This vintage number was from a lot I got on my first trip to a Savers thrift shop. I couldn’t get past the big printed flowers along the raglan sleeves and hem. As soon as I picked it off the rack, I started mentally putting looks together. That to me says it’s a DIY winner.
Once I got home and tried it on, a couple things about the dress threw me off. For starters, I couldn’t decipher the front from the back! Here’s why. Amongst the pleats was a short slit, that landed in front, just below my left knee. Also, there was a belt loop on the center front of the waist, which I thought was unusual.
With that, I was convinced I had it on backwards. I thought of the possibility that it might have been worn as a boat neck and v-wrap in back. Check out the photo below and let me what you think!
However it was worn, as you can see, I figured out how to make it work for me. I apologize for the lack of tutorial photos. Other than the lace-up, the alterations were pretty straightforward.
Here’s what I did:
- First, I cinched the elastic waist. The elastic was sewn onto the waistline, so I had to remove it entirely. After removing it, I measured the elastic around my waist, cutting off the excess. From there, I reattached it to the waistline, stretching as I go along. I also had to adjust the elastic in the sleeves but luckily they were encased.
- Next was the hem. I wanted to do away with the midi length and also to place the emphasis on the sleeves. To get a more accurate cut, I first ironed out the pleats (they made the dress clingy anyways) then cut approx. 1 inch above the printed flowers and finished the hem.
- The lace-up I added later on (more on that below). To make the loops, I used a couple of hanger straps I found in my ribbon stash. I cut a pair of 4, approx. 2 inches long.
- Folded in half, I pinned them onto the neckline spacing them 2 inches apart. Afterwards, I tacked them down and tried the dress to ensure I was happy with the placements (I also ran a piece of cord through, to put them to the test and get a glimpse of the final look).
- Once that was done, I stitched them in place along the neckline (to avoid having to undo parts of the top-stitch and seam joining the facing). I then turned under the raw edges and secured them with a zig-zag stitch, just onto the facing. The cording I made from the remnant (printed flowers from the hem). The remainder I used for the head scarf.
Funny story! I wore this to a family gathering recently, sans the lace-up detail. I was on the fence about adding it. It took me that day, to think it could use a little oomph.
For me, adding the lace up not only completes the look, but also assists with cleavage control. I regret not doing it sooner especially for the get-together. Instead, I was so caught up trying to figure out what to wear. Ugh, story of my life.
Thoughts? What do you make of the mystery?10