Today’s refashion was quite the looker upon purchase. I found this amazing piece at the Salvation Army and made it mine for just $0.69. I think you will agree that it is worth every penny, just for the before pictures, so I’ll give you 4.
Holy sh—oulder pads! Check out that high-fashion tilt in pic 2. Yeah, I can work it, even when I look like a football player.
There was much to be done to get this dress up to date. By the way, these pictures were taken AFTER 30 minutes of ironing. Yeah, this retro lady is 100% silk.
Which means it wrinkles like the dickens (the dickens is probably very wrinkled) and easily shows imperfections…both in the sewing and on the body. Though, not on this Body:
First step, tackle (get it?) those shoulder pads.
Oh, what’s this?
Yup, that’s a second set of mini shoulder pads under the first set of large ones. Frankly, this could have 5 sets of pads and they’d all end up in the trash.
So, off went the second set too:
Remind me to file my nails before I take close-up hand pictures.
Then it was time for the sleeves. Much like previous refashions, I prefer to seam-rip the sleeves off, rather than cut them, because it leaves behind a 1/4″ hem that is already permanently folded and easy to pin.
It is incredible how time consuming this is. Seriously, I’m talking hours! Delicate material and heavy duty serging make the process even more slow-going.
Following the sleeve removal, I pinned them up:
Then sewed them up:
With the sleeves gone, I put it back on The Body to take it in:
Pins, wonderful pins!
I forgot to mention that I actually switched this from the buttons going down the back, to in the front. It felt about the same and once fitted, buttoning up 4-5 buttons behind my back was getting into contortionist territory.
I sewed up along my pinned lines:
Then, I tried it on and it was a bit too snug. Remember what I said about form fitting silk? Doesn’t matter how thin you are, if you can see skin between strained buttons, it is not cute.
I sewed a second line in the bust and side area, adding about an inch and a half:
Then I removed the first sewed line:
The result gave me much needed literal breathing room.
While I really wanted to save the pleated bottom, it just wasn’t going to look right if I relocated it higher. Trust me, I don’t have the sewing skills to pay the sewing bills. Good thing I buy dresses for under a dollar. 🙂
Guess what takes longer than removing a sleeve with a seam ripper? Removing a skirt with a seam ripper. Oy!
I honestly took those pictures about an hour apart, because I wanted to feel like I was actually making progress.
I managed to get through it all (eventually) and pin the remaining hem up…
and then sew.
Yes, I understand that all of these pictures look alike, but I can assure you this is the correct part of the dress to which I am referring. 🙂
I then needed to carefully and slowly cut away the excess fabric inside. Delicate silk is easy to accidentally cut incorrectly. After such a long process, I’d be pretty upset if I cut a hole in my pretty new dress!
The last step was to iron it again, and revive the pleats at the shoulders.
Despite this refashion spanning multiple days and convincing me that maybe I need to buy a Jack Daddy (larger, sharper seam ripper), it turned out to be quite a lovely dress.
However, now I am questioning which way to wear it, as both look nice. I am leaning towards the buttons in the back as was originally intended. What do you think?
Buttons in the front?
Or buttons in the back?
I don’t really have anywhere to wear it yet, but my mom just invited me to go with her to the Red Dress PDX Party, May 21st. It’s a fundraiser benefiting the Cascade AIDS Project, where everyone wears a red dress, even the fellas! The theme this year is Walking Red. I don’t know if I am going to zombify myself or not….but I do like effects make-up! I may have to update with photos afterwards.
Have a great weekend, all!