I have a princess-seamed dress which I love, but which is a bit too wide for me. I wanted to make it fit better through the torso, waist, and hips- so I decided to add a back lacing to gently pull the dress into a better fit. It worked great!
Here's an easy way to tailor a dress so that it fits you better and looks fancy. Even if your dress already fits you, you may enjoy this instructable- corset backs are really pretty!
Step 1: Materials
60" of 1/4" wide ribbon
dress with princess seams
Step 2: Cut Ribbon
Cut six 2" pieces of ribbon.
The remaining long piece of ribbon will be your lacing.
Step 3: Cure the Ends of the Lacing
Apply a little nail polish or other enamel to the ends of your lacing so that it won't ravel.
Step 4: Measure
Here we measure to place the loops for the lacing.
We'll measure from in a line with the tops of the shoulders (see the picture) since different dresses have different back necklines.
From shoulder seam, measure down and mark with pins at 11", 13", and 15" on both of the side-back princess seams.
Make sure the two sides match.
Step 5: Pick Apart
Pick apart the seam at the places you've marked with pins, just enough that your ribbon pieces will fit in.
Step 6: Insert Ribbon Pieces
Fold each of your 2" ribbon pieces in half, forming a loop. Insert each ribbon piece into the holes you've picked in the seams. The raw edges of the folded ribbon should line up with the inside edge of the dress seam; the loops should stay on the outside.
Pin in place from the inside of the dress.
If this is confusing, just use your common sense!
Step 7: Sew
Turn your dress inside out.
Sew a straight seam over the ribbons in line with the pre-existing seam.
For an extra nice finish, after sewing the straight seam:
-trim the ends of the ribbon loops if they stick out past the seam
-sew a thin zigzag stitch on the edge of the fabric to lock the seam.
Step 8: Lace It Up!
Turn your dress right side out again and see the lovely loops of ribbon!
Your lacing should be all dry by now, so go ahead and crisscross lace it into the loops as shown.
Step 9: Enjoy Your Lace-up Dress!
Pretty easy tailoring, and now you have a modified, more fittable dress!