Post 4 – Elementary, my dear readers

…as in Elementary school. I am pretty sure my 2nd grade teacher wore a dress just like this. Anyone have Mrs. Vedovatti’s number for me to fact check that? Frankly, I think MOST elementary school teachers in the 90’s had some iteration of a dress like this:

Menonite dress before Anyone have a white snood I can wear with this?

One of the refashioner’s goals is to do their part to consume less by not buying cheaply made clothing from big retailers, who may not be operating with the best labor practices overseas and use less than quality fabrics. However, after purchasing this gem, I discovered that this dress was probably originally made by a child in Honduran sweatshop. Remember this ?:

Not a career highlight for Mrs. Gifford. On the bright side, the Kathie Lee Collection scandal helped jump start the anti-sweatshop campaign in the US in the 90’s.  I don’t think things are quite as bad with retailers today, but it’s always worth taking a pause to check your tags and see where your clothes are being made.  If you bought a shirt for $5 brand new, how much do you think the person that made it was paid?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal and formerly (like a month ago) shopped at H&M for those “great deals.”  However, now I can get deals on vintage clothes in good condition and make them look more expensive than anything I could get at H&M. I will also now be saying no to OldNavy, Forever21 and Target clothing. I know that not everyone can make this same commitment, but it is what I feel is right for me.

Anyhow, let me just put this soapbox away and I can get on with my refashion. 🙂

I took the sides in about 2″ and removed 4″ from the sleeves. The 1″ square plaid was a BIG help in cutting and hemming evenly.  I also took the length from ‘school marm’ to ‘classy lady’.  Sadly this meant losing the pockets, which is too bad, because I love pockets!

The result:

Menonite dress after  See…I’m getting a little better at taking mirror selfies.

I have concerns that the collar is too big and considered trimming it down. Though, I like the contrasting navy and didn’t want to lose that. The collar shall stay….for now.

Final comparison:

Menonite dress before & after

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I have MLK day off of work (woohoo!), so I’ll be sewing like crazy and have plenty to show you next week.

Update 4/25/16 : I got professional photos taken. This dress is actually a bit big now!

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2 thoughts on “Post 4 – Elementary, my dear readers”

  1. Didn’t it come with shoulder pads? As I recall almost all of my clothes from that era had nice big padded shoulder pads! The wider my shoulders the smaller my waist appeared…or so I thought! 🙂
    I am still amazed how easy you can update an 80’s dress!

    1. This one didn’t actually have shoulder pads, but I have 2 posts in the works featuring dresses that did have them. Is that what the point was?! I think waist definition in the dress would’ve achieved the desired effect much easier!

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