Well, it’s finally finished. A little bit here and a little bit there eventually I got it done. I had this visual in my mind of what I wanted it to look like if only I could find a few extra hours in the day to dedicate to the love of my life, refashioning and restyling clothing. Besides this one I have 2 additional projects in the hopper. The goal is to complete both before our Silver Spring Sewing Sisters Pants Making class on the 21st of August. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I found this dress while visiting one of my favorite DC vintage clothing shops “It’s Vintage Darling”. What a fabulous name and a beautiful store. It’s Vintage Darling frequently restock their $10 bin with some really good stuff. On the day I visited I pulled this dress out of the bin upside down and it immediately gave me an idea.
Fuchsia and Black Vintage Blake for I.F. Industries (circa 1986)
I love the bright fuchsia and the bold black. That’s what makes this dress so unique. The dress is from the mid to late 80’s and this is indicative of the “fancy sash-like” fabric draped across the front and rear of the dress. Ok now you know that sash MUST go! Whew, what were we thinking back then?
As I consider how to refashion and restyle this dress I began to envision one dramatic sleeve. I see this trending as of late and I see this as a top/blouse not a dress. It’s just waaay too much fuchsia and needs to be cut back. Less is definitely more in this case.
My vision was to use the drape as part of the end design.
I began by first removing the right sleeve. Since the drape was connected to the left sleeve I decided to leave it in tact. In fact is was in a perfect position for what I had in mind.
Removing the sleeve
Using a very good seam ripper I proceeded to remove the sleeve and the dreaded shoulder pad.
Using a seam ripper to remove the sleeve
Sleeve and shoulder pad removed
Thinking I would keep the other sleeve in tact I tried it on and the look was pretty dramatic. I was loving this design already. The next step was to shorten the dress,
Measuring from the hem of the dress to the desired length
I cut approximately 16 inches off the bottom
After laying the dress out flat and pinning just to make certain there is no shifting in the process
Bottom half of the dress removed with excess fabric on the right.
The leftover fabric was enough to make a sash for the bottom of the blouse. I cut it in half and folded it and attached it to the bottom of the blouse, It was a perfect addition.
Shown here the left over fabric. Cut in half, cut at the seam and pieced together to attach to the bottom with some left over to tie
At this point I’m feeling this blouse it truly coming together. Time for a fitting. Ut oh…… The sleeve and the drape make the blouse pull to one side. I must remove the other sleeve and also flip the drape. After pulling the drape to the opposite side of the dress the raw serged edges were shown. Had to reverse to conceal the stitching.
After removing the left sleeve and the sash (they were connected by the same single stitch and overlock)
re-attaching the drape to the right side armhole
Attaching the sash to the bottom of the blouse
When all was said and done, both sleeves removed had an even better cooler look.
Now time for the finishings
Stitching the drape raw edge
Finishing the raw edge of the armhole with bias tape
Seam binding attached to the armhole as facing
After a good cleaning and pressing job VOILA!!! It’s complete. I’m planning to accessorize my new blouse with some fabulous jewelry I found at Charming Charlies. Can’t wait for you to see me wearing the final product. I found some interesting pieces while going through my grandmothers old accessories over the weekend. I will be incorporating them into my upcoming designs.
A little bow at the hipline and a tie at the wrist. Perfect for a dinner party or night out
Me wearing my refashioned blouse and Vintage Manolo Blahnik's