Sunday, 1 September 2019

An August alteration

(OK, I know that it's now September, but I did finish this in August. Honest.)

Sadly, much as I like New Look 6723, it does not like me. I think that something went very wrong when I did my usual bodice-shortening alterations on the pattern, and as a result the bodice has never felt remotely comfortable to wear for more than a short time. The princess seams ended up improbably far apart, and the armscyes are way too high. Put it this way - I recently altered a shop-bought dress to fit me by taking the shoulder seams up by 1¼", and the armscyes on that are still a better fit than the ones on this dress.

Looks alright, but a nightmare to wear

Despite the fact that I only wore it a couple of times each summer, it has survived in my wardrobe because I do really like the fabric, and couldn't bear to get rid of it. I was bemoaning this state of affairs to my friend F at the start of the summer and she suggested that I should ditch the troublesome bodice and turn the rest into a skirt. This seemed like an excellent idea, but nothing actually happened until I read Juliana's Urban Simplicity posts about her Alter It August projects, and decided it was time to crack on.

I unpicked the lining (only the bodice is lined), and took out that pesky zip.Yes I could have just chopped of the top of the zip, but I had a suitable skirt-length replacement in my stash, and I couldn't bring myself to trash a perfectly good zip. Next I unpicked the bottom seam of the tie belt, and used part of it, along with some petersham, to make the waistband. Unfortunately when I attached the skirt to the bodice I had very carefully trimmed and graded the seam, and also pulled out the gathering thread, so couldn't just take the bodice off the skirt again. Instead I had to cut off most of the bodice, leaving a ½" strip attached to the skirt. However I was worried about the side and princess seams coming apart, so rather than just cutting the whole thing off and then attaching the waistband, I only cut a short section at a time. The photo below shows the tortuous process near its end.

Work in progress, with the waistband sewn in place on the right

The stitching to attach the waistband is not my neatest work by a long chalk, but for once I did remember to sew in the hanging loops as I was going along, so took that as a win. I wasn't sure what I would wear the finished skirt with, as I don't have any suitable white blouses, but then I noticed that the leaves on the trees are exactly the same colour as my Butterick 6620 top.

Chartreuse green leaves

I tried wearing the top over the skirt, but I think that I prefer it tucked in with a black belt (although preferably without my net petticoat showing at the front - annoyingly that one was by far the best of the many photographs I took!). Either way, at least I now have a wearable garment from a favourite fabric. Thanks Juliana for giving me the prompt to finally get it done!

Version 1

Version 2


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Lynn, I'm really pleased that I was able to save it!

  2. Nice save! I'm flattered that my alterations were inspiring to you. :) I especially like version two of your skirt+top--really lovely!!

    1. Thank you Juliana, I'm not sure whenI would have got round to doing this without your input!