Prom and pageant season is here and I am EXCITED!!! One of my favorite things to do is help young women prepare for their big event. I ooh and aah over the gowns and I love the energy that they bring with them to my home studio! It is truly contagious and I have met some of the greatest young ladies on the planet who want to express who they truly are through their choice of gowns. This cute client of mine is one of those great young ladies whom I met 5 years ago as she was entering the teenage years. She is every bit as energetic, happy, friendly and sweet as she was then, only now she has grown into an even more beautiful young women who is going places in life!!!
Holly fell in love with this dress, and who can blame her, but she really wanted some strap sleeves on it for a little more coverage.
The trick with adding sleeves to a dress is finding fabric that matches so that whatever alterations are done look intentional and not just and add on or a quick fix. This dress was a little too long for Holly so I cut two inches off of the bottom and created some straps for the dress with the fabric that was removed.
To finish the raw edge of the cut off part I did a small hem to match the other finished edge by serging the edge and folding it to the backside then top stitching. You could also do a small rolled hem. You can see that they don't look the same on the back side....
But from the front, the two seams look identical.
I made four of these straps about 20 inches long.
To begin forming the straps I took two of the pieces and overlapped them slightly, pinning them in place.
I then top stitched the two pieces together right over the existing stitch line that runs down the center of the two pieces.
Once I had the two pieces together, I placed the ends of the strap in the inside of the dress front, pinned it in place, and top stitched it right along the edge of the dress.
I have learned through trial and error how IMPORTANT it is to back stitch a couple of times on each end of the stitching because this is where most of the tension on the strap is and if it's not secure, those straps will start to unravel leaving the poor girl wearing the dress running to the bathroom in hopes that someone has a safety pin to put the dress back together! So sorry I know that. Not sorry that I saved you the same embarrassment.
Repeat the same process in the back, adjusting the strap to where you want it.
To add a little more pizzazz to this dress, I made a choker out of the same 2 inch hem piece that hadn't been used in the straps. I hand stitched on a large hook to attach the two ends.
And this cute girl is ready to go to PROM!! Seriously, how cute is she?
Of course, I remembered to hem the dress with a quick rolled hem stitch.