Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reworked Vintage Holiday Dresses

I was inspired to rework vintage dresses after I was approached by a woman in 2006 to redo her mother's 1960's wedding dress. This holiday season I decided to start working on a few more.

While I was shopping at Value Village I came across these lovely old frocks and it was easy for me to see that they had potential.
The sparkly top and the pleated skirt on the elastic waisted dress were elements that caught my eye.

If you are going to reconstruct a vintage garment it's important to consider the embellishments that are already existing on the piece, (like the sparkled clusters on the dress to the left) as well as the original structure of the dress ie. darts, princess seams, pockets etc.

The tie neck style and the striped pattern in the dress to the right were elements that caught my eye. This dress is made out of 100% silk so I knew that it could stand a little handling. The fabric the original dress is made from is also important to consider before beginning a reshaping project. Is it strong enough to handle being taken apart? How old is the original garment?

This dress has new waist treatments in the top and the skirt. Originally this dress had an elastic waist so I removed the elastic and gave the bodice some darts. The skirt has pin tucks in the position where the darts would be. I also gave the skirt a new Hemline.

After I removed the puffed sleeves I added facings to reinforce the armholesUnder the neck tie at centre front I added a keyhole opening so the tie could be worn open without looking dull. I finished the dress by adding an invisible zipper closure in the back.

 The sparkly dress was much easier. I merely shortened it on the top and added new elastic at the empire waistline and above the bust.