Monday, May 24, 2010

My friday project

What did you do on friday? I MacGyver'd a dress!
Dress: hand-me-down from Adria
Belt: Vintage hand-me-down
Shoes: Courtesy of ModCloth
Bag: Thrifted ($10)
Sunnies: Fred Flare ($11)
heart and cross rings: F21 ($5)
Bracelet: Thrift ($2)
Necklace: F21 ($8)
photos: chris
A lot of people ask me about thrift shopping on this blog- I seem to have quite a bit of luck with it- one of my secrets is to look for the potential in things. Although this dress wasn't thrifted by me, my friend Adria obviously saw that it had something going for it on the rack, and then when it showed up at my doorstep after a closet clean-out of hers, I saw the potential too. The first thing that caught my eye was the vibrancy of the fabric, I love that bright blue, it's not like anything in my closet already. I also noticed the composition of the fabric, unlike many dresses of it's era (early 1980's) it's not made of polyester, it's silk- one of my favorite materials. The shape on the rack was kind of frumpy and limp, but after trying it on I found that the shoulders fit my frame perfectly and while the silhouette was different than what I normally go for, I liked the change. So, how to make it better? I hacked off about 10 inches from the bottom, and used stitch witchery instead of sewing a blind stitch hem. My reasons for coping out on the hem were because silk is so light any little stitch would show, and I was in a hurry! All in all it took me 20 minutes to make myself a new dress! So, moral of the story: always look for potential! (see the uninspiring before image below)
The before (excuse the bad photo):
How was your weekend?

60 comments:

thenextarrow said...

my weekend was fast + busy. i adore that shade of blue!

xo Alison

Alli XT said...

looks awesome! I love stitch witchery - seeing this is inspiring me to go stock up.

OooKellyNicky said...

Cute dress, blue looks great on your. And I love all of your gold rings especially the cross one.

my blog: ♥La Stylin Girraffe♥

SWEATshirtDRESSshirt said...

you did a wonderful job of altering that dress! it looks amazing on you!

i also love those wedges! they're perfect for summer.

xoxo
http://sweatshirtdressshirt.blogspot.com/

tess said...

wow from the hanger I cannot tell how great it looks on you, nice find!

Purple Deer said...

There really is an art to finding the right pieces in a thrift store. But you most definitely scored on some of those rings lady.

Sarah Dee said...

You should let us know if the stitch witchery holds up in the wash! Love the dress =)

Sarah
theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

Lara said...

I love that you mentioned how you hemmed this. I just got a hand me down sewing machine and tried to hem a dress that is similar but floral. BAD IDEA. I had zero practice and it was all ziggy-zagg. And it was a straight stitch...which I would have cared less about if it had just be less messy looking. So now I have to either take it all out or just make it shorter. I may be opting for shorter...similar to the length you did.

Although...Stichery Witchy seems very tempting right about now.

Becca Jane said...

It turned out fabulously! Looks so great

Little Ocean Annie said...

I love this type of fabric! I've thrifted several 80's dresses in this material, so cool and summery!
I love the browns you paired with this outfit, especially against that copper wall.
Looking great as always, lady!

Becca said...

What an amazing transformation! Love the new version, you would never know from these pics that it was a 20 minute DIY project. I recently took up sewing in hopes of doing some DIY magic of my own... now i just need to go thrift up some inspiration.

Caitlyn said...

Love the blue with the brown! That dress looks so good now!

Awkward Socialite said...

Love that shade of blue!

ShoesForDessert said...

That dress is really cute. I find that shortening a lot of thrifted dresses always seems to be the answer! And maybe taking them in a bit

http://shoesfordessert.blogspot.com/

leahf said...

My friends are always so frustrated when I find things in thrift stores.
What you said was so right. I also have found that you have to take time to look around instead of judging a store really fast and giving up.
I also have found that it is better (when looking at dresses and shirts) to not even pay attention to what size it is. you can always belt it or sew it.
Nice post:)

carlyjcais said...

