Friday, 24 May 2013

Black Poppy - Refashioned Floral Dress

The original dress (plus some wrinkles)

This dress, like so many of my other refashioned items, was found in an op-shop (for the bargain price of £2.99! I love Salvos!), and originally from Marks and Spencers. I loved the print and drapey fabric, and the bodice evoked 1940s dresses with its double-breasted opening. Unfortunately, it was a size 16, and way too long for me - the skirt went down to my ankles. The shoulders were also much too big, and padded as well, for full 1980s effect.
Out came my trusty seam ripper, and off went the sleeves and skirt. There was some elastic along the waist, so I gently unpicked that too, and saved it, just in case. I started by adding some bust and waist darts, and then took in an inch along each side seam, to bring in the bodice and make it a closer fit. The shoulders were still too big, so I cut off an inch at the top (narrowing it down to nothing at the bottom of the armscye). This of course meant the sleeves were a little too big when I tried to set them in, so instead of gathering and easing it in, I added two little pleats to the top of the sleeves. You can see how that turned out in the photo above - I'm quite pleased with it, although of course it means I have to iron them down after every wash.
After that, everything else got done fairly quickly and smoothly. I gathered the skirt and attached it back to the bodice, then reattached the elastic that I had unpicked from the dress earlier. The belt was still much too big though, so I added a couple more holes with the help of my trusty eyelet kit. I found mine in an op-shop, but you can find a similar kit here - trust me, it's more useful than you think it will be. 

The only thing left was to shorten the skirt. I briefly considered leaving it long, as I'm partial to a good mid-length skirt, but this just looked a little too mumsy for my taste. So I ended up taking a good EIGHT inches off, which left it at a nice just-above-the-knee length. Job done, and it's quickly become one of the dresses I reach for whenever I want to feel just a little bit (not too much) dressed up.


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  2. I love your refashion! The pleat at the sleeve cap is ingenious. Well done!

    1. Thank you, Sally! It was a lot easier than trying to ease in all the extra material :)