Sunday, 23 January 2011

Vintage Revamp #2 - Cream Floral Dress

Ok, I know I'm being a little premature in revamping a cotton summer dress, but this one has been a long time coming for me! I bought this dress on my first ever vintage shopping excursion, to Absolute Vintage near Brick Lane. In fact, it was my first ever vintage purchase! It was bought for a college performance, and I never intended to wear it recreationally, the hem was too long and the neckline very high for my taste, and I also wasn't a fan of the sleeves. However the longer I had the dress the more I admired the beautiful fabric and the more I dreamed of turning it into something more wearable. So, being a younger and therefore more naive and foolhardy version of myself, I took a pair of scissors to it, with rather mixed results...
Oh Gladys, you hussy!
The hem adjustments went perfectly, but as you can see from the above picture, the neckline adjustments were a little risque, even for me :) Because of this uncorrectable error the dress was banished to the bottom of my altering pile to be forgotten. But today I formulated a master plan to finally finish what I started about three years ago!

I took some cotton lace from my stash and began to stitch lengths of it together, to produce layers of scallops. I wanted to use these pieces of layered lace on the neckline of the dress and give it back some of its dignity.

You can see from the above picture that the dress looks better already! I took my seam ripper and sliced open the neckline of the bodice creating a gap between the lining and the outer shell, and I slipped the layers of lace between the two. All that was left for me to do was pin the lace in place and the hop onto my sewing machine and get stitching! And after some little finishing touches - snipping loose ends, overlocking raw edges, etc. - my sweet little dress was finished!
Finished neckline detail

Finished back

Full view of finished dress

I am sad that it will be a while before I can wear this dress, in comfort at least, because of the weather we're having. But I suppose that the upside is I will have lots of time to make some accessories to go with it. I'm dreaming of a simple crinoline (which I think will give the skirt a more pleasing shape), a bow belt and a raspberry coloured cardigan. I'd better get working!

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