Love what you did with that dress!
It's so flattering now!

The little white print reminds me of what went down the Miu Miu runways for Spring 2010 with that little white cat print or bird prints. I was so inspired, I designed a similar bird print for a pair of shoes!

http://www.chic-steals.com/2010/05/so-i-designed-shoe.html

It's so great to see the potential in thrift store items!

And @Laura...the faster you go, the less zigzaggy your hem will look - it's the tiny movements of your hands and fingers that affect the stitching line as you go slowly and carefully - to combat that, go as fast as you can (at a speed you can control!). That's why sewers working in a factory go zzzzzzip! on their machines and the seam is done in a second. (Plus, their machines are faster, but you can go slowly on them if you try.)
Just a thought!

xoxox
Carly
www.chic-steals.blogspot.com

M. said...

that dress looks so great cut and hemmed, thats usually my go to when I'm in thrift stores! I love the color on you too.

lovelove, M.
http://marissaexplains.blogspot.com

zoƫ, lion heart vintage said...

ooo yes! i love this silhouette on you lady! great eye, this is a fantastic dress.

Em-Jae said...

such a cuuute dress and great job on the hem!!

i've tried this a few times, but i'm never quite satisfied with my work. perhaps i need more practice? any tips on getting that perfect hem??

BikeWorkPlay said...

Ultra cute dress, I kinda don't even mind it in the before picture too.. especially if its made of silk. Great find by your friend!
By the look of it, you have an old paint ladder holding up your shoes? I have a ladder just like it that holds some of my books. I love the character it has with all the paint splatter too. And as a bonus, it still functions as a ladder if I ever need to use it! Its just pain to take everything off it. haha.

Anyway, in summary, I love the dress, beautiful print and colour. And its heaps flattering too!

eunice said...

oh this dress is amazing! the transformation is superb and you are one gorgeous lady!

heyfancypants.blogspot.com

revital said...

great outfit!!! I adore the shoes!!

http://revi-pinkillusions.blogspot.com/

piglet said...

Love the colour, and the tan accessories. Chopping the dress was definitely the right choice.

Helen said...

oh yes it definitely looks better shortened, but it's a lovely colour. we have that 'stitch witchery' here but it's called 'magic hem', i should probably get some cos i really can't sew but see so many nice dresses or skirts in charity shops that are just too long.

Carol said...

Lovely!

notjustmedical said...

The thrifting tips are great! I would thrift more, but I don't have a sewing machine (and I'm a pretty crap sewer myself!) and all the prettiest dresses are long. But I will make it goal of mine to go more often.

I love the bright blue colour of the dress, and the subtle pattern! Very summery

S
http://notjustmedical.wordpress.com

notjustmedical said...

The thrifting tips are great! I would thrift more, but I don't have a sewing machine (and I'm a pretty crap sewer myself!) and all the prettiest dresses are long. But I will make it goal of mine to go more often.

I love the bright blue colour of the dress, and the subtle pattern! Very summery

S
http://notjustmedical.wordpress.com

My Republic of Fashion said...

That dress is gorgeous. I love the way you took 10 inches off to make it even more fantastic looking. Really nice look!SarahD

www.myrepublicoffashion.blogspot.com

The Daily Fashionista said...

Ooooo....Love it!!!! You did a good job on that silk dress. And the shoes are so pretty!

cocojones said...

Looks great - very inspiring! Good tip with the stitch witchery, especially useful for a non-seamstress like myself!

SWF_Terra said...

I have done this same thing to a few thrifted skirts now. It's amazing how fresh and modern something can look when it's just a bit shorter. :) We're so slutty in the 2000s.

La Historiadora de Moda said...

It looks gorgeous after your alterations! And I am loving the vibrant blue color on you!

Zoe said...

Super duper cute photos! Thanks for sharing! I'm loving the pop of the bright red against the blue!

