Oliver + S

Lowering the waistband for a taller girl

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    Profile photo of avashmavaavashmava @avashmava

    So, my Ava is 12 (nearly 13, boo hoo!) and a bit tall for this pattern. Initially, I thought I would just lengthen the hemline about 3″, however, the more I looked at pictures and the drawings the more I think it might look a little out of proportion on her.

    She is long and lean. She is so lean that it makes her look taller than she is. She is almost 5’2″ and she likes her hem a little below the knee.

    How would you go about lowering the waistband a bit to keep the proportions of this dress looking right? Would you add length to the back bodice, then lower the front waist gathering line by the same amount? Or would you do something different?

    I’m afraid my modifications will not allow the waistbands to match up correctly. My sewing math stinks!

    I would appreciate any advice!

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Yes, I would add a little length to the yoke as well as plenty of length at the hem. You should add the same length to the back yoke as the front. However, be careful to do this below the arm hole so you don’t interfere with how this fits. I think if you measure down say 1/2″ from the bottom of the armholes on the front and back pieces, draw a line across, cut the pattern there and separate by maybe an 1″ or so on both the front and back you will get a more proportionate yoke. I like to make these adjustments with tracing paper on my gridded mat so I can easily se that everything is straight and my grainline is still intact.

    Also, a little tip for Garden party: I highly recommend topstitching that “waistband” in place *after* the dress is assembled. It isn’t a true waist piece, it’s only decorative and it will be less bulky and easier to keep lined up if you topstitch after the fact.

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    Profile photo of avashmavaavashmava @avashmava

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for your input! I was making this more difficult than it should be by thinking I would add length to the back bodice. It makes much more sense to cut and spread the pattern below the arm hole.

    Thanks, too, for the tip about topstitching. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but I have been a little stressed about those pieces lining up properly to look like one band. The thought of ripping out all the topstitching to adjust them……..well….let’s just not go there. Waiting til the end to topstitch allows for adjustments that I’m sure I won’t need anyway, but gives me some peace of mind. I’ll make a note of it on my instructions.

    I’ve been buried with sewing costumes for our church Christmas play, but this has to be done for her to wear in less than two weeks. I’ll post modeled pics then as it is a surprise for her. 🙂

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I am so glad Melanie helped you, she is so clever at this sort of thing.
    Just a thought, my girls are older still, 15, but Empire line is very fashionable for their age group.
    I actually hunted down a Laura Ashley pattern that has a similar feel to the Garden Party as they both loved the look.

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    Profile photo of avashmavaavashmava @avashmava

    Yes, Melanie is clever and has such wonderful taste! The dress I’m making is a surprise, so I have to wait until the kids go to bed to cut it out tonight. I’m excited!

    Your girls are right…empire waists are very nice and I know Ava will like it (she picked out the pattern!). I may have worried a little too much about the proportions, but I just want it to look lovely on her. 🙂 She’s a bit tall and spindly and clothes have a way of looking either way to big, or very short (think babyish) on her. She very much wants to look like a young lady so I’m doing my part to help!

    I’ll try to update promptly as to how it goes.

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I can hear so much love in your comment, it makes me happy.

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