Thursday, July 5, 2012

a lot of dress

When I was a little girl my mom gave me some of her old bridesmaid dresses to play dress-up in.  I loved those dresses!  There were a couple of pink ones, including one with a weird train, and a green taffeta dress that I probably would have liked to wear as an adult.  I've only ever been a bridesmaid once and my dress is a little different from my mom's bridesmaid dresses of the 60s and 70s; heck, it's pretty different from bridesmaid dresses of any modern era!
There are a lot of jokes that could be made about the bridesmaid not "upstaging the bride" in this dress, but despite the dress' prairie-like appearance, it wasn't that bad.  My friend was in the throes of a lengthy hippie phase and the dress had to accommodate a wide range of body types.  All of our dresses were handmade and my mom made mine.  We unearthed the dress while cleaning out a closet and I feel ready to put my Project Runway skills to the test by transforming it into something a little more modern and wearable. 

I haven't completely worked out what I want to do with the dress, but for sure, I'm taking off the sleeves:
And I am definitely removing the exterior "wings" of the dress.  I think the wings were supposed to be a "figure flatterer" for plus size women and spices up what would otherwise be a dull pattern, but frankly I think it just adds a lot of extra fabric where it shouldn't be. 
There are about 5 yards of fabric that went into this dress so there's a lot to work with.  I was thinking of making something shorter and flirtier, like the dress on the right of this Simplicity/Project Runway pattern:
(Source: Simplicity Pattern 2588

Normally I'd be freaking out about taking something like this apart but I feel pretty calm about the project. In all honestly, while I think the fabric pattern is ok, I don't love it so if whatever I do doesn't work out and is unwearable, it will be a great learning experience.  Secondly, there is so much fabric in this dress (and we found a small bag of 1-2 more yards of scrap) that even if I massively screw something up, there's more than enough fabric to fix the problem :-)

The front of the dress in all its glory:
 View of the back:

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