When my grandma passed away in 2009, I inherited some of her clothes. Among which was this black & white checkered dress. The dresses did not quite fit, but I couldn’t let my mom give it to Goodwill — I was grieving and needed something to hold onto and serve as a proxy for my loss.
5 years have passed and the dress still hangs at the back of the closet, unworn. I haven’t had the courage to make the needed alterations. I have hemmed pants and I have completely deconstructed and refashioned thrift clothes. But when it comes to altering a RTW garment for fit, I am less confident. And when I am about to cut into something that belonged to my grandmother I am even more reticent. So, I am asking the Sewcialist community for your help.
A crowd-sourced tailoring session, if you will.
Here are some photographs of me wearing the dress.
I am inclined to leave the skirt as-is. I like this length of skirt and the waistline fits just right. (Though it is possible the waist is hanging a little lower than it should because the bodice is oversized.)
The zipper needs to be changed – the long metal zipper is cold and rough against my skin.
I want to update the sleeves and fit the bodice better. It sags in the front and back of the dress around the bust. The princess seams that curve over the bust and end at the armpit.
What changes should I make to modernize or “youthenize” the style? Do I leave the collar high and make it sleeveless, or do I deepen the neckline and embellish the sleeves?
My Po-Po’s birthday was in November, so this will be one of my November sewing projects. Thank you for the suggestions!