Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stylaholic Premier: Dressformation

I've seen a number of very stylish ladies do this on their fashion blogs, so I've decided to give it a try: I'm going to show you a vintage dress I've transformed using only a sewing machine, a gum wrapper, and a case of vegan bratwurst.

Just joking about the bratwurst.

This is a late 1960s hawaiian hostess dress I purchased for about $40. As you can see, it's extremely "maxi" (I added the plastic cocktail glass for comic effect...too bad I'm too shaky to take a straight photo). Although I'm nearly 6 feet tall and am supposed to be able to carry off maxi-length dresses, to be totally honest, I don't really like them. Anything below the ankle just feels silly.

The thing I really love about this dress is the weird cape-like pleat detail on the back (on the far left in this photo...I know it's hard to tell my front from my back...sigh). I thought "maybe I can shorten it and wear it as a babydoll!" And so it began...

(Here's the back...pretty the way it comes down and floats from the neckline, no?)

This was a home-made jobby in the first place, so I was dealing with "interesting" seaming and fitting. The dress is supposed to hug your curves in front, sheath-style, flowing from an empire waist complete with adorable centre florettes, whilst billowing out dramatically in back.

Althought it's a small size, I wondered why it wasn't fitted more tightly to the ribcage in front to emphasize the bust like most dresses of the era do. It was only after scratching for the umpteenth time at the itchy little doodad brushing my ribs that I took the dress off to discover a built-in bra! It had been lost in all that fabric. Very nice little detail that saved me having to take the dress in on the sides...(it's that white thing hiding amid all the fabric).

I carefully measured and cut the length, shortened the bra band, which had become stretched out over the ages, and tried it on.

Cute, but (and I know...I'm crap at standing still enough to photograph myself clearly, so I don't have a good photo of this)...the billow in the back is still a little too big.

I'll have to figure out a way to reduce the pleats; in the meantime, I've created an obi-style belt from the fabric I cut off the bottom of the dress and am using that to give it a sheath fit with a slightly tulip-style skirt. I love it with my beige and yellow pumps...

And next time I do this I'll be sure to clean my mirror first!


At 12:29 PM , Blogger ambika said...

I had a Hawaiian dress with the same pleat down the back. You did a wonderful job with it--it looks lovely.

At 2:24 PM , Blogger Moose said...

Beautiful! I love it!

At 6:49 AM , Blogger whyioughtta said...

Thanks ladies!

At 10:22 AM , Blogger sara said...

just superfab!


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