Sewing adventures: Tailoring two new eShakti items

I mentioned in last month’s budget post that two out of my three new eShakti items didn’t fit quite right. It was very disappointing to realize — particularly since I went the custom sizing route! — but luckily, I have enough basic sewing skills to be able to fix the issues myself.

Removing sleeves

First up, my new plaid sheath dress. I was particularly excited about this dress, as it’s so classic in shape and pattern. {Similar styles here, here, and here.} As you can see below, the base model came with 3/4-length sleeves, and I requested elbow-length sleeves instead. When I tried on the dress, everything fit great — everything except for the sleeves, which were not close-fitted at all like the original design. Instead, the sleeves were ruched and inexplicably so voluminous that it looked like I had time-travelled back to the ’80s.

Librarian for Life + Style | Removing sleeves on new eShakti dress, before shot

I decided to just remove the sleeves entirely and make the dress sleeveless, since that would be easier, and then I could also layer things over and under the dress.

I first unpicked the seams around the sleeves and then pinned under the remaining fabric to sew around the armholes. After I finished, I ironed everything down for a smoother finish.

Librarian for Life + Style | Ripping out seams

Librarian for Life + Style | Removing sleeves on new eShakti dress

Here’s the final result:

Librarian for Life + Style | Removing sleeves on new eShakti dress, after shots

I’m not 100% happy with the result, just because some of the fabric bunched up under the armholes. Curved hems can be quite frustrating to get right. But then I came across this tutorial for an alternate way to hem curved edges, so I might go in and redo the armhole seams. They’re ok as is — the couple of lumpy bits are under the arms, so they’re not obvious — but we’ll see if I have the energy to clean it up later on.

Feeling snappy

Next was my new eShakti dress with the print of heart-shaped lockets. {Sold out but here’s a similar option that also comes with its own belt.} Even though I provided measurements for my bustline and my shoulder-to-waist ratio, the dress was still too blousy and droopy in front. I wore the dress before tailoring it, as seen here in last week’s SIA post, but you couldn’t really tell it was an issue since I wore it layered under a cardigan. On its own, however, it is noticeably ill-fitting.

I first thought about shortening the shoulders, something I’ve had to do multiple times with previous eShakti dresses, as seen here, here, and here . The shoulder straps were about three-quarters of an inch too long.

Librarian for Life + Style | Shortening shoulder straps on new eShakti dress

However, I realized that the back straps were wider than the front straps, so there would have been a gap if I’d shortened the shoulder straps the easy way. I didn’t feel up to going through all the extra steps to do it right (which I’ve done before, illustrated in this post), so I mulled over an alternate way to get the end result I wanted.

That’s when I realized I could solve the problem by sewing on a few snaps in strategic places on the wrap-style bodice. I needed to add an additional snap already with the red fabric belt that came with the dress; the belt had an extra inch-and-a-half of fabric hanging off the end. (Whyyyyyyy?!) You can see in the pic below both the droopy bodice and the extra fabric hanging off the fabric belt.

Librarian for Life + Style | Before shot of eShakti heart print dress and fabric belt

The pic below is of me figuring out where to place the snaps on the bodice. One of the snaps I would place at the top of the V, which was easy to pin. The trickier one was the snap halfway down, as I didn’t want to mess up the placement of the pleats on the top half of the dress.

Librarian for Life + Style | Figuring out where to place snaps on the wrap-style bustline

I then carefully hand-sewed on two smaller snaps on the wrap-style bodice of the dress, as well as one extra snap to the end of the red fabric belt.

Librarian for Life + Style | After shot of eShakti fabric belt and extra snap

Librarian for Life + Style | After shot of eShakti heart print dress and extra snaps

And below is the end result after sewing on the extra snaps. Sorry the picture is a little blurry, but you can see how the bodice is no longer droopy, and the red fabric belt now wraps around snugly around my waist. Success!

Librarian for Life + Style | After shot of eShakti heart print dress and fabric belt

A quick reminder that on Saturday, I will have an extra-special post up for my stop on the “Wear to Where?” blog tour, featuring my newly tailored black plaid sheath dress! Be sure to stop by on Saturday to see my new plaid dress in action — and to enter the “Wear to Where” giveaway!

So now I have two new sleeveless dresses. Which do you like better? Have you ever tailored an item of clothing to fit you better? Please leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Sewing adventures: Tailoring two new eShakti items

  1. Erin @ Loop Looks

    I really like making the sheath dress sleeveless! I agree that it will be more versatile that way. Do you think you’ll keep ordering from eShakti after this round of disappointing customization?

    Reply
    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      That’s a really good question, and I’m honestly not sure. It helps (at least mentally) that I didn’t pay much at all for the three eShakti items, less than $20, and I took advantage of a free customization offer, so I didn’t actually spend money on the customizations. I would have been REALLY upset if I had paid $7.50+ per item for custom sizing that didn’t fit. I have one more item from eShakti on the way, but I used coupons on that item, so again, it didn’t cost me anything. But every single item I’ve had custom-sized from eShakti — what the company is known for! — I’ve had to go back and tailor for myself. So, yes, it’s disappointing, especially when you add all that extra tailoring (and time) up. Once I get the items like I want them, I love wearing them, and I keep wearing them, as you know! The quality of the clothing and details like binding and pockets, etc. are still high, so it’s just such a shame that the custom-sizing just never seems to work out for me.

      Reply

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