Thrift Store Thursday: The Twiggy Frock

August 26, 2010

I bought this dress last year right before I found out I was pregnant with Eloise. It was from Anthropologie but I bought it at Gabriel Brothers in Mechanicsburg, PA at their going out of business sale for $8. It is 100% silk and feels delicious.
I was in such a hurry and it was so cheap that I bought it without even trying it on. BIG MISTAKE. It was a size 0. But usually dresses are more forgiving in size than pants, especially empire waisted ones. But when I tried it on no matter how hard to squeezed and flattened I could NOT fit my bust into it. Not even close (see below).
So it sat in my closet for months and months....until this week. I didn't quite know how to make it work because the dress as you can see has a very specific pattern. I definitely didn't want to buy a solid colored material and sew it to the side in some sort of Frankenstein fashion, screaming to everyone that I bought the dress too small. So what to do? I know how to fix a dress that's too big, but too small is a completely different dilemma.

Then it came to me. If you have a dress that's too tight perhaps this might work for you too. I took a littttle bit from the bottom sides of the skirt (see below) and used that material to match up to the side of my dress. I ripped out the zipper on the left side and sewed on my new piece.  VOILA, new dress. It zips up but it is still quite tight. If I wanted to make it even looser I would have had to sew a new piece under the sleeve and I didn't have enough to do that. But it's wearable and that's what matters the most.

I also sewed up the front so that my clevage wasn't hanging out. If I was more flat chested I could have worn it no problem. Please don't roll your eyes, but I'll never understand why some people want a larger sized chest. It's brought me nothing but work and disappointment. I can't tell you all the delicate J.Crew cami's I've missed out on because of it. My sister who could probably have fit into this dress before I fixed it, has argued with me about this. It's funny how we envy each other for the opposite reasons.

Obviously I named this the Twiggy Frock because you'd have to be her size to wear it in its original state. Either that or a tweenager.


28 {comments}:

Beth said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, I'm glad you figured out a way to make it fit. It's a very pretty dress with a beautiful pattern.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said... Best Blogger Tips

Love the dress! And love that you "made it work" - so clever!

Tracie and Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips

I too would like a smaller bust to fit into adorable little cami's and dresses just like this one! Fortunately after nursing 2 children "the girls" are significantly smaller than they used to be but not anywhere near what I'd like them to be!

So glad to see there is a way to remedy these cute little dresses!

Chas said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow great work! I will have to give that a try sometime!

http://fromdenimtodessert.blogspot.com/

Amy said... Best Blogger Tips

I feel your pain on the bust size thing...I envy small chested women so much for the fashion possibilities! That dress is great. Good job on making it work for you!

Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a very small chest... the grass is ALWAYS greener...

The dress looks great!

strawberry_fields said... Best Blogger Tips

Looove the dress! And thank you for the alteration tips! Great job! : )

jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

Very clever!! What a good trick to have in my arsenal!

I hear you on the pitfalls of having a large bust. Normally I'm a B-C cup depending on my weight, but when I'm pregnant I swell up to big Ds and it's hell fitting into tops or not having major cleavage in everything.

dana said... Best Blogger Tips

very clever Kathleen. Love it. And yea, I'm on the smaller chest size and I have to agree that smaller is definitely easier. I'm sure your husband doesn't mind though! :) haah.

sjones said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Dana!
Yeah Iagree Ihate my big bust it makes things hard and lets face it, it makes me look bigger too.

Kymmie said... Best Blogger Tips

You are just too clever! The dress looks lovely.

I also have a large bust for my frame and could well do with using this little trick on half the dresses/tops in my closet!

Thanks for sharing.
x K

Sarah Seitz said... Best Blogger Tips

Kathleen - I must know! What type of dress form do you have? I love it!!

Sarahannseitz(at)gmail(dot)com
http://comeandseetheseitz.com

Christie said... Best Blogger Tips

I do roll my eyes;). It is funny to want what we don't have, either way! This is my favorite thrift store thursday so far. I love it!

Natalie said... Best Blogger Tips

Adorable dress! Wish I had your luck and could find some cute Anthro dresses at my local thrift shop. I have to say, I completely agree about the bust thing. Im a size 2 with a DD chest (ugh!). Finding any shirts/dresses is a complete pain for me. If it fits in the body, there's no way it's fitting in the chest. To top it off, Im 5'2, so then there's always a ton of fun with length as well! haha

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah,
I have a dritz adjustable dress form. I got it as a birthday gift a couple years ago from my father. I believe he bought it at JoAnn's.

Natalie said... Best Blogger Tips

Girl, I hear you on the bust issue! Story of my life. Especially when pregnant/nursing.. only makes matters worse! Thanks for a useful tip.

Aynna banahna said... Best Blogger Tips

Good work! That would be tricky to figure out. I can't even fathom it! But I'm not in any way a seamstress. Good job! And I used to be one of those flat chested girls who envied the bigger ones, but after having a baby and breastfeeding, I envy them none. I sometimes miss my little, perky breasts

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips

Great job! I'm always looking for ways to alter clothes. Often sales include those extra small sizes, now I won't have to pass them up...I'll have to try this trick!

Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

Genius! You are a genius!

What I Did Today said... Best Blogger Tips

Hahaha! I like your sense of humor! I'm a new follower. Great job with the dress. It looks great!

Anne said... Best Blogger Tips

genius girl, you deserve it! $8 I can't believe it :)

Popbabe7 said... Best Blogger Tips

I wish I'd seen that before! I made a dress a few months ago that was too tight on the chess and ended up cutting it in to a skirt.

Your blog is (as always) very inspiring.

Shay said... Best Blogger Tips

Super cute! Thank you I never would have thought about it! I am going to have to try that now! By the by, I use to live in Mechanicsburg! Still miss it! :)

Sheella said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea. I definitely hear you on e the big bust, ddd over here. I need to get everything altered.

v said... Best Blogger Tips

Very smart taking the fabric from the skirt. I would have tried to see how many cm's I could get out of adjusting all the seams which wouldn't have been enough. Very smart and looks amazing, you can't even tell. I would have thought it would be lop sided in the front it you didn't add the same amount on both sides. Well done!

Jo - To a Pretty Life said... Best Blogger Tips

You said: "I'll never understand why some people want a larger sized chest."

Hear, hear! I always joke about getting a breast reduction when I'm done having kids. Pretty sure my husband wouldn't let me though. Even when I was a tweenager, I hoped I wouldn't get bigger than a b-cup...here I am now at a D or DD. It's so much harder to get a nice-fitting top that doesn't make me look fat than it would be if I were smaller.

That said, now, after two kids, I'm actually starting to embrace my size.

I love your twiggy dress, and I am in awe of your genius in figuring out how to fix it.

Katie said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, I just found the most PERFECT vintage dress at the Salvation Army today and it is too small. I bought it anyways, but I was wondering if you could give more details on what you did to make your dress work. The zipper on this dress is up the back, and it has a very full skirt, if that helps any. Thanks so much!!!

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

@KatieI took a littttle bit from the bottom sides of the skirt, see last pic, and used that material to add to the opening around the zipper. I ripped out the zipper on the left side and sewed on my new piece then sewed the zipper back on again.

 
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