IF YOU THINK VINTAGE CLOTHES SHOULD REMINE IN AN UNALTERED STATE......STOP READING.
Geez, so much drama. I know some people feel that something vintage should be left alone and nothing changed on it, not even buttons. When vintage pieces are used in theatre, sometimes that's no possible.
Last week my work assignment was this dress.
I'd say it's late 1950's/early 1960's. Off-white netting over off-white taffeta, with scattered gold sequin. Pretty dress, perfect for the show. My assignment? "Make the bodice 4" bigger", says The Boss.
Stop reading now, ok?
At some point, the bust seams and the side had been (badly) altered. This dress was donated. It turned out, after I fixed those alterations and let out the 6 seams, it ended up needing only 2" added.
The added fabric and facing. Inside the dress
Here's the outside. We had some netting that almost matched and some fabric that was also pretty close. I use the 10 foot rule. Can you see it from 10 feet (on stage) away? If not, it works.
Because the waist of the skirt also had to be enlarged, I put a panel all the way down the side. When I sewed the skirt and bodice back together, I loosened put the net gathers on the outside of the skirt. I also had to change the sash to match another costume.
The finished alteration from the front.
And the side. I may have to add a few sequin, or not, seeing as the actor's arm will be covering the side of the dress, it may not even show.
Most costume department have a crazy amount of vintage clothes. Some of it isn't going to fit the modern body. The actor who's going to wear this dress isn't that big. You can see the size of the dress form in the last photo. Our option for the needed costume were: build it for the show or alter something from stock. Making the dress would have taken time and money. We have no fabric shops where I work, so that would have meant shopping on line. That would have taken at least a week to get the fabric delivered, a pattern being made, a fitting, cutting out the fabric, sewing it together, another fitting then finishing. Time and money. I spent about 6 hours and zero money on the alteration. All the fabric was pulled from our fabric stock. I don't cut up beautiful vintage dresses for fun, if I can use them slightly altered, I will. I'd rather do that than have a piece hanging in the warehouse, rotting on a hanger.