Need advice for altering vintage crocheted dress!

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tksmith1992 wrote
on Jun 21, 2012 8:33 PM

Hello everyone,

I have never crocheted before and have a quick question.  I came a crossed a vintage dress online. I have been looking for this exact dress for some time now and although it was not my size fit I decided to purchase it anyway (first mistake I know). I made the assumption that I could hire someone to alter the dress and make it bigger for me by adding to it. But after some research it seems like this is a very difficult if not impossible task. And if I can't add to it, Is it possible for me to stretch the dress out to make it bigger without it ripping? What do you guys think? Thanks in advanced! 

Here is a link to the dress I bought. http://www.etsy.com/listing/99543948/vintage-1960s-ellen-tracy-cotton-ivory

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physicsgirl wrote
on Jun 23, 2012 6:50 PM

It depends a bit on how the dress was made as to whether it can be "altered".  Is it made of vertical rows of motifs?  (In which case someone can possibly (depending on the motifs were joined, open up the sides and add in an additional row or two.)  Are the fronts and backs made separately, then sewn in the seam together? (ditto).  Or is it down "in the round" with only one (or no) apparent seams (in which case alteration would be nearly impossible).

If you cannot alter it... does it "almost fit" (aka. it fits but is tight)? Or it there a lot of additional width needed (like it can't fit at all)?  if it almost fits, there is a possibility that you can "reblock it" by either :

1)  Wetting it down and stretching it to the desired measurements while laying flat (perhaps pinning it to towels over a mattress) to dry.

2)  Steaming it while stretching.

These two might help... it depends on the fiber, and how the dress was originally blocked and stretched.  Often laces are originally stretched pretty well in order to open up the weave... and so not much can be done.  I lean more towards vintage pieces that are too large... because you can always put in a side seam (and NOT cut the work -- to both leave it intact for prosperity, and since crochet (and knitting for that matter) unravel.

 

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tksmith1992 wrote
on Jun 24, 2012 7:59 PM

It appears that there are three different seams. There are seams down the sides and one down the back for the zipper. It's rather small, probably a XS to a XXS and I need it to fit a large because of my bust. I would never attempt to do this myself but hopefully I can find someone who could/would want to take on the challenge. Thank you for your feedback! 

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teonaaa3 wrote
on Jul 3, 2012 3:13 AM

looking at the dress now I understand why you purchased even it was not your size fit :), it's amazing and I'm closely to do like you although it's not my size too :D

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DeLaCroche wrote
on Sep 13, 2012 7:31 AM

Wow, great dress.  How much dd it cost?  

If the dress has a side seam, you can open that up slightly at the bust and add there but how you would do it would depend on the pattern.

The other issue here, though, is matching the yarn.  

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physicsgirl wrote
on Sep 13, 2012 6:06 PM

Since the thread resurfaced, I actually looked at the dress... and I have to inform you: 

This dress is NOT actually made by crochet techniques.  I also don't think it is made by knitting (although I'm not a knitter so I can't verify that 100%).  The closest "look" of crochet to this is probably "bruge's" lace... but again, this is NOT crochet.  Unfortunately, in fashion, a lot of lace fabrics get incorrectly labeled as crochet or knit.

I'm not sure how a rigorous block will help... moving from an XS or S to a L is probably tough.  I balk at that 24 in waist...

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