Tube access alteration of v neck swing dress

The  previous  Tube Chic alteration project used hook and loop tape (commonly referred to as Velcro).  I was not crazy about the outcome, and stated that at the end of the writeup I did.  Since then, even though the alteration was a success,  I ended up ripping  out all of the hook and loop tape, and redid it using KAM Snaps.

These snaps have been a favorite method of mine to use as fasteners for closures in projects I’ve made for several years now.  I use them for throw pillow covers, and all sorts of things.  The reason I steered away from them for the pink flamingo dress project, was mainly because I know they are not as widely known to the public at large, as Velcro type tape is.

But, quite honestly, the investment to get started using the snaps is small.  They are easy to install.  In fact, it’s kind of fun!

Rather than show the remake of the flamingo dress alteration, I’m showing another dress instead.  This dress is not a Henley style, although it does have a v neck.   The dress is a simple pull over the head style, made of  a medium weight t-shirt type fabric.

Just as before, I wanted to show a project that did not use ‘found’ fabric from somewhere else in the garment to finish the raw edges that cutting an opening creates.

Unfortunately, I did not think to take a photo of it before I began.  But, I found an online stock photo of it,

Lilly Pulitzer “Erin” dress (nowhere near that short on me! How tall is that model!)

I decided to cut the dress from the center of the v neck all the way down through the hem.  I did not want to make it overlap when fastened though, because, not only did I want this to be useful for those wanting to alter something that did not have enough extra room in the way it fit before altering  to lose another inch or two with the alteration,  but, also as I was not sure how overlapping the center front would affect the v-neck.

With the dress turned inside out, I folded it from center of v neck, making sure the side seams aligned with each other.

I cut apart  the dress completely from neck through hem.

To make the extension needed for the snaps to attach to, I used some grosgrain ribbon I had on hand.  It is made of machine washable 100% polyester.

But, one layer of ribbon would not be thick or stable enough for the snaps.  I could have used a strip of  fabric from my stash, but, picked  the gray seam binding left over from a long ago project instead.

I used it on the left half of dress, and sewed the grosgrain ribbon on top.  but, it was kind of a pain to do, not hard, but for the other side, I opted to use three layers of the ribbon, sewn one on top of the other, to give enough support for the snaps.


Folded to encase both sides of the edge of fabric. The blue ribbon will be sewn directly on top of this.

Because this dress is loose on me everywhere but the bust, and I did not want to deal with it gaping, I machine stitched it closed from the center v of neck, down for a few inches.

Detail of neck v from underside

Showing the top of bodice stitched closed

The only real surprise I ran into, is because the hem is slightly curved, I had to adjust it to accommodate the change  the added inch of seam binding/ribbon created.  I lined up the hem,  and machine stitched it.  It obviously would have had a nicer outcome if I’d taken the time to rip out the original stitching of hem, and remade the hem for that segment.  But, I didn’t.  The pattern of dress fabric is so busy, I didn’t think it would be noticeable.

Finished alteration with snaps installed. I added two nonfunctional  ones at the upper bodice for continuity.

All done! It took about an hour, and that includes time spent photographing along the way. (yes, those are Ernie Dog’s fuzzy feet showing on the ottoman behind me.)  What you can’t see is Phoenix was watching too.

The audience aka critics!

I hope you find this helpful.  If you go to the KAM Snaps website, they offer tutorials  and helpful ideas/ troubleshooting help for using their products.  I did get my snap pliers and some snaps from them (I can’t even guesstimate how many colors of snaps I have!)  I’ve also purchased from eBay and Amazon.  Just price shop, because oftentimes the company has better deals buying directly from them, than buying from a vendor.

p.s. I’ve not used the Babyville brand snaps —  the ones commonly found at  craft and sewing shop chains.  The reviews are not good for them though.  Even though it entails ordering rather than running out to the local store to pick up your snaps for a project like this, my advice is to go with the KAM ones.  They have so much in the way of colors and fancy styles too.  (Right now they have  limited edition of engraved snaps with the Tardis from Dr Who,  and also  the Star Trek emblem!  If I only had a reason to get them! )  If you live in the USA, there are a limited number of colors, along with the pliers and awl needed for installation available for two day shipping on Amazon.  Amazon is not the best source for variety, but it’s fine for the basics.

2 Responses to "Tube access alteration of v neck swing dress"

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  1. Diane


    April 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

    And, in answer to question about the KAM snaps, the clear ones they offer are great for fabric that has a pattern (although I opted to use a colored snap rather than clear. The snaps used for this example I think are called Tiffany blue) Using clear snaps on a solid color, especially dark ones, is not all that great of a choice if your goal is invisibility, as they are glossy and catch the light. KAM has some matte shades that do blend in great with a similar color solid fabric, I have some in matte black, and I think they have a matte navy, etc.

  2. Diane


    April 10, 2018 at 10:47 am

    In answer to a question I received about this actual dress used for the alteration; I do not believe it is still in stores, it may be available on eBay, Poshmark, etc. It is looser fitting than many Lilly Pulitzer dresses, it’s a size small, and I generally wear a 4 or 6 in Lilly dresses.

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