Raise the...waist.
May 31, 2013 4:26 PM   Subscribe

I have this dress. The waist of the dress hits me below my actual waist (it hits where my hips start), because I'm short. Could a tailor fix the dress by raising the waist seam to where my actual waist is, or should I send the dress back?

It's an unlined jersey dress with a stretchy waist seam where the skirt attaches to the bodice. The bodice fits me correctly otherwise, so it's not the sort of thing you could fix by just shortening the straps (thereby pulling the dress up higher).
posted by topoisomerase to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A tailor can definitely do it, the question is how much they'll charge, and if that makes it worth it to you. I'd take it in and ask for an estimate.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:28 PM on May 31, 2013

i have things altered for my ladyfriend and I'd say this alteration with 2 fittings will run you about $25, which is cheap. If you work with someone often, they will give you breaks on volume and even help you pick things for your body size, type, shape.

also... the dress is cute.
posted by bobdow at 4:39 PM on May 31, 2013

Best answer: Anything produced by Uniqlo, the Gap, etc., is not worth the money it would take to alter it. They specialize in disposability, season by season. Thin, shoddy fabric; weak stitching -- what's the point in tailoring that?

I'm a curvy, long-waisted, short-legged girl so I'm a HUGE fan of tailoring -- but it's not like they can polish a turd. Which is what you're asking them to do.

You could find a dressmaker to cut the dress to your body and create a pattern. It's surprisingly cheap, especially when you consider how many dresses you can get made.

Otherwise, send it back, pronto.
posted by dogrose at 5:05 PM on May 31, 2013 [7 favorites]

I would try pinching the straps up to see if the tailor can just shorten them. That would be an easy fix. Or would it throw off the fit of the rest of the bodice?
posted by duvatney at 5:37 PM on May 31, 2013

Annnnd I did not read the question thoroughly. Apologies.
posted by duvatney at 5:37 PM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's a pretty simple alteration because the waist is just gathered, probably along a light elastic. I couldn't hazard a guess as to what it'll cost you to get it done, but if it were my dress, it's totally the type of alteration I would do myself and expect to have it turn out well and I'm a pretty shitty sewer. A professional would have zero problems doing this.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:05 PM on May 31, 2013

Modal..."gentle cycle, cold"... +1 on the disposability. Totally do-able, but I wouldn't unless I absolutely adored the dress and was cool with its short life span. "Fast fashion" places do occasionally -- accidentally? -- produce durable items, but that fabric blend makes me think it's going to pill and shrink in no time.

I also don't see how a dropped waist would be a big negative? Does a belt do anything useful to it? If you put in a few loops of navy yarn to act as belt loops, would that make a belt help? Uniqlo isn't in Canada so I don't actually know jack about them, but if they have any sort of decent refund policy I might want to see if the dress would shrink to fit in the wash -- that's another thing to be wary of if you get it altered; laundering will change the shape.

(I'm trying to zoom on the right places and I don't think the waist is gathered -- I think it's a bodice sewn to a skirt. Still an easy fix)
posted by kmennie at 6:17 PM on May 31, 2013

FWIW I have been shopping at Uniqlo for years and never had any problem with the quality. It's about on par with any other clothing from "high street" retailers. Unless you are mostly shopping couture or from rugged outfitter type companies (LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, and other "performance" brands), Uniqlo is just... clothes. And if a tailor can nip in the waist for you for $10, why not do it? It's not like there's some Patron Saint Of Tailoring silently judging you for blowing a few bucks to make a cheap dress fit better.

Now for my real answer to your question.

It's hard to tell in the picture -- is the waist elasticized at all? Are you sure it's meant to sit down wherever it's hitting you and not ride on your natural waist, to create ease in the bodice? I have a lot of dresses that are meant to fit this way, not be pulled down taut. Sorry, I don't have the right vocabulary to describe what I mean. But try wearing the waist at your natural waist and letting the rest of the bodice drape like a tucked in t-shirt would.

If you look at the photos where a person is modeling the dress, it looks like it's supposed to fit that way. Though in other photos the waist looks like it's pulled too far down for some reason? Confusing.

If the waist is too baggy to sit right, try belting it. Or, as I said, have a tailor take in the waist so it sits properly without sagging.
posted by Sara C. at 6:35 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

You could put a bright red patent leather belt on it - oh, so cute - but if you don't want to bother with that, it would be a snap to raise the waist. Anyone with a sewing machine could do it - it could even be done by hand. It's a darling dress and easy to redo. Don't pay a lot of money to have it done - just butter up someone with a sewing machine and buy them a latte to do it for you.
posted by aryma at 7:55 PM on May 31, 2013

I nth getting a belt! You have no need to spend money in alterations if the length is okay. I have a high waist and I solve the problem of dresses like that with various belts. It's a cute dress!
posted by Yellow at 8:14 AM on June 1, 2013

If you haven't washed it yet, know that that's likely to change the fit a lot. I have one of the long bra dresses from that line and it shrank about three inches.
posted by redfoxtail at 2:29 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I ended up sending the dress back and trying it in a smaller size. Sizing down made the dress fit right!

It pills like crazy where my bag hits it, but I will wear this dress until it's dead.

Thanks, all!
posted by topoisomerase at 6:17 PM on August 31, 2013

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