Thrift Store Thursday: The First Impression Frock

September 23, 2010

I've really embraced a-lines recently. But I think I've been in a skirt rut. Lately, it's either a-line or pencil. Blah.

I found this navy swiss dot frock at the Community Aid store. I could tell it was a vintage dress. It had a weird label. But the neckline had a really cute bib and button cut and the swiss dot is so in that I knew this dress had some potential.
It was initially huge like a lot of vintage dresses I've found which is actually a good thing when you're changing something. In this case, less isn't more.

If you have a dress with no waist seam that looks blah, try this. I know it might seem frightening to attempt but cut right across the middle. Take the skirt piece and if it's too wide, gather it slightly and reattach it to the top. If the top is too big too make sure you fit it before you reattach it to the skirt. Maybe sandwich a cute contrasting piping detail in between the seams. Or if you're feeling really ambitious make a waistband to attach the top and skirt to and add piping to the seams like I did.

I made the length super short just because that's what I thought looked the cutest for this frock. Perhaps paired with yellow tights and ballet flats it would look even cuter.

28 {comments}:

Bird R. said... Best Blogger Tips

wow - what a transformation, I love it. I need to try some of these thrift store transformations.

BLONDEDESIGN said... Best Blogger Tips

All I can say is, it's now perfect! Kx

Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood said... Best Blogger Tips

this is one of the best dress re-cons i have ever seen...no lie!

Popbabe7 said... Best Blogger Tips

I just love what you did with this dress- I wouldn't do it because I know I would ruin it. I'm not as skilled as you!!

Brenbren said... Best Blogger Tips

Unbelievable! So, I was wondering if you would do a mini tutorial on how you made the bright red frock you wore in NYC. I Absolutely loved it!!!! I wanted to do one similar for myself.

skinimini said... Best Blogger Tips

That's amazing. I really admire your courage & vision! I could NEVER do that. Well, now that I've seen so many of your re-done thrift store finds, I just may have the guts to attempt something. I'll have to ask my mom to help me out... she's been taking sewing classes for 2 years now. ;)

Allyson said... Best Blogger Tips

Super cute!

Jane said... Best Blogger Tips

Ah, I have basically the same giant vintage dress right now! I got it from the Value Village hoping I could make it not smell like cigarettes/think of something to do with it. Thanks for inspiration! Mine has sleeves (with elastic at the wrists--yech), but other than that it looks exactly the same, with the bib and everything.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

Brenbren,
I draped it around a dress form, pinned, cut on the form and made a muslin pattern first. Then I used that muslin pattern to make the dress.

But I would like to do a tutorial on how to drape over a dress form.

I would like to add this to my pattern shop when I get it up. Hopefully someday soon. It's taking a lot longer than I had hoped.

Karin van D said... Best Blogger Tips

It's lovely. That colour is gorgeous by the way, and really cute in combination with the polkadots.

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips

I wish I had your eye for transformation potential!

Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

I do not know how you do these.

Anna Depew said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, what a clever remake! I'm currently remaking something vintage into something new too! It will be on my blog soon!
afewthreadsloose.blogspot.com

Erin said... Best Blogger Tips

That is adorable! I am just amazed at the way you can transform things. I can NEVER see the potential in something like you can! The most transforming I've been able to do is just fix the zipper and redo the hem.

verityclothing said... Best Blogger Tips

This so cute! Very nicely done.

Unfurled said... Best Blogger Tips

You've done so well there! It's transformed the dress and improved it a million percent. I'm so scared to try things like this, but next time I might@

missjulierae said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great transformation! I want to do this! So I have a few questions:

For the waistband, did you just cut a rectangular strip to fit the bodice piece? Or is making a waistband more complicated than that? Did you use interfacing on the waistband?

Mruna Mistry said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks quite horrible before!You've made it quite cute!

Hermione J. Schwartz said... Best Blogger Tips

That is impressive! I love that the original is just so blah, but had enough fabric to revamp with the piping at the waist.

I would love to have a tutorial of how to drape over a dress form. I am a dork and pause PR and On the Road with Austin and Santino to try to figure out what they are doing. It's strange because I used to do the same thing with college basketball games when I played in high school. =]

purl2tog said... Best Blogger Tips

i have been meaning to go thrifting and find treasures just like the dress you found! It looks so great. I hope I find something just as good.

Hanna said... Best Blogger Tips

this is so cute! I need to get braver at thrift stores. But seriously, in a small town it's all old lady polyestor.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

Hanna,
You might not be able to tell from the photos but this is totally OLD LADY POLYESTER! Funny huh.

Kaleidoscope Eyes 8 said... Best Blogger Tips

I LOVE it! It is amazing and sooo cute!

Katie said... Best Blogger Tips

oh em gee, that turned out perfectly! i know, it rhymed... but wow!

Kim said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so glad you said to cut right across the middle. I have a similar situation with a vintage dress. I was scared to just chop in half. Fingers crossed, I hope it works. Thanks for being an inspiration. I am a big fan.

Sew Country Chick said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea and this is totally a refashion! Not sure why you have a disclaimer!

Sew Country Chick said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea and this is totally a refashion! Not sure why you have a disclaimer!

Katya L. said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, I just found your blog and its all so amazing! You've been blessed with real talent! I was just wondering... where do you get the piping? Do you make it or do you buy it? If you make it then could you explain a little as to how to make it? If you buy it...then where? I happen to live in PA as well and I visit the Salvation Army every once in a while for sewing projects too (you inspired me to do so :) I hope you can answer soon. Thank You :)

 
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