Monday, 17 June 2013

DIY long vintage dress to dip hem tunic

Thought I would share my latest dress transformation using a vintage St Michaels dress I found in a charity shop for £4. 
(Vans Authentics - Office, scrunchie- handmade)

I fell in love with the print and couldn't wait to make it shorter and more wearable. I thought I would do something different this time instead of just shortening it and cinching it in at the waist with a belt as I normally do with dresses like this. In my head I pictured a loose floaty smock/tunic style dress with a slightly longer hem at the back, that I could wear with lace cycling shorts and chunky heels. 

I started by getting rid of the elasticated waist which was stopping the dress from hanging loosely. This was hard at first as the elastic was sewn into the waist seam, so I had to make a new seam.
 I folded the dress over at the waist and sewed the whole way round just below the elastic. After this I could cut away the elastic and I was left with the flat, ungathered seam that I had created. I always overlock my seams and I sewed round this seam again just to strengthen it. 

This left me with waaayyyy more fabric than I had anticipated, and although I wanted it loose and floaty, it flared out like a tent, so I took it in at the sides. I did this by trying it on and feeling how much I wanted to lose each side. I then laid it out flat and pinned where i wanted to sew- I took out 2 inches from each side starting at the arm pit. This gave a much better fit whilst staying quite loose. 

Next I did the dip hem. I found the centre of the front of the dress and folded it down this central line and laid out. I then marked from the highest point at the front (try on and mark this first) and the lowest point at the back. Then i drew a sweeping line in between them to join them up. 
I then pinned the fabric up to this line and tried on. Once I was happy with the shape I overlocked and hemmed this edge. Overlocking makes the hem so much easier to turn on floaty thin fabrics like this.  I had a nightmare with this part because I stupidly started sewing next to a vase of flowers, managed to get the fabric caught round it and spilt the water all over the dress, my machine, the floor and myself. Far from ideal and I won't be making that mistake again!

Lastly I decided to do cut out sleeves. I laid the dress out flat and then measured 1.5 inches from the end of the sleeve and then cut a straight line right up to the shoulder seam. I then repeated on the other side and hemmed both. I just thought that added a bit more interest to the dress. 
And here is how I would wear it:
dress - vintage St Michaels 
leather bag - vintage
shoes - ebay 
lace cycling shorts - ebay
watch - Marc by Marc Jacobs
name necklace - ebay
lips- MUA lip liner in Red Drama and Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang 
What do you guys think? It was nice to do something different with a vintage dress and I particularly like the fact I can wear my new lace cycling shorts! Also I'm in love with this new vintage bag. Its the softest leather and cost just over a fiver from a charity shop. 

I am feeling very inspired lately after I went to the De Montfort uni open day in Leicester on Saturday. We visited the degree show and it was incredible. The standard of work was so high and it made me so excited for the future rather than scared and full of self doubt which is the effect some open days have had on me before. I'm trying to decide between a course like textiles for fashion, fashion fabrics and accessories or contour fashion (swimwear, underwear, corsetry). The contour fashion exhibition impressed me the most but I'm unsure whether that would be a good degree choice for me. I'm rubbish at small intricate things that need lots of little components and take lots of time. Oh well I still have a year at college to decide what I want to do. I'm absolutely distraught I will be a mature student by the time I get back to uni though. Oh life. 

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P.s. This is my last post with ombre hair. I just can't make myself like it. Its a nightmare to make my hair look nice when its bleached. I'm going to go a light natural brown so there's still a bit of a lightening effect towards the ends. My hair is trashed I need a good 3 inches off the ends wahhh girl problems. 

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