In the 1980's, I didn't buy a single non-vintage dress. (Okay, my mom might have bought me a couple.) I have a small head, average sized shoulders, a tiny bust and torso, small waist and average hips. With skinny arms and a small head emerging from the giant padded shoulders and baggy bodices, I looked like a tick.
So this is my first 80's dress purchase. Unlovely (and thus it lasted to 99 cent Monday) but made from gorgeous linen fabric. And the lines had potential. The sleeves and top yoke were cut as one, and it had eight gores that released into reversed pleats.
It had a vaguely retro feel (30s yoke?, 50's skirt ?) filtered through an 80's style sense, so I felt compelled to rehabilitate it. My fixes: shortening the sleeves, narrowing the sides, taking out the shoulder pads and then taking up the shoulders and top of arm seams, re-cutting the neckline and re-doing it with bias tape, resewing all the front panels to have some shape, and shortening the length. Three ugly white plastic buttons were replaced with two unmatched vintage ones, and I hand-sewed a pick stitch line to highlight the yoke. It might have been easier to start from scratch, but then I don't think I would have ended up with this:
My favorite part is some simple pick-stitching I did with cordonet along the yoke and the new/old buttons. It's always good to know that I can find a use for the random sewing supplies I have amassed.
I considered taking in the back gores a bit too, which might have helped with the swayback wrinkles, but in the end I am glad I didn't overfit the dress. Right after the photo shoot, I decided to fly to Montana and help my mom move out of the way of a surging river. My sister, son and I found a flight, packed and ran out the door within 45 minutes. Beyond removing the skirt/slip I didn't even have time to change my clothes. It was a very comfortable (if crushed looking) travel dress. I felt so great, I didn't even mind the pat down I got at the airport.
- Fabric: Navy Linen dress 0.99
- Buttons: Cast-Offs Junk Store
- Embroidery thread: Polyester Cordonet
- Airplane ticket: don't ask