Monday, March 19, 2012

Before and After: The Dress in the Tree

This weekend as I was enjoying an after work drink at the Box Social, a friend appeared with a wad of vintage fabric in her hands. As she sat down, she unfurled a nearly destroyed early 1960's cotton day dress. Apparently someone found it in a nearby tree and thought it had come from my shop. I saw it has a great opportunity to start a new feature on the blog, Before and After.

I'll take near-ruined dresses and other vintage clothing, and show you how I've made them wearable again! Sewing is a passion of mine, but clothing construction can be incredibly difficult. Mending, taking out stains, shortening a hem and other projects I can finish in an afternoon have become par for the course since starting the shop and I've found I really enjoy doing them and breathing new life into an old piece of clothing.



When I got home from the bar, I took a look at the condition of the dress. Luckily there weren't any stains, but the seams were ripped out under both the arms and along the waist. There was also a missing button-detail on the bust of the dress.




I ended up having to tear out an entire sleeve and re-sew the seam. I also put the pleats back in the skirt of the dress and re-enforced the zipper where it was getting weak. There was no fabric to cover another button and replace the missing one, so instead I took some vintage buttons from another dress instead and used those.

Remarkably, the dress is now in totally wearable condition. It's a super cute style and print and I think I'll put it in the shop this coming weekend! It would have been such a shame to let a garment that's over 50 years old head to the trash and now it's ready to wear.


  1. Gorgeous! You'd never know it had been so damaged. Goes to show, sometimes it just takes a little TLC.

  2. I think us vintage lovers see life in objects that others just can't. When I use a vintage piece in my home or add a vintage touch to an outfit, my friends are blown away. I'm so glad for my gift, and It's nice to know there are others out there who have (and use) this vision as well.

  3. Thanks Polly!
    I agree, Daizy Vintage, it feels terrific to breath new life into old treasures!