Thursday, May 7, 2015


I love shopping vintage as many of you know, there is the thrill of the find the treasure aspect of it that makes it so exciting. Recently I came across a diamond in the rough this tiger print full length dress. I instantly responded to the print and the richness of the colour so I purchased it along with a few other things from Take 2 markets which always offer up some goodness.
The amount of the garish print was overwhelmingly costume like although I think Florence Welsh might rock it, for my every day or night out I would have to work on this. 
The side seams were crooked and I suspect the previous owner had closed long side slits.
I had a vision it could look more like this, more current and wearable with staying true to some aspects of the original design.

Here is a sketch of the work required to take the basic sack like design to something that would suit my figure type.
I need fitted and a certain length or I quadruple in size, I am tall with square shoulders and can look large if I don't wear a fitted garment, so these are the steps I took to retro fit it.

I would recommend the following guidelines as I have learned the hard way...

  • Try the garment on with the heel height you intend to wear it with especially when deciding on the hem length.
  • Align the darts - measure measure measure. 
  • Always cut hems 6cm longer than required - if you cut it too short it is all over and you won't wear it. If you do happen to cut it too short you can use a facing but this becomes arduous and is no fun - I like immediate results.
  • Make alterations less than you think then keep taking in as required, if you are too aggressive with the alterations and unpicking is needed this is never ideal and can damage the garment.
  • Keep trying on and refining as you go.
  • Use good scissors invest in a large pair of tailors shears one smooth cut is brilliant and once you get use to the weight and size you can use the tips for fine cutting - you will thank me trust me.
  • Check your iron setting before you give the garment a final press - start with a cool iron, gone are the days of heavy pressing and be warned some synthetics melt onto the iron and this destroys your unique find and your iron - very ruining.
  • Keep offcuts.
Once you have tried the garment on a number of times and refined the fit and given it a final press you can head out in your unique find.
I love this dress and have made a video on my youtube channel about this project - hop over here give it a watch and subscribe! I think I will wear it with my tan boots and a fitted black jacket or cardigan for  work and some really clashy heels and accesories when I head out perhaps magenta or cobalt blue shoes. See you on the Retro side and thanks for reading!

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