Inventing the Abbotts

Inventing the Abbotts + 1950s Dresses

When I worked in Hollywood, I made costumes for various films, tv shows, and private clients (you can see the full list here). Inventing the Abbotts (1997) was a fun assignment. I worked on a vintage 1950s dress for Liv Tyler which was worn in the dance scene. The dress was covered in a beautiful small flower trim. It turned out that the dress was too small for her. Our skilled costume shop team had to get creative to find a way to make it fit just right!

We ended up adding panels on the side to make it larger around the body. Then we went on a scavenger hunt for that vintage trim in one of Los Angeles’s enormous fabric stores. Guess what?! We found the exact same flower trim to match the dress! We carefully attached the new trim to the panels and blended it seamlessly with the old trim. It was perfect! The dress fit perfectly and you couldn’t even notice the difference where the new fabric and trim were added. 

Recently, we have been working with a client who had the same issue. She came in with an adorable 1950s style dress that was too small. We took fabric from the skirt and made clever panels on the sides to help extend the dress to fit her just right. It was the exact same problem we had with Liv Tyler’s dress. Steady, careful sewing by skilled artisans make this problem not a problem anymore. It is amazing how any dress–too small or too big–can be altered to fit just right.

Also, fun fact, Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler who happens to live on Maui. It is a small world!

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