My friend is graduating college in music and had a senior voice recital. She wanted a recital dress that didn’t look like a bridesmaid dress and would look classic for years. She ordered a beautiful dress online, and she found it was a little too low-cut in the front and the back for her liking. Because she knew we would be doing alterations, the company let her order an extra yard of matching fabric.
1. I got some muslin and pin it in. I drew in where she wanted more coverage, copying the original style with pleats and a v-neck. (Don’t mind the other random pins, those were for fitting alterations.)
I did the same to the back.
3. I unpinned each one and had my pattern piece.
4. Transfer to paper and add seam allowance.
Because I pleated the top layer to match the dress, I have three pieces each for the front and the back.
5. Cut out your fabric pieces and interfacing pieces.
6. I didn’t take pictures of the construction, but you put it together just like any other neckline with a facing or lining. This will also depend on the style of your dress and insert. Leave the bottom edge open then finish that edge.
7. Pin the piece in where it should go. See how my piece blends in?
8. Get a needle and thread to hand sew in the piece. I started in the middle and went out, so it would stay lined up.
9. You can use whatever stitch you want to sew it in. I used the strongest stitch where you go forward a whole step and then back a half step, forward a whole step and then back a half step, etc.
10. Once I got to the top, I came back down on the bottom whipstitching it to the lining. This made the whole piece very secure.
This is what it looks like finished. (Don’t mind the safety pin; I hadn’t finished ironing the pleats yet.)
And the back.
What I did to this dress is similar to what I did to this wedding dress and this strapless dress. You could use this technique for a strapless dress; it would just be a lot more work and different pattern pieces. Both of these dresses I hemmed and used the extra fabric to build up the tops.
My parents were able to go to my friend’s recital and take a couple pictures. She looked beautiful and sang beautifully!