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Alteration Help! 
15th-Jan-2013 05:40 pm
I recently purchased a lovely handmade lolita dress but the sleeves are so tight I can't get the garment on. The rest of it fits me fine it's just the sleeves. I'm wondering if I should try to re-sell it or if any of you have had good experiences with altering a lolita item.

16th-Jan-2013 02:11 am (UTC)
I guess it would help to know how the arms are tight? Is it long or short sleeved? Does it not fit around the arm, or can you not get your arm into the arm hole in the first place?
16th-Jan-2013 02:40 am (UTC)
They are tight around both my forearm and bicep area. It's a long-sleeved OP that flares out a bit at the elbows. I can get my arm into the arm holes but I can't pull it up after that.
16th-Jan-2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Is the fabric/design compatible with slashed sleeves?

That's where you cut the outside of the sleeve open, turn it under and sew in a gathered panel underneath so that it shows through. The new panel is made of either the same colour as a blouse/chemise you might wear under the dress or a colour that contrasts with the base colour of the print but picks up a colour in the design. I don't see it often in lolita, but as a former historical dressmaker, I think it would fit well with the aesthetic and look intentional, not like you mended/patched the garment. I have a Cavalier jacket with slashed sleeves that I plan to update for lolita.

Another technique that might help you if you can find matching lace of sufficient width is to add a strip of wide lace (insertion) down the outside of each sleeve with tulle or chiffon underneath, to make it look intentional. This works best with lace that doesn't have a scalloped edge on one side.

If neither of those ideas works, you'll need matching fabric and you'll need to sew a long strip of it as a gusset into the sleeve at the seam, then re-gather the seam. Since the dress is hand-made, if you contact the original maker (or ask her to do it for you) you've got better chances of finding matching fabric than if it were, say, AP, and your only option was to use your waist ties or obtain a $30 matching fabric totebag to cut up.

The #1 issue with altering lolita items is that the fix needs to either be invisible or look like an intentional part of the design.

Edited at 2013-01-16 04:53 pm (UTC)
16th-Jan-2013 04:00 am (UTC)
Depending on how tight, you can cit and finish a slit on the cuff on the upper, or back side. Attach a button and a loop to keep it closed, and maybe put a bow on to hide that if you'd like.
16th-Jan-2013 04:32 am (UTC)
16th-Jan-2013 06:19 am (UTC)
If you *really* like the dress and want the look of the sleeves, maybe you could ask the original maker to alter it for you? They must obviously know how to sew and they might have the same fabric on hand.
18th-Jan-2013 11:40 am (UTC)
If its any consolation I have exactly the same problem :( I find the style is just too hard to alter and will be selling it. Let me know if you find a way to alter it!
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