Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Quick Redesign

GAH! Life came at me in full force for a billion weeks. But, fear not, my midterm is over with and I finally found a few moments to post this really quick before I begin spending all my time making bridesmaid dresses.

A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I stepped into one of the very few thrift shops in town. It's a Goodwill overstocked and overpriced with extremely outdated (were those baggy, below the knee jean shorts ever in style?), poorly taken care of garments (uhhh can you scream naasty pit stains??). But, this is ultimately besides the point!

I found this gem poking out of the dress rack for $6.99

I ripped the skirt off before realizing I should have taken a photo of me wearing it first!
But it was kinda atrocious, so maybe I saved you all from burning out your eyes? 

It's a Jane Schaffhausen, Belle France dress, possibly from the 1960's as the original design was similar to a Belle France dress I found on Etsy that was dated 1960, but the colors make me think it was produced closer to the 80's.... I hadn't heard of her before finding this dress. So, I did a bit of Googling. I didn't find out much about the designer except this article from July 1982, which you can read here.

Seriously, how rad is this print? C'mon. There are lime green and pink hippos and pink boats and oh man I love it.

Anyway, the dress had a drop waist with large box pleats with medium length sleeves. I already knew what I wanted to do with this dress the second I pulled it from the rack. There were several fit problems from the get go with this sucker, one being that it pretty much flattened my chest into an....awkward shape, so I need to fix that for one. While I adore the carefree look of a drop waist, I was given a figure that needs a cinched true waist ;) so that was another element I planned to change.
Next to be adjusted was the sleeve length. Or, did I want to completely rip 'em off? I opted to lengthen my stitches (so I could easily rip 'em out) and stitch the sleeves between a short and medium length. I don't have many dresses with short sleeves, so I may shorten them a bit more and then leave it.

Aside from needing to shorten the sleeves to more of a cap sleeve length, it's done! 
Apologies for the jerry-rigged belt loop. Its a massive belt. 

Also, no clue whose cat that is.

So, first things first, wash the dress.
After you've done that and its all ready, I ripped the skirt from the bodice. I kept the zipper in the bodice. Next, I put on the bodice and placed pins where I planned placing my darts.
After darting the bodice and shortening the sleeves I started to play with the placement of the skirt. The zipper would need to be sewn into the skirt. I preferred to gather it versus keeping the large pleats and pinned the skirt to my liking and ran it through my machine.
The fit was almost perfect right off the bat! I could either take it in a tad on each side, or deepen my darts a smidge. Either way, I'm the only one who notices.
I'd say I spent maybe 2 full hours on redesigning this dress and any minor adjustments will only take about another 15 minutes.
I'd say it was totally worth $6.99!
Do you have any redesigns your proud of? I'd love to see :)

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