A couple of months ago, I picked up this vintage dress from a thrift store for $1. $1! How could I say no? It's 100% silk, and such a pretty colour. It was designed by Nora Noh, who was apparently Korea's first female fashion designer!
The dress had a few problems, as far as I could see. Firstly, it was completely shapeless. The only reason it has any shape at all in this photo is because I have my hands on my hips. Dropped waists are so unflattering (at least on me!) Secondly, the shoulder pads. So not a fan. Thirdly, the arms were really tight on me. And lastly, it was a really awkward, long length on me. Please excuse the mess and lank hair in this photo, I was really keen to get started and it was dark outside and I was already in my pajamas
So, I snipped out the shoulder pads, carefully
unpicked and removed the sleeves, and restitched the armholes, and unpicked the whole drawstring waist thingy. I was worried that I would have to cut the dress in half at the drawstring point, but it turns out the whole thing could be completely unpicked and removed without any damage to the dress, except one tiny hole where the drawstring ties went through. I put the dress on inside-out and marked my waist, then sewed a length of elastic on the inside of the dress to match the marks. Finally, I cut off a good 5 inches of fabric from the bottom of the dress and sewed a new hem. I got a lot of conflicting info when I tried to research what kind of hem I should use (blind? hand-rolled?) so I ended up just doing a normal narrow hem and it looked fine to me.
I love the end result - it's light and flowy, flattering to my shape and perfect for summer!