Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sundress Alteration

align the shoulder seams on the ruler
I recently purchased a couple of simple sundresses for summer. I love the dresses, but I did not like the depth of the neckline opening and decided to add a "modesty panel."

I went to the local thrift shop on Thursday and found a camisole that was close to the color that I needed for two dresses and at $1 it was the right price. I carefully removed the straps by removing the stitches securing them to the back edge.
front of camisole
I didn't want to use the gathered front edge of the camisole, so I used the back instead. The back was in better condition than the front, and it was a straight edge. I could also use the entire back, creating panels for both of my dresses. The dresses are different fabrics, but they share similar color schemes.

determining the depth of the modesty panel
From the measurements, I determined the panel needed to be 3 inches deep, and I marked the edge with pins. Next, I cut the panel and made sure it was the correct size.

a panel cut to fit the neckline opening and the depth I needed

I turned the dress inside out and pinned the fabric panel temporarily in place. (note that part of the camisole label can be seen on the right)
lots of pins to secure the fabric and its placement
After I had pinned the fabric panel in place, I tried on the dress to make sure the panel was where I wanted it to be.
sewing the panel in place
I found some thread that almost matched and began stitching along the existing neckline stitches, removing the pins as I stitched.
top-stitching close to the edge
I top-stitched close to the neckline edge to add a finishing touch to the panel.

The dress was turned inside out, and I trimmed the excess fabric close to the stitch line. The trimmed edge should not roll or fray.

completely trimmed
(note that the camisole label is no longer visible)
all finished
The back edge of the camisole provided fabric for modesty panels for two sundresses, and I'm thrilled that I can wear the dresses comfortably and that the fix was quick and easy to do.


  1. That is a wonderful idea and I'll be using your tutorial! Thanks so much!

  2. Very clever! I hate those "too low" necklines too and have avoided purchasing a couple of tops recently because of that. Now I realize how easy it would be to adjust the neckline.

  3. A brilliant idea Nancy. I love sundresses in the summer but dislike some of the nexklines. This is a great fix. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. I've had to do that to a couple of dresses, though I didn't do it nearly as well a you did!

  5. Nancy Your sewing is awesome. I wish I could sew. My niece is in her 20s and had a skiing accident. I think she is stuck in a crummy hospital gown for another month. I'd sew her a pretty gown if i knew how. She busted her pelvis and has a huge external fixator rod in her. Poor NORA!!!

  6. Perfect solution....even more perfect in that you found a camisole for $1 that was just the right and similar stretchy material! It appears from the clothing racks that most of the summer clothing requires wearing a t-shirt underneath. I do hope you get enough summer to wear your new sundresses. Our ground is white again this morning.

  7. OK, it would never occur to me to do this - but now I know! Thanks - and enjoy your new dress. :-)

  8. Great idea, and a good find for it to be the right color. Hugs,

  9. I've had to do that too. I hate that almost everything you buy these days has bits of you hanging out that you might now want to be showing off.

  10. That worked perfectly!

  11. You made a perfect adjustment to the dress-I am not thrilled with the 'bare the bosom' styles either and often have to do the same thing! Nice work!

  12. What a good fix, I think everything out there is low cut now a days:(


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