I have recently started sewing again, and am doing a dressmkaing class and have also just started a pattern making class. I am keen to make some vintage ’50’s style outfits for myself as I have started Rockabilly dancing.

However, i have also just started a weight loss program, and am determined to lose approx 25 kg.

So my issue is that all the dresses I want to make tend to have more fitted type bodices, or princess seams, and I would obviously need to do a lot of ajusting and grading (including FBA) to get them to fit me at my current size. I am reluctant to make them, knowing that they (hopefully) will be too big within a few months. BUT I want to practice the techniques I am learning in sewing & pattern making classes so that i don’t forget them.

So my simple question is – can anyone suggest a 50’s style dress that wouldn’t be too difficult and time consuming to alter to fit once I have lost weight?

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  • Missing

    Jul 26, 2010, 04.51 AMby scandium

    Perhaps you could make the front fitted, with your FBA/princess seams/sewing class techniques, but have a side zip with a large shirred panel at the back which will then mean the dresses will fit you for a while :)

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    Jul 26, 2010, 05.21 AMby redscootergirl

    I’ve ended up making a simple peasant style bodice with gathering aroundthe neckline – this way I don’t need to to do an FBA to fit me now; and when I lose weight I can simply run the side seams in – or even add a couple of darts if needed.

    1 Reply
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      Jul 26, 2010, 05.39 AMby katexxxxxx

      No matter what style you make, losing that much will be way too much for alterations! BTDT… I lost 70lbs. Elastic waists can carry you a long way on widely flared skirts, though. Circle skirts and ‘broomstick’ skirts on elastic waists will go way in! And you can probably just recut that peasant blouse from the same bits of fabric when it gets too bulky round the new, smaller you.:)

      Use inexpensive fabric and use them as practice garments for when you have deflated.

      Best of luck with both.

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    Jul 26, 2010, 11.10 PMby redscootergirl

    Congrats on your weight loss Kate – that’s awesome. I’m actually very tall, so although I have a lot of weight to lose, and it will mean dropping several dress sizes, I should still be able to alter most things. I must admit I lost this weight a couple of years ago, and then it crept back on, so I don’t have many ‘large’ clothes – I’ve made do mostly wearing all the stretchy garments in my wardrobe!

    But I am looking forward to getting back into all of my ‘skinny’ clothes – it will be like having a whole new wardrobe to chose from!

    1 Reply
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      Jul 26, 2010, 11.48 PMby katexxxxxx

      Well, having put a bit back on, I too have ‘skinny clothes’ that I want to wear again!

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    Jul 27, 2010, 12.50 AMby redscootergirl

    it’s so true when they say that maintaining your weight loss is the most difficult part. At least this time around I realise that, whereas last time I just concentrated on losing it, – so now I know what I need to focus on.

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    Aug 7, 2010, 12.45 AMby andreasmith762

    Frankly. Make life easy. Make what you want in the size you are…Then when you’re the size you are later on…Make it again. Your fingers and your head will remember. Sewing is tough enough with tension problems and all that mechanic BS…If you are particularly stubborn, do what I’ve learned to do, cut the larger size but save the cut tissue, or if your weight loss spans two envelopes buy them both.

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    Aug 7, 2010, 02.20 AMby nessys

    All the best with what ever you make Honey and all the best with your health plan!

    I’m just jealous because I would love to go dancing – but no dice I’m afraid!!! Husbands – you love them, but you can’t change them!

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    Aug 7, 2010, 03.47 PMby claireokc

    Almost any gal who really wants to look seriously at her closet will tell you she has 3 wardrobes…one for when she’s regularly sized, another for when she’s up in weight, and another for when she’s on the skinny side. It’s just the way life is. Having been there before (lost 30 lbs which doesn’t sound like much but on my small frame is a lot), and what I ended up doing was making clothes to fit me now (or then my larger size) and then make them again when I’m smaller. Sounds like a lot of work, but here’s what REALLY happens.

    You get TWO chances to learn the same lessons, and believe me, you’re much more likely to remember them.

    You learn a lot the first time, and get to use all that knowledge when you make it for you after you loose the weight.

    It’s always quicker the second time around.

    Peter Principle/Murphy’s Law of sewing – Make for your current size, and you will be guaranteed to loose weight.

    And finally, but certainly not least of all – I agree with Kate XXXXX – you can never take up that much and have it look right again. In my biz, when I do alterations like this, I have to re-cut the garment to really make it look right, alterations just won’t work.

    OK – good luck, and start sewing and have fun!!!

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