Lengthening a train

cloybabyJanuary 27, 2014

Hello everyone, I could use a little help. I have a client who wants a very specific wedding dress and she has found a pattern she has her heart set on, mccalls m5321. The issue I'm having is that she wants a longer train closer to the one in the picture. I have never had to lengthen a train so I'm in totally uncharted waters here. Is it as simple as simply lengthening the center section of the pattern or is there more involved. I could really use some help on this and would love any help I could get. Thanks

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In the picture you show, the train does not taper or flare. It is all one width. If she would like the train longer and still not tapered or flared, then lengthening the train as you described should work just fine.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I found some directions on how to make the pick-ups:

Here is a link that might be useful: How to make pick-ups

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:54AM
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Just like lengthening a skirt .... slice it across the pattern pieces and insert some tissue paper for length.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 2:48PM
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No, you can't just lengthen the center section.

You have to lengthen the pieces that are sewn to it. If you lengthen those, you must lengthen the pieces that they attach to. The center back pieces are lengthened the most, the side back will be lengthened less, and some length will be added to the side seams to true them to the side back. Slash-and-spread as suggested above is probably the easiest, most straightforward method. I suspect you may need to make center backs and side backs wider as well, or it may look kind of skimpy. This is a very full, lush look that may not translate well if it's simply *longer.*

The skirt you've pictured above has pick-ups that continue the entire length of the train. The pattern you are to use only has pick-ups to the lower hips, and the rest is just a flared hem. Which of these features does the client prefer?

I would buy a boatload of cheap fabric and make a muslin. This skirt takes over twelve yards of fabric as pictured. Does the client have the money for this project? She should be paying for the fabric for the muslin, too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:28AM
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So I figured I would share with you how I ended up doing this. The pattern I have turned out to have the existing train pieces marked so I cut them form the skirt and used them to make a card board template. I knew I needed my train to be four times the length of the existing train. So using my cardboard templates I marked them out on cotton and using some math(angle of the sides x length x 4 to get the proper length and angle) and my husbands construction chalk line I marked out the extended train . As for the curve on the bottom I used my wonderful father who is a geometry professor and figured out the curve using a regression to zero. In all the train ended up being three separate pieces exactly as evaf555 had suggested so that it has a continuous curve. Clt3 your tutorial was invaluable as the directions that the pattern had where nonsense. Donna_loomis the client ended up wanting the train to flare but I did try it originally as you suggested and it worked perfectly for a straight train. Thank you to everyone who sent suggestions that where incredibly helpful.

This post was edited by cloybaby on Thu, Feb 20, 14 at 10:51

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Hey, pretty cool! you ought to take pics and show us the finished product, eventually

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:03PM
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