I’ve always been so fortunate to have assistants who also become my friends. Valerie is no exception! She joined our team last January and I’m thrilled to have her with us.
Valerie calls herself Seamstress Interruptus. So appropriate considering she is the mother of not one, but TWO sets of twins!
That being said, I felt very honored that she felt inspired enough by my 1960’s Mad Men Inspired Dress Refashion post to take some of her precious time to try this herself.
The dress was nicely sewn in the first place with darts that (luckily) fit my top half just right, so I didn’t have to do much to the bodice, other than take in about 4-5 inches on each side – I did this by trying on and pinning (not easy, lol) and then testing with a basting stitch until I got it right. What I would give for a dress form like yours!
Once I got the bodice fitted I cut the dress in half where I had marked the new waistline – this was complicated a bit by there being an existing zipper in the back that went down into the skirt portion – I didn’t want to mess with it so I just sliced all the way around, stopping at the zipper. I then serged the side seams of the bodice where I had taken it in, and after that I gathered the skirt with a basting stitch until it was the same width as the bodice. Then I serged over the gathered edge of the skirt & the raw edge at the bottom of the bodice.
After that I added a strip of white cotton to the inside waistband to help the skirt stay in place while I figured out the waistband. I made the waistband using the odd sashes that were attached to the sides of the original dress. There were 2 fabric covered buttons on those sashes that I added to the back once I top-stitched the new waistband on…not the most perfectly straight or aligned waistband, but I was winging it and using what I had (strips that were already finished) so I’m not too worried about it.
I was pretty happy with the end result – it went from being shapeless to shape-full(?) and certainly fits better now, though a bit shorter than I am comfortable with, but that is no problem as luckily there is a big-ole 6 inch hem, and I can just let it down a bit and all will be well 🙂
I think Valerie’s refashion is amazing! It is so flattering on her and the vintage fabric is perfect for the new style.
If you’ve been inspired by one of my refashions, I’d love to share your project here, too. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with before and after pictures. If you have your own blog, I’ll be sure to provide a link back to you.
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