Problem Solving

I posted on Tuesday about my plans to convert a long dress into a cocktail length one.

Now I have some problem solving to do.

1. I need to figure out where to cut off the dress at the waist.

2. I need to figure out how to cut the bottom part so I have the right length.

3. I need to figure out how much to add in the shoulder.

Normally I’d do this by measuring and cutting on a flat surface, but because the dress is bias cut, and because the fabric is slippery, I’m a little worried this strategy won’t work.

I can’t really do 1 & 2 before 3 — because the waistline will shift when I move the shoulder. And I can’t do 3 before 1 & 2, because I need the fabric from the cut piece to add to the shoulder.

Here’s my plan of attack.

Step 1: Open up the shoulder, and pin in some spare fabric to establish the neckline I want.

Step 2: Establish the waistline. I’m doing this with elastic — basically, you take a length of elastic and tie it around your middle, and let it settle at the narrowest point, which is your waist. I did this and then pinned the elastic in place.

Step 3: Establish the length from the hem to the waist. I’d like to preserve the original dress hem, because it’s a lettuce hem, which suits the fabric, and which I don’t know how to do.

Step 3 is causing me some problems. I have already set the waistline where I’d like, and I’m going to cut it on the dress form so that I can get the lines right. But I haven’t figured how to cut the length of the skirt yet.

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