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Topic: What could I do with this vintage dress?  (Read 2460 times)
Tags for this thread: vintage , upcycle , refashion  Add new tag
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« on: January 31, 2014 09:43:49 AM »

A while ago, a woman who works in my office gave me a bag of clothes to cut up and use for sewing projects. Amongst the standard men's shirts and wool sweaters, there was this vintage dress.

Its THIN, like cheesecloth, but in excellent condition. It isn't yellowed at all, and there are no holes. Putting it in the costume box is out of the question, because its tiny in the waist and ample in the bust. I'm really small, but can't get the eye hooks in the back to close over my waist.

Any ideas on how I could refashion it? What to cut up and save? Ideas on how to use the lace or bust embroidery? My sewing skills are intermediate. Any ideas are most appreciated! Or, any idea on what decade this is from?

« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014 01:36:05 PM »

That style of dress was really popular during the Edwardian era (anywhere from 1900 to WWI) so it's probably about 100 years old.  It's from the time when the wasp waist "Gibson girl" look was all the rage so there was probably some serious corsetry going on under there.

Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions about altering it, since my sewing skills are nowhere near the level needed to do that dress justice.  This style is popular among collectors, so if you decide not to do anything with it, finding it a new home would not be difficult.

(As someone who scours antique shops for similar dresses the thought of cutting up such a nice example pains me - but it is yours to do with as you will, especially if it was already in someone's scrap bin).

« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014 01:54:48 AM »

I agree with gaudiknight about both the period of the dress and the shame of taking it apart.  Sell it on eBay, or donate to a museum!   

But if you really want to use it instead, I would carefully remove the stitching that holds the waistband to the bodice, then experiment with pins and basting to turn the bodice into a lovely blouse.  If it's too short, add a band or two from the bottom of the skirt.  Maybe cut the neckline lower around the edge of the lace insertion.  Remove the sleeves and this would be a lovely, floaty, cool summer top with a great story behind it.  Or make it even longer for a floaty dress.

There's probably enough fabric in the skirt to make a second blouse; it might be fun to run the bands vertically.

FYI, the fabric is probably lawn, finely woven cotton very popular in those days.

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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014 10:00:19 AM »

I agree, cutting up a beautiful antique dress like this would be a terrible shame. This is a piece of history, and there are so few of these around in such perfect condition. You should get a non toxic box and non toxic tissue paper to wrap it and preserve it. Anything else could cause decay of the material over time.

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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014 03:00:43 PM »

Like others have said, it would hurt to see this cut up. It's in such good shape, which is pretty rare. If I was you I would sell it to a collector, and use the money to buy whatever new fabric you want.
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2014 03:30:32 AM »

You can minimize the length of the dress,Give a fitting to it and you can wear jacket on it with stilettos .It will look stunning Check out http://www.animationshops.com for more collection of dresses .
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014 10:22:07 AM »

God that's gorgy. I'm anti chemicals and. Plastic and whatnot. But in a heartbeat, I would liposuction all fat from my waist, add to what they tell me are my boobs and bammo. Lol. This is soooo lovely!

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