This type of work can range from a basic tweak such as shortening legs or sleeves, through to a complete remake of an item that needs making smaller all round. Of course, the more unusual alteration jobs are particularly satisfying to do, but it is always good to feel that a garment has been modified to fit its owner's requirements perfectly.
As is often the case when shopping for second-hand items, this dress was a couple of sizes too small. Luckily the simple shift style meant that it could be expanded by adding a central panel at the rear without detracting from the overall look of the dress.
I also reduced the flare of the skirt to create a more elegant silhouette, and added fringing at the hem. This made the wearer more comfortable with the length and added to the dressed-up feel of the garment.
This Temperley dress had to accommodate a slight post-pregnancy bump which was causing the lining to furrow, spoiling the drape of the outer layer. I carefully opened up the seams and, using a fabric as close as possible in colour and weight to the lining, inserted diamond-shaped panels at the hip. The seams had to be hand-finished with great care, as the delicate fabric frayed easily and the joins needed to be as invisible as possibe .
This wedding outfit needed adapting to accommodate a pregnancy bump, mainly by replacing the zip with corset-style lacing. The skirt also needed taking in and shortening, and the bodice needed taking in under the arms so as to encase the bust better.
Another example of the use of eyelets and lacing was on this wedding dress trimmed with black lace and velvet ribbon. It was slightly too small to zip up completely, so I added corset lacing in black to be in keeping with the other trimmings. This ensured that the dress would feel both comfortable and secure on the day.
A black lace shrug completed the outfit and tied in well with the rest of the black detailing.
Occasion-wear such as bridesmaids' dresses can often need tailoring to the needs of the individual wearers.
In this case, an already tiny size 8 dress needed reducing further to fit an exceptionally slender waist. The end result not only showed off the wearer's willowy frame, but also made her secure and confident that the dress would not slip and slide as she moved.
This bridesmaid's outfit needed reducing across the midriff as it was too long in the body for its very petite wearer. The reduction eliminated the furrows of excess fabric that were bothering her.
The dress was also shortened, and taken in under the arms so as to encase the bust better.
This size 18 coat swamped its size 8 owner, was uncomfortably "weighty" at the nape of the neck, and needed reducing all round. Alterations were made to the shoulders, hem, sleeves (width and length) and back panel seams on both the lining and outer. The pockets, which were set into the side-seams, were raised to a more comfortable level.
I also added frog fastenings, constructed a half-belt for the back, and opened up the collar at the centre back to insert a v-shaped panel which reduced pressure on the wearer's neck.
This silk tie had been a favourite of its owner's in years gone by, but was now too wide for current fashion. By opening it up and tapering it in by just a couple of centimetres, it was made wearable once more.
This was another of those "Mum, can you do something with this for me before Thursday?" jobs. It was unearthed at a festival 2nd-hand stall, and probably started life as a size 14 (if not as a pair of curtains!) I was asked just to make it fit tightly on its size 6 owner, but also re-sized the sleeves and made a lining so as to minimise scratchiness.
The sleeves on this shirt were stretched and misshapen (probably why it ended up in the charity shop). Because of the type of seam the sleeves had, it was not practical to simply take these in. Instead, I created 2 new darts to smooth out the shape whilst still allowing room for movement.
These cropped trousers were too wide. The legs were narrowed from the mid-thigh downwards in order to give a more flattering silhouette.
This half-cup bra was just a little too meagre for its wearer's comfort and modesty levels! The photos show how I extended it by creating an upper cup of double-layer pink satin, shaped to curve around the bust and reinforced with tape to prevent chafing.