As time goes on and my sewing skills improve, I find myself honing in on my personal style. I devour fabrics and patterns from all eras and let them speak to me in a way that lets me know I am on the right track. Settling deep into my heart is late 1960s fashion (re-watching Mad Men probably doesn’t have anything to do with that) and today’s re-fashion project just makes me love it so much more.
Last summer I was gifted a few vintage dresses from Rory’s family which included this beautiful 60’s floral number. Or should I say numbers, since there are actually two separate dresses here. The blue satin layer beneath is a simple a-line tank dress, while the blue floral is sheer with the sleeves and high neckline. While some vintage styles are classics that fit right into modern wardrobe, others don’t quite age as nicely. Plus it is far too short for my stature and that simply would not do.
Vintage preservationists please avert your eyes. There be scissors here.
Since the rest of the dress fit quite well, all I needed was a good chop off the hemline. I marked the length I wanted the dress to finally sit, added a bit of seam allowance and chops away!
I wanted the overdress to have some of that sheer fabric peek beyond the under-dress, so I used what I had chopped to mark the original length, and added about 5cm plus seam allowance. Chop chop.
I toyed with the idea of removing the original satin bottom hem and adding it onto my new hem, but it brought the look back to a doudy, night-gowny place, so I left it. I am sure I will have plenty of fun things to do with the scraps from this project.
I then whipped up a simple double folded hem to finish of both dresses and they are ready for a summers’ eve.
I love the bold 60’s pattern of the fabric and it is what initially drew me to the dress in the first place. Now that I’m not drowning in print, it shines that much brighter.
I like having the options of playing with modern jewelry and accessories. I can make a statement and go back in time with large flipped hair and bold cat-eyes, or pair with simple touches for a more approachable dinner with friends.
I left the sleeves and high-neckline as-is because these are true indicators of the decade and offer balance to the short length. Gotta keep things appropriate here.
As scared as I was to take scissors to a vintage piece like this, I comfort myself in knowing that I have given it a new lease on life. Never again would it have been worn if left in it’s original state. I am sure there are some of you who never would dare snip vintage, and to be honest, there are some pieces that shouldn’t be messed with, but at some point you have to evaluate clothing’s ultimate purpose: to be worn.