Your blog makes me smile.
girlwiththeflower.blogspot.com

CAITLIN said...

ooh, what a great color! one of my favorite parts of thrifting is looking for saggy old lady dresses that can be cropped and reconstructed into something youthful. you just have to use your imagination!

AnnaBananaCupcake said...

Aww...super pretty. That color of blue looks killer with your skin tone. And those wedges are awesome!
XOXO

Future Lint said...

Love the bright cobalt blue - I never would have guessed that you'd glued the hem! LOVE those shoes too!

Brianna said...

The color is beautiful, good thing you salvaged it.

http://the-not-so-secret-loves-of-bri.blogspot.com/

briannelee said...

I love the end result. I love silk as well. Such a pretty dress!!!

Melanie said...

Beautifully done! I love the pattern and the shape you made this dress... it reminds me of the cat dress I keep seeing.

I still can't seem to get Stitch Witchery to work. I'll have to give it another go soon.

Melanie@Unravelled Threads

MOUSEVOX VINTAGE said...

Such a great color on you and a great print, too boot! Stitch witchery and I are BFF's.

hello birdy said...

Such a sweet summer dress!

Fifth Sparrow said...

I love this dress on you, just perfect!

fashion_player said...

I love the combination of beige, brown and blue:) lovely:)

Angie D said...

Darling dress! It suits you so well!

I, too, have grand luck when it comes to thrifting. If I don't have alot of time to spend in a shop. I scan the sleeves/hems to see if I find anything interesting. It hasn't failed me yet!

Becky said...

Beautiful!

Diya said...

wow that color just POPS on you and I love seeing what you do with your hair every outfit post. You've definitely have luck thrifting/finding stuff from friends' closets.

RE your comment on my blog: Yeah, thanks to a semi-traumatic childhood the mean comments on my blog no longer bother me much... I guess it's kind of like a silver lining or something? :) What I did realize after writing that post and meeting many bloggers in person is that it's happened a lot of people... so knowing that makes the nasty comments less meaningful.

-Diya

megannielsen said...

It's gorgeous now, you really did a great job. I think so many thrift store finds can be improved by simply hemming them.

MissKellie said...

Great thrifting advice! So many unwearable thrift store dresses can be made into something adorable and new with really simple alterations!

http://playingdressupwithkellie.blogspot.com/

PenPot said...

That's gorgeous. I'm looking for something like that at the moment. I want a new go to dress.
love the shoes too.
xx

megan.tme said...

Beautiful dress, I just love how it looks on you!

transmission me

KDikio Vintage said...

I love the way you explained the art of thrift shopping! So articulate and true : ) You look so adorable!!!

closet365 said...

Bravo! It looks fabulous.

And I love stitch witchery. It fixes all my pants for me.

Danielle said...

It looks so cute now!

Django et Coco said...

Amazing outfit, love how you accessorize it and beautiful dress!

-Coco from OurPaperMoon

Clarabelles said...

I love what you've done with that dress, simple yet effective!

Your style is great and has been a great inspiration for me - i'm lusting over so may of your clothes right now and cursing the fact i live in the UK, grrr!

Thanks Orchid Grey for not confirming and being yourself

Clara x
http://clazzerati.blogspot.com/

princesspolitico said...

that length of this dress is so flirty and perfect for summer! love the brilliant color!

xo.
princesspolitico.blogspot.com

Amy said...

There is so many times I got thrift shopping and find adorable dress and think: "If I only knew how to hem.."

That dress is so pretty!

Jessica said...

I love this outfit! The shape and fabric remind me of dresses I saw at UO this season. I love when you can find thrifted things just like the expensive stuff in stores.

kelly ann said...

i'm absolutely in love with that blue! nice work on the altering. ;) and i LOVE those shoes!

Trishna said...

This dress is beautiful and in terms of the weekend, mine just started. So goodbye work pressure and hello blogosphere!!!

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