Wednesday 18 May 2011

Sew It - Red, White and Blue

I have been completely inspired lately by blogger's revamping of their vintage pieces to make them more individual and ultimately more wearable.One of these talented blogger's is Katie who blogs over at The Little Red Squirrel, her transformation of a so-so 80s dress into a stunning 50s dress, is just delightful! Also after reading Charlotte's blog post, on her wonderful revamped charity shop dress (click here to see it) I was inspired to take part in her 'Made Do and Mend Challenge'. 

I have an ever growing a pile of eBay and charity shop bargains which I've bought with the idea of playing around with to make them a better fit or to improve their style. So first on my revamp list was an eBay purchase won a few weeks ago. I thought it looked lovely in the pictures with its floral pattern and lovely pussy bow neckline and 70s does 40s styling and it does look cute, but only on Vera, when I put it on it was a different story, I felt more like it was wearing me than me wearing it!
Loved the bow collar but the thickness of the fabric meant it was suffocating!
I felt totally swamped by the bow which felt way to high and strangled by the button up to the neck collar. So I started by cutting off the ties that were on the collar.

Bye, bye bow
 This scared me a little but proved really quite simple due to the fabric being synthetic it didn't fray so I was able to chop off the straps tuck in the raw edges and leave a shirt collar!

Newly cut and folded collar.
The skirt was way too short for the 1940s look, a common problem on me being a bit on the lanky side! So I took down the hem and gained about an inch, I realised this was not quite going to cut it, so unpicked the now defunct neck ties and ironed them both flat, by some miracle, there was just enough to attach to the bottom of the skirt with two seams at the sides! This gave me 3 inches in total, just enough sit below my knee!!

Can you see the join?
Now though I loved the shape of the sleeves by they were just too tight on my chunky arms so I decided to unpick the stitching around the cuff to see if I could reduce the bulk, to my surprise it was all one piece folded back on itself so I could let it down for much more room! Not as 40s but at least wearable.

Also, I felt that with all that pattern going on it was too much and it needed breaking up with a solid colour somewhere on the body. So I went wild with some royal blue satin bias tape which I attached to the centre of the belt, around the newly shaped collar, cuffs and hem. I then swapped the cheap clear shirt buttons for 5 lovely royal blue buttons I found in the market for all of 10p.

So there it is. I think all in all I am really pleased with it, I can't wait to get the chance to wear it, hopefully if the weather is fair this weekend I'll be able to get some pictures of me in it, I have the perfect blue wedge shoes I bought an age ago in Sainsbury's which I think will go with it a treat!

Wendy x


  1. Wow, I'm really impressed by the transformation!

  2. I love what you've done with the dress, I bet it looks beautiful on! And thanks for the mention, that's so nice of you, I'm glad the make do and mend trend is spreading, revamping for all! :)

  3. It looks really lovely! I like how it looks in the before picture, but it looks even better after the transformation :)

  4. Amazing transformation! I have a couple of 80s does 50s pieces that just don't quite cut it.. I am inspired for some revamping! x

  5. That is so clever! Look fabulous x

  6. I love this!!! MUCH better than it was before - I love the blue satin round the edges of stuff - really makes it pop!

  7. Amazing job! I've got a lovely blouse with a high neck bow which I used to love but find myself wearing less and less now because it does sometimes feel a bit stifling. This is making me feel inspired to do a revamp of my own!

  8. Ooh - you're so clever! I must remember to try making things mroe wearable rather than just throwing them in the charity bin! Can't wait to see you in this pretty frock.

    Sarah xxx

  9. Love the fabric's print and what you did with it Wendy! :)
    Also thank you for the birthday wish, the lovely comment and the sweet encouragement....I shall definitely try the victory rolls again! :)
    -May xx

  10. Hiya
    I’m just sending out a quick message to let people know their Faith Hope and Charity Swapping partners. Days of spreedsheet fiddling I tell you, if this works it’s going on my CV! I won’t have access to a PC from Tues 31st until June 6th – so any questions will have to wait til I get back I’m afraid. I’m going to put up a quick post on the rules before I go, but for now you can check out your partner’s blog and start figuring out what they might like.
    Your swap partner is MissieLizzie at Me and My Shadow
    Thanks for playing along!