April 23, 2013

PROM: Adding "Sleeve" Straps

Prom time!  I have loved the alterations I had to do this year!  I met some great girls at the high school where I costumed Singin' In The Rain.  They told their friends about me and I was blessed to do prom alterations for 4 out of 5 girls in this prom date group (incidentally some of the boys that were their dates were also involved in Singin' In The Rain - you may recognize some of them in the "after" pictures if you look closely... ;)

Here are the "Before" pictures of the 4 girls' dresses in this group.

She sent me this picture from the dressing room, asking me  if I could help her make straps.  Doesn't it look kind of coral-hot pinkish?  

Full length shot of the dress, before we add straps.  Just a look at the inside.  It was lined, but trickier than most dresses to get into.  I think the length will be fine for her.

Yes, her length is fine.  And it fits her everywhere else perfectly!  She just needs some coverage up top to feel more modest.  She would like a wide type of strap put on, almost like a sleeve.  It would give great coverage.  Now my job was to make it look like it was "born there".  (That is my cute 4-year-old peeking through the studio door, he loves seeing the beautiful dresses that come in for me to fix, and he knew her from SITR.)

Bodice shots - front and back - with pins marked for strap placement.  

Her mother had done some homework for me and brought several different 1 yard pieces of fabric that were possibilities to work.  Hot pink tulle was a must.  But it was too pink for the dress!  The dress has kind of a coral undertone to it, so she had brought me a piece of light coral organza also.  We layered them and determined it was a match!

One layer of coral organza and two layers of hot pink tulle was the perfect combination!

I fashioned 2 tubes out of the fabric layers and sewed gathering stitches to each end.  I then pulled up the gathering stitches very tight and squished the ends of the straps between the placement pin markings on the bodice.

I attached the straps to the dress and it was time for her fitting!  Everything was pinned into place exactly where it belonged!  (It's funny because this front picture looks like the straps do not match the color well.  But trust me it did, as the rest of the pictures will attest).  

Here is the image of the straps sewed into place (inside the lining - to help it look "born there") , laying flat on the table.   The pins at the top are the shoulder line that I marked when she was wearing the dress.  Now I need to bring the wideness together to our determined width.  So I gathered them up right on that shoulder line and secured it with a straight stitch.     

Straps are complete, shoulder is narrow now, and we are ready for the next fitting!

Front view and back view.

Exactly what she wanted!!  Looks perfect on her, and so much more flattering!  It adds personality to the dress that suits her, too!!  Born there?  I would say - yes!

Happy beautiful girl!  And look - the hem length is perfect with those shoes!

Prom day - taking pics!  Love this one of her with her mom!

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  1. Thank you so so so much for this post. I'm adding rainbow organza sleeves to my friend's wedding dress and this is exactly what I was looking for.

  2. What were the dimensions of the fabric for the sleeves? 36" x 36"?


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