Don’t despair, repair!

Being a member of online pinup communities and Pinup Girl Clothing forums, I see a lot of really gorgeous pieces being listed for sale due to the item being too big.
While this can be great news for someone looking to add to their collection it can often be really disappointing for the person having to let go of an item.

Rather than selling that rare garment and risking never finding it again, why not just get it tailored?
I have done this for a couple of my wardrobe pieces and have a whole lot more in my to do pile.

I was lucky enough to find a Pinup Girl Clothing Red and Chocolate Brown Harlequin print Jenny skirt at a really great price and I knew I just couldn’t pass it up because this colour way is now sadly out of production.
The only catch was it was a size too big which meant it was too big in the waist and much too long!

Rather than miss out I decided to get it anyway and have it tailored. 

So with that settled I just needed to find a tailor, easy done right? Wrong! Don’t rush into finding any ol’ alterations place, after all you worked hard for your pretties and need to be sure they will be in capable hands.

 I decided that while the little alterations shops you find in malls are wonderful for simple tasks like taking up a hemline or replacing a broken zip I just wasn’t sure about handing over my skirt (along with another dress that needed work). My hesitation was based on a passed experience of taking in a dress and all that was done to the garment was literally just stitch along the existing seam on one side. Because this is a 4 panel skirt and has a waistband this simple method may not have been best. Perhaps in the future I will give them another try but for now I decided I wanted a dress maker.

While I was searching for someone for the job my impatience got the best of me; I just couldn’t wait to wear it, so I found a safety pin and just pinned it and popped a belt around it to cinch in the waist. I think I got away with it because the pattern is pretty busy but the extra material did make it look bulky.


After wearing my skirt like this a time or two I finally got my act together and found a tailor.
I remembered that a local dress maker had a store not far from my house who actually made the dresses in her store.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of her sooner, she made my high school formal dress from a design that I drew up. It was 8 years ago now so that can be my excuse ;)

Because she is a dress maker she was able to have a quick look at the skirt and know exactly how to tailor it to my size.

Now the skirt fits me like a dream, I kept the length as it was because I realised it actually looked kind of cute being a little longer.


This has now easily become one of my favourite skirts, so just remember all hope is not lost if that skirt or dress doesn’t fit the way you hoped it would. It may just need a little work.

Keep an eye out for formal dress stores that don’t really stock “label” garments because chances are they were made on site which would mean you may be able to have an experienced dress maker turn your “all hope is lost” items into your favourites!

Miss Dottie

One thought on “Don’t despair, repair!

  1. Pingback: How to: Wear a skirt that’s too big | Miss Dottie Demure

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