Monday, April 15, 2013

1970s Does 1940s Dress Refashion

It's been a long time since I've done any refashioning, so I'm excited to show my latest project.  A colleague of mine knows that I sew and she recently brought a dress in that was destined for the charity shop inquiring if I wanted it.  When I saw it, I said yes right away.  It's a floral dress with fabric covered buttons and a matching belt!

This is the dress before I refashioned it (I'm bummed I didn't take any before pictures of me wearing it...silly me!)  It was way too long in the bodice and much to long length-wise.  This combination threw off the whole proportion and fit of the dress.  In fact, it fit very much like the first dress I ever made (eeps).


Here's a close-up of the pocket and buttons:



There was also one missing button at the waistline.  To fix the fit of the dress I knew I had to bring it up at the shoulders.  This meant that I had to first take off the sleeves.  I ended up taking up the shoulders by about 2 and 1/2 inches.  I ended up making graduated tuck on the inside from the sleeve to the collar.  It does have a small pucker under the collar from taking out all this fabric but the collar hides it very well and there was no way I was going to take off and reattach the collar!

I then had to reattach the sleeves but knew that the sleeve caps were going to be 2 and 1/2 inches too small.  So I made darts in my sleeve caps (one of my favourite design features from 1940s patterns).  I got the darts perfect in one sleeve and a bit, um, too pointy in the other sleeve.  Aw, well...the pattern is very busy, I don't think you really notice (except now that I've pointed it out...lol...)


I also took off about 5-6 inches off the hemline which also allowed me to grab one of the buttons from the hem to replace the one on the waistline.  Huzzah, brand new 40s/50s inspired dress!

We took these photos right above Waverly train station.  The photo above has the Balmoral Hotel in the background.  This photo shows North Bridge and the Scotsman Hotel:


It was a little windy that day too :-)

I don't know about you, but I should do some more quick easy refashions.  They are almost as exhilarating as sewing a new pattern!

20 comments:

  1. Those look great! I never refashion, because I hate unpicking so much, but looking at this it might actually be worth it!

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  2. Really pretty transformation, and looks like you got a lovely day for the photos too :-)

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  3. This is lovely. I so wish I had the vision to be able to refashion, but I just never see the potential!

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  4. Ooh, well done, Debi!! That dress and the colours suit you so well :)

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  5. I have tried to refashion, but always just end up stuffing the original item up :| Hmmphh maybe I should just leave it alone haha:)

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  6. Looks great and fits like a glove! Excellent refashion.

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  7. Beautiful! That's a gorgeous print, and the flare of the skirt (nicely demonstrated by the wind) is just right for the era.
    I've done a few successful refashions, but my problem is now I see *everything* as a potential 40s-style dress! I really must stop buying ghastly 1980s polyester shirt dresses just because they are so cheap and I like the color or print.

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  8. Great refashion - looks just perfect on!

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  9. What a great re-work. It looks really good. Love the print.

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  10. Nice work Debi. I agree that a busy pattern helps hide any wee things you're not happy with too. I restyled a floral Laura Ashley dress a couple of years ago and the pattern was really helpful. Restyling can be just as exciting as making something from scratch too.

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  11. I love it! fits you like a glove!
    I don't really like refashioning myself, I much prefer creating my own garments but you're making me rethink this!

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  12. I can just imagine the awkwardness of the dress before. You've done wonders with it!

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  13. Great refashion! I definitely have just as much fun refashioning as I do sewing a garment from scratch.

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  14. great job on the refashion! the dress turned out really great.

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  15. I popped in to say 'hello', I love the dress. Adorable, the last pic is super cute. :)

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  16. I really envy you for your fabulous and dramatic photo backgrounds (-: (and your refashioned dress is great!)

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  17. I've done a couple similar refashions with 90s does 40s rayon dresses. They're very satisfying! That last shot with the blowing skirt is great. I love the fabric and you're looking lovely!

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  18. Really cute. How sweet of your colleague! And so satisfying to tun something a bit ugh into a wearable garment.

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  19. Very well done! It looks lovely :) I do wish I were better at seeing the potential in garments like that.

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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