Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mending play dresses (Repunzel)

My three year old daughter, M, like pretty much every three year old girl I know has no less that 423 princess dresses.  Spoiled?  Probably, at least when it comes to dresses.  But honestly, this girls wears every last one of them; she loves them to pieces...literally!  I present to you exhibit A:

Notice the gaping hole in the right hip (her right, our left).  
The hole continues clear through the back.
The damage continues.  The armpit is busted.  Great for airflow, not so great for a royal party!
 The entire bottom hem has fallen and keeps unraveling.
As an added bonus the hoop that is attached inside is broken.  I also forgot to take a picture of the side seam of the dress which is, isn't any longer on the bottom two inches. 
This dress is bad news.  But, not so bad that I'm totaling it.  No, Princess Repunzel will reign again, after all, hasn't she been through enough being stuck in a tower--er--mending pile for months on end.

I decided first to tackle the giant hole between the bodice and skirt.  Opening it up, you can see why it ripped. See that little seam, not the zig zag one, but that straight wide stitch that should just be used for tacking delicate doilies that are to be looked at and not touched.  Yep, they used that stitch-- while it tried to hold together while a three year old who has to go the bathroom like two minutes ago tried desperately to rip it off.  No wonder it didn't hold.  While mending the hole, I'm going to go all the way around and properly stitch this so I'm not doing this again on Friday. 
To fix this gaping hole, what I did first was turn the dress inside out and find the exact middle of the hole on all the pieces of fabric(since they are all different lengths, to give that nice full look).  Now, pin (or clip) all of those pieces together.  There are three here, because of the hoop, but most dresses only have two. 
Notice how since the dark purple piece has elastic I pulled it taut so it would bunch up nicely when all was said and done. 
Keep going in that fashion, clipping halfway between already placed clips so you get all the "pleats" or ruffling that the dress originally had.  Make sure you get all layers in each gather or you'll have little holes all over the dress.

When you are all done pinning or clipping you'll have something that looks like this:
Now staying on the stitch line that they had used when they made the dress, go ahead and stitch.  I used a zig zag stitch, but then went over it again with what looked like a zig zag with a straight line on one side.  That is the way to go.  The zig zag straight line stitch (that's probably not the technical name, but you understand).  Here it is with the stitching all the way around.  I used a contrasting color, but you would probably want to match the dress color better.

Next a quick zip up the side seam.
Now to fix the hem on the bottom.  First I used a pinking shears and cut off the raggedy edge folded over once...
 ...and again.  I then clipped and continued this all the way around.
Then as long as you use a color thread that matches your fabric well, you should be able to sew a straight stitch that is camouflaged.  Below is the straight stitch all complete...can't see it?  Camoflauged:)
Then I fixed the armpit hole the same way I connected the bodice to the skirt. Finally I fixed the hoop, which just involved sliding the connectors around (inside the fabric already) and reconnecting the tubes to them.

Now for that before and after goodness we all love to see!

I do have two more dresses to fix, so will get those up soon enough, they are slightly different problems, so if you don't see what you need here, check back in the next few days.

God Bless, and enjoy your little princesses (and princes)!

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