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Subject: Advice for updating/resizing an outdated dress

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Date Posted: Tuesday, December 06, 03:46:37pm

Hi All, I'm a newbie here and I don't sew. I purchased a gorgeous, extremely well made/used solo dress that is an approx. size 14. My daughter is a petite size 8. My questions are: Is it feasibly possible to take apart/reconstruct a dress to alter it down that many sizes? For example, the sleeves are 23" long, my daughter needs an 18" sleeve. I'm imagining the sleeves need to be completely removed and shortened near the shoulder (there's embroidery near the bottom part of sleeve), the shoulder line is too large as well. The dress is stretch black velvet bodice and arms, fully lined (even the arms). The skirt is 3 tiers, soft, alternating blue and green crepey/flowy material (lol can you tell I don't sew? I don't even know what the material is called). My dilemma is if I should try to hold onto this dress, have it altered to fit my daughter, or if I should sell it. I paid $575 for the dress and the dance teacher saw it last night and hates it. She said it's outdated/old :-( I personally think it can be updated by adding AB Pear crystals and a different cape...so, I'll refer to your expertise -- is it possible to alter it that severely as well as update it, and at what approximate cost? I'm trying to determine if it would be worth putting more money into the dress or selling it without altering it. Thank you so much for any helpful advice!!

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First - If the teacher hates it, they will probably never like whatever you do. I would guess that the main thing showing it's age is the skirt and unless you are willing to do a complete skirt replacement, about $300, by an experienced Irish dance dressmaker then it probably won't ever look updated. As to sizing, you can also have that experienced dressmaker re-size the dress for about $200. (NT)Just my thoughtsTuesday, December 06, 06:59:09pm

Sell it if you can! The new skirt and alterations will cost you at least $500 (NT)you could get more updated dress for a $1000Wednesday, December 07, 05:21:43am

Definitely sell it, if you can! You would need to take the dress completely apart and recut all the parts of the bodice to size, and have a completely new skirt made. Much better to simply buy a more modern dress, in the size you need. Perhaps your TC can help you find a suitable dress? (NT).Wednesday, December 07, 06:34:33am

Thank you so muchKatieWednesday, December 07, 03:33:27pm

That's a huge size difference. You'd have a whole new dress made,sell itFriday, December 09, 07:56:09pm

My two cents... If you were planning on the altering the dress yourself, I say go for it. I have learned everything I know regarding dress construction from doing alterations. I have done just what you were thinking-- new skirt and updated shawl & bling. (more)LynnToledoWednesday, December 14, 08:57:44am

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