Q&A Monday: How to Refashion without a Dress Form

Gala Dress
A Notable No-Sew Dress!

Q:  I’m new to refashioning and I don’t have a fancy mannequin to measure my dresses on. What’s the best approach for taking something in by myself and with no one else to pin it for me? 

A:  This is the part where I could be total smart ass and say, “Get you a dress form or make you one!”, but that would be really jerky of me, and I’m trying to avoid being a jerk as of late (It’s my new thing!).  :)

When I first started this blog, I didn’t have a dress form.  I didn’t have one for a long time.  So how did I get my pieces fitted?

Allow me to show you!

Let’s start with a dress that has a lovely print, but fits me like a sack.

I dunno. It kind of brings out my ghastly pallor.  :/
I dunno. It kind of brings out my ghastly pallor. :/

Be warned…my method is highly technical!

First, I grab the dress at the bust on both sides and guess how many inches are on each side.

M'kay...about 2 inches!
M’kay…about 2 inches!

Then I grab the waist on both sides and guesstimate how much fabric I’ll want to take in there.

But you can use a tape measure if you like!
But you can use a tape measure if you like!

You can probably guess what I do at the hips by now…

Grab 'n Guess!
Grab ‘n Guess!

If you have a terrible memory like myself, you can write your guesstimates on a piece of paper.  :)

Then, take the dress off and pin the sides at the bust, waist, and hips using your guesstimates.

Measure and pin!
Measure and pin!

Then, add more pins to fill in the gaps, following the lines of your guesstimates.

I take an "Eh...just wing it!" approach to most things in my life, y'all.
I take an “Eh…just wing it!” approach to most things in my life, y’all.

Stitch down those sides…

Whirrrr!!!
Whirrrr!!!

Then, chop off some length if it doesn’t suit you.  :)

Chop!
Chop!
And hem!
And hem!

Now my dress is ready for a night at !

Fitted & Flattering!
Fitted & Flattering!
I heartily recommend this film!
I heartily recommend this film!

Cheers!

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