It’s Monday night so I’m ready to share this weekend’s flourish of refashioned greatness. We’ve had a full day of driving and singing with some homeschooling thrown in the margins.
I just get my kids frozen gogurts, cut veggies and popcorn for dinner.
I’m not kidding.
I had great plans for this one that were high, then dashed, then high again… then well… kinda eh. I like the way it turned out, but think that this piece is destined for someone else. We’ll see.
Let’s start at the beginning, which was Friday night when I decided to pull this lovely piece out of my “Potentials” bin and make it into something fab.
Now, not only is this dress several sizes too big and several years outdated… The color scheme is completely outside of my range of interest, under normal circumstances. Still, the “pretty fairy” bit me, and suddenly I find myself in the mood to tolerate a bit of pink. With MacGyver Dad gone so much last week, I spent a good bit of time watching old classic movies. My heart is aching for a true tea time dress. I see this as my ticket to win.
I take the first step, and like a magician with a saw and a human in a box, I cut the entire dress in half.
As said magician, I do intend to put it back together, so I carefully cut around the zipper to keep it intact. I just plan to put it back better. And that zipper? It now belongs in the back, not the front.
Now I introduce to you my dear helper, Maude. She was acquired for $3 at a yard sale and is adjustable to fit my exact measurements. Unfortunately, she was an amputee and came with no stand so she is currently balanced on the end of an old curtain rod and seen here leaning against supply closet that houses all things homeschooling and office supply-ish. She is cheap foam and a pain to work with but someday we will upgrade her. For now I’m happy to have her. I turned the top of the dress inside out and pinned a dart or seam all the way from the front, over the shoulder and down the back to take in all of the extra fabric. Easy way to give it the shape of an actual bodice instead of a… umm, trash bag?
In the process I also cut out the wide, 70’s collar and shaped a boat neck with a deep V in the back from removing the collar.
The pinning and seaming together took about 10 minutes! I didn’t intend to share this photo. It was just a progress shot for my sister and a good friend who are two of my dearest cheerleaders. I don’t think they’ll mind. They were very helpful with suggestions through the process. I’m so lucky to have them!
Next, I cut about 8 inches out of the skirt panel. I regret not taking an extra 4-5 for my height, but oh well. I attached my beloved Ruffler Sewing Machine Presser Foot
to my machine and set it for ruffling my skirt.I then attached it simply to the bottom of the bodice and sewed around the tail of the zipper. E.A.S.Y. I’ve now spent about 1 hour on the dress.
Somewhere in there I finished the neckline, ripped it out and did it a different way. At this point, I was still unhappy with it. I love elbow length sleeves, but these hit an inch past on me and looked awkward so took the sleeves up an inch after this photo.
It was ok, but it really needed something to “Oh, snap!” or, umm… pop!
I tried cutting up a pair of mauve double knit polyester pants for a sash. They matched well, but the effect ultimately was unsatisfactory. I thank the pants for their sacrifice to this cause.
I threw on something that was much more comfortably me and headed out for the day’s activities with the kids, adding a stop at one of my favorite thrift stores, the Value Village on Moreland Ave into the mix of To-Dos.
I found the perfect belt for $ .99. Then I came home and realized that I still didn’t like the neckline, ripped it out a third time and added in a bit of grey lace left over from my sister’s wedding a year and a half ago. Better.
But something was still missing.
I opened up my jewelry making bin which houses, not only the wire and things I use to make the next necklaces for my Etsy store (Making Room For More) , but also several containers of broken jewelry and pretties that I can’t bear to send to a landfill. The result was a few large beads strung and knotted on another piece of contrasting lace.
And I was done! I spent a total of 2.5 hours including the 15 minutes it took for me to run into the thrift store with the kids to riffle through belts. Ten of that was pulling them away from the toy aisles, mind you.
The end result. My Tea Time Dress!!
While I do love the way the dress turned out, it is very much not me, the headband and the chunky necklace… not my style but it was fun to try it out!! This dress was made more to a size 8 and the length would be FABULOUS on someone taller than my 5 feet and 4 inches. It also would have rated much higher on the adorable scale if I had a single pair or heels other than the one I wore in LAST WEEK’s FEATURED DRESS REFASHION (which you should also check out, if just for my $. 25 shoes!
And now for next week’s offering. This beauty still has the tags on it. I can’t even understand why…. bats eyelashes. I’m going to go have my Gogurt and popcorn for dinner. With a cup of tea.