I know my profile says I love sewing, and I do. I like to make pillow, little crafty dodads, I make this rice bags that you can microwave and lay on your face for a sinus headache. I do not like costume alterations. Mostly because it stresses me out and I hunch my shoulders and then I have a headache.
But it is unavoidable. In my off the rack purchases, I have had one dress need nothing, one need shortening and two bedlahs that needed a small extension in the belt. I could custom order every costume. I admit my custom coin bedlah from Dahlal fit perfectly. There is just something about buying from a vendor. Touching it, seeing it, trying it on. I bought an awesome costume from Sadiia of Memphis.
It has a chiffon panel skirt alternating black and turquoise and the top (belt area) is ruched lycra. It is very flattering on my shape. I am usually a bedlah girl because skirt costumes accentuate my belly.
The skirt fits perfectly except for needing to be shortened which is part of life when you are 5'4" and I don't even count that as an alteration anymore.
Here is the bra laid out on my "work table".
The bra needed some work. The cups are a tad too small and need to be reoriented. I first decided I would attached a stretch black Turkish vest. I like my back covered. I used simplicity pattern 4484. I laid the pattern out on brown craft paper, traced it in pencil and then altered it to be more like what I wanted. I made it smaller because I intended it to stretch and I cut it shorter because I only wanted an inch below the bra. I made the vest. It was still too big. I cut down the pattern again. I made the vest. The fit was great but the arm holes were too big. I recut the pattern with smaller armholes. I made the vest. It fit!
I removed the halter strap from the bra and used it to trim the bottom of the back of the vest. I put it on and....I didn't like it. The vest is super cute! but not with this costume.
So, I sewed the halter strap to the underarm side of the cups. I always have side boob issues. I also pulled the cups together. I did this by cutting a piece of lining and sewing it to both cups so they fell in the angle I wanted, now the point on the cups where the strap is attached is directly up. Doing this also changes the angle the sides come out and get rid of the side boob problem. I am pleased with this. All thats left is to add and "upper wire". I am going to put a piece of wire similar to the under wire across the tops of the cups to form them to round shape. Otherwise they flatten and I get a boob roll.
Once I got my vision down (i.e. stopped making the vest over and over), I did all this in a few hours. I still need to add the wire and then start on the skirt. It will be easy but tedious. The fringe is sewn between the ruched belt and the chiffon. In order to take the chiffon off and shorten it I have to first go through and sew the fringe on to the belt so I can cut the stitching. This is not complicated to me because hand sewing it my thing. I will post some pictures when I get started so you can see what I mean.
For more tips and tricks see Carrara Nour's post here.
And finally I leave you with my favorite picture ever. This is my cat Snoopy aka Fat Boogas reading the directions on my pattern to make sure I am doing it right. Cats make excellent Quality Assurance Consultants.