You may remember this skirt from the recent clothes swap. The fabric had nice weight/drape and lovely little polka dots, of course. However, I didn't find the two-tier style or the mid-shin length to be very flattering on me.
I also pulled out this off-white lace tee that's been in the refashion closet long enough I can't recall its origins. (I'm thinking Goodwill, but I can't be sure.) Anyhow, it was too large and a bit a boring, and the layers had clearly shrunken unevenly with laundering since the lining peeked out below the bottom hem of the lace. But the unlined sleeves/shoulders and the keyhole front with a little pearly button were really cute details.
To get started, I took in the sides of the top to fit, using a straight stitch. Then once I trimmed the excess fabric, I followed it up with a zig-zag stitch in lieu of serging. (Tangent: I saw a serger at a thrift shop the other day, but another lady got to it before I could. Drat!)
Next, I cut off the bottom half of the lace shirt and the top tier of the skirt. I left about an inch of the top tier attached since that kept the bottom tier's fabric conveniently gathered for me already.
I stuck the inside-out shirt into the right-side-out skirt, pinned them together, then zig-zagged to maintain stretchability. This means the wrong sides of the fabrics were together, making the ugly seam stick out on the outside of the dress. I know it seems weird - just stick with me a for a minute.
I grabbed a piece of 2-inch elastic that was the perfect length to fit my waist snugly (I think it was salvaged from a cut-up skirt, so that would make sense), and I zig-zagged the ends together to form a loop. Then the elastic loop went around the almost-complete dress, covering the outward-facing seam, and I zig-zagged around the top and bottom edges. Now the raw edges of the seam are hidden under the elastic and inside of the dress won't have an itchy seam right across my belly.
The resulting dress had a bit of a 1940s vibe, I thought, so I pulled out my grandmother's pearl necklace and bracelet.
The elastic waistband was covered by my woven leather belt, but I'm thinking my wide black elastic belt could give the outfit a completely different look.
And can we talk about how awesome these shoes are? These ivory satin t-straps heels have genuine freshwater pearls stitched on the straps, as well as inlaid around the sole! Googling the brand name only led me to this one article on FashionLedge.com, from July 2007 if I'm interpreting the URL correctly. So they're certainly not as vintage as they were made to appear, but that's okay. I scored these babies for just $6 at the thrift shop just down the street! The leather sole had come unglued on one of them, but a little E6000 made that an easy fix! I love to think about the woman who wore these for her wedding originally, about the gorgeous gown she must have worn them with, and about how beautiful she felt on the happiest day of her life.
And there you have it - from too big and too frumpy to too cute together!