Saturday, June 02, 2007

Wardrobe Refashion #1

OK. This one was a bit of a cheat.

Although, it didn't start out that way!

I bought this vintage dress in Greensboro in 1985 and was never able to wear it because it was too small to begin with. But, I loved the lines of the dress and hoped to get around to copying day. I also thought the sweet embroidery was delightful.

Well, I came across the dress in the storage unit and it was dirty, musty and needed a lot of love. It was also now several sizes too large for me!

I decided to prep it for a recon job but the thing was so dirty that I did what one should absolutely never do to a vintage rayon garment - I chucked it in the wash!

Actually, I turned it inside out, tucked it carefully in a lingerie bag and ran it on gentle, figuring the thing would either disintegrate or shrink to the size of a Barbie dress. Then I hung it to air dry.

As it dried, I noticed that it not only looked a great deal better but it also looked to be my size!

The darn thing actually fits!

The embroidery is a bit puffier than it had been but the fabric is not at all distorted and the dress fits with absolutely no other alterations!

I even have the original belt!


knittin gin said...

How lucky are you, killing two birds with one stone! I can't believe that you just tossed it in the washer. And got away with it! And didn't have to alter it. Please tell me you at least had to iron it!

JennySlash said...

It really just needed a light pressing (using a press cloth) but that's it.

It was foolhardy of me to wash it like that but I really had nothing to lose! (Except, of course, for those yummy buttons!)

Ordinarily, I would have carefully lain it in the bathtub and not risked agitating the fabric. But the biggest risk I took - since the garment was in such a state - was having it disintegrate in the machine and gum up the washer! So I did use a hosiery bag. There was very little fraying but it was a wise precaution.

I really assumed that I was just trying to clean it to salvage it's more interesting bits. It NEVER occurred to me that it might actually be wearable!

Whether I WILL actually wear it is another matter, of course. It IS vintage and I'm not sure how well it would withstand the rigors of 21st Century life. Might do for a gallery opening or something like that.

I'm not sure of the date of the dress. It has a sort of 50s vibe to it but I really have no idea.