Bailey Tries… To be a Seamstress
Let me start off by saying that the above title is a straight up lie. I will never be a seamstress. My grandmother was a seamstress and her abilities to create, repair and restore were phenomenal. Personally, I was blessed to take Occupational Clothing as a course in high school and enjoyed every minute of it, however, I am under no delusion to my abilities behind a sewing machine. Usually, I am not up to altering or tailoring a garment beyond doing a button because I’m more likely to cause damage than fix it so when faced with tailoring a garment or returning it, back it goes… until I met Shein.
Have you fallen down the Shein hole? I don’t know why I keep ordering because I’ve returned more than I’ve kept but I keep getting sucked back in. The garment in question today is a romper that when I first ordered it seemed great but is one of those items that as you wear it you slowly see it changing. You know what I’m talking about, right? The pants that slowly grow over the day, the shirt with straps that fall down constantly and the buttons that always pop open. All of that is normally recognized after you’ve cut off the tag and sent it through the wash which is exactly what happened in this case.
Clearly, this tan woman is not me but this is the picture that got me to
purchase and is a far cry from what arrived at my door.
No, I don’t have a “before picture” because I decided to fix it on a whim in the midst of a now hilarious conversation and was just not thinking ahead to this moment. But here’s what we were working with. First, the space between the chest and the tie of the neck was more proportioned to an ostrich than a human and I swear it seemed to lengthen as the day went on. Also, the back was created with a piece of elastic less than ½ an inch wide so there was no way it would stay up by itself. As the day went on it started to roll showing the tag and my bra. Basically, by the end of a few hours, I was frustrated and angry so I had to make a choice. I could give it away, take it to a tailor or try to fix it myself. Being that it cost under $20, I decided to channel my inner Beulah and try to fix it myself. Here’s my attempt…
I know it looks more like I'm designing pantaloons than fixing a romper but I never claimed to be an artist.
Problem number one with anything I design is I can “see it in my head” but that doesn’t always translate well. I knew things like darts and pleats were beyond my abilities so I kept my designs to straight lines and prayers. My two goals were to shorten the neckline to less giraffe like proportions and to keep the back up while moving. Anything beyond that was gravy.
I started by searching high and low for material to use in this project. My original idea was to create a mixed pattern concept which I like when done right but I just couldn’t find anything in town and my fear ordering online was that it wouldn’t look right in person so I just went with the fail safe black… and it hides the mistakes. I then set about lowering the casing for the halter neckline which was fairly straightforward until I decided that the original strap was pretty flimsy and should be wider which turned into using the original strap in the middle of the new strap to create some cohesion which turned into using the new wider, multi-tiered strap to create a non-halter, crisscrossy strap scenario that would hook on the back and help with the task of holding it up. Do you see my problem? My little mind just keeps developing but only once I get stuck into the project at hand.
Back wise, I tried to add a thicker, roll proof elastic but the back was still a bit too wide and the effort/abilities needed to correct that problem in the current style were beyond me which is how I came up with the above crisscrossy idea. Finally, I added a ruffle to the skirt part of the skort to try and “blend” it all together.
Ultimately, it kind of worked though I can’t get dressed alone because of the skirt hooks on the back so bathroom breaks are a challenge. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the neckline because the straps want to bunch up around the neckline and flip backwards. I may go in and tack them but I like the ability to change and slide the straps so I’ll leave it for now.
Would I do this again? Maybe, because I did enjoy the creative process but I might do it on less of a strict timeline. When I’m crunched for time or get bored I get messy which is obvious in some of my final seams but I’ll say, it is wearable and better than before so I guess that is a success!