saw Alayna this afternoon and asked about her dance.  Her reply, "Awesome!"  And the dress straps held up (I was a little concerned).

Linking up with lots of parties tonight!
How I managed to catch them all is beyond me.

Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts 

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