Remake, remodel

Long blue dress
When we went to Paris this summer I tried in earnest to shop. But I couldn’t find too much that I really wanted to buy, that was the colour or shape or price to suit. I did go into a few thrift stores and vintage stores, though, where I chanced on something with a little potential.

It was long and blue, with BIG floaty sleeves, and an elegant shape. It was 70s style polyester, yes, but not in a totally offensive way. It was a size too big, but in a style which meant you could probably get away with it. And it was like €5. So yeah, potential.

When we got back to the apartment I tried it on and the results were somewhat hilarious. Think Abigail’s Party and you’re pretty much there. It was just too heavy and big and looked too much like a costume.

Anyway I piled it all away in my suitcase and, when we got home, set to it.

Throughout the summer I’d been following the brilliant Refashioners series on Miss P’s blog and was feeling suitably inspired.

The best thing about this dress to me was the amazing disco sleeves. I wanted to pick them out a bit more, and just happened to have some appropriately-coloured beads in my stash. So I got to work stitching them around the sleeve hems.

But the real issue was definitely still the length, which was entirely unflattering for me. I tried cutting it to just under the knee, but still looked like Dumpy McDumperson. Taking a deep breath, I hacked off the bottom. Minidress was definitely the way to go.


I did another spot of beading at the sides of the bottom, but I’m going to keep building that up bit by bit. There’s only so much beading that you can handle at once.

This was a wee while ago. More recently, I’ve been playing with some John Kaldor fabric I got from Mandors. It’s a stretchy little piece so I just whacked two rectangles together and gathered them on to an elastic waistband and made a super-easy skirt. I think I needed something quite simple to get me back into things. It’s also pretty easy to make something simple look fabulous when you have such a stunning print on your fabric..

rose skirt

I’ve still yet to pin down my fall for cotton cotton – mainly because when I went to buy it I got distracted by the above! Having a scout around and I’ve really been enjoying checking out the patterns and projects already popping up on the Flickr group but still haven’t quite made a decision.


7 responses to “Remake, remodel

  1. Those sleeves are amazing! I’ve never tried beading but can imagine it’s very fiddly, and time consuming, though it looks like it’s going to be worth it as the dress looks fab already. I love your skirt too, I’ll really need to get some broad elastic like that as I think a quick make like that could be just the thing to get me back in to sewing.

    • Yeah, my next step is to really study the sleeves or find a pattern which has similar! I want to know how to make them myself 🙂 Sometimes I have the patience for beading, and have a good run – sometimes it’s just too fiddly. Definitely need to be in the mood.

      • Are the sleeves on the Diana Ross dress in that Fancy Frock’s book not quite similar? All my sewing books are packed away at the moment so I can’t check. Or, if you have the Colette book how about the Taffy blouse sleeves?

        • Ooh I don’t have the Colette book so that may be worth checking out – I have looked at it several times but never bought. Funnily enough I didn’t think of the Diana Ross one. Probably quite similar, I’ve only made up my strange hybrid version which is in jersey, and the sleeves weren’t working as the big ones so I narrowed them right down. I suspect with a floatier fabric, they could indeed fit the bill! Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  2. That blue dress is so stunning! I love the sleeves and the lovely blue colour. You look like a disco princess in it!
    Dumpy McDumperson? Girl, please. I’ll crack the jokes. x

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