Monthly Archives

October 2015


The Princess Diana Dress

There was a week this past summer when I was pretty under the weather. I stayed in bed and did a little hand sewing but mostly I watched Netflix. Seriously, what did people do when they were sick before Netflix? This same week I discovered that Netflix had aired an original short series about The British Royal Family. The show was put together like one of those weird documentary shows that you would watch in high school when you had a substitute teacher. They showed tons of interviews with people that seemed to be fairly obsessed with the royal family and had titles like “Royal Family Enthusiast” and “Royal Baby Diaper Deliverer”. It was pretty terrible. Naturally, I highly recommend it. The reason that I bring this up is that during one of the episodes there was a little clip of Princess Diana wearing a dress almost exactly like this one! And embarrassingly enough, seeing that was the highlight of my sad, sick little day and I am now admitting that to the internet.princess diana before-100

I had bought this dress a few weeks before the Netflix sighting and had no idea what I would do with it. Once I saw that it was basically a royal dress I had to a least try! I couldn’t think of a way to save the pocket square so I removed that and the faux pocket that it was attached to. I was thankful that the pocket came off so easily and didn’t leave a trace. I removed the shoulders and took off the sleeves and gave them a new hem. I also removed the white piece in the front. I can’t begin to imagine what that piece is actually called! I tacked the two top pieces back together so that it closed nicely at the top. Then I shortened the dress slightly and called it a day. I was still pretty unsure about it until I paired it with a sweater. The sweater really tamed down the pattern.princess diana after-104princess diana after-100
princess diana after-103

Bonus information that you’re dying to hear: Brian’s younger sister Emily was over while Brian and her Fiancé were playing Mario Kart. I was showing her some of the dresses I had done recently and I picked this one up and said, “This one is Princess Diana’s Dress.” She looked at me, horrified and said, “You cut up Princess Diana’s dress?!?!” So I just want to be clear this dress did not actually belong to Lady Di, that I know of! I promise I wouldn’t cut up an actual “Royal Dress.”

Dresses, Shirts

Green Shirt Dress

Brian and I were on our way to a wedding when I found this little gem. As wedding photographers, it’s rare that we have a Saturday off so we try to make the most of the other days of the week! (Let me tell you, as rough as getting up early on Saturdays can be, lazy Tuesday mornings help out a lot!) If we have a wedding that is out of town we try to make a mini vacation out of it and travel the day before and squeeze in some sort of adventure. Brian’s idea of adventure usually consists of eating somewhere new that claims to have that city’s best burger or biggest ice-cream sundae. My idea of adventure is tracking down an untapped thrift store full of clothing just begging to be refashioned!

On this particular day, Brian found the perfect combo! A Salvation Army next door to a Philly cheesesteak restaurant. Talk about a win-win! Now, if you watch The Office as much as Brian and I do, you know that a win-win-win is actually better that just a win-win., but we were pretty satisfied.

green t shirt before-101This green dress was only a dollar and is made out of a really nice jersey knit. It’s very comfortable! I thought about keeping it a dress but it turns out that I have a lot of dresses in my closet already! So I thought a simple tee shirt would be more practical! The dress itself was a little big as a dress but once I chopped off the bottom it seemed to be the right fit for an oversized shirt. I traced a shirt that I already owned and made it a little shorter in the front and a little longer in the back… I didn’t realize it until the exact moment when I typed that, but I apparently gave this shirt a mullet hair cut.

I also trimmed the sleeves and rolled them up and tacked them into place. I didn’t give the bottom of the shirt a hem. I could have but I really the loved the way the bottom of that fabric rolled up and because it’s a knit fabric it won’t start to unravel or fray. green shirt after-102green shirt after-106green shirt after-104

I can’t stop wearing this shirt because it’s so comfortable!



“The Rachel” from Friends

The dress reminds me so much of something Rachel from Friends would have worn at the Central Perk. When I saw it at the thrift store I knew it must come with me! The only problem was that it was awkwardly on a mannequin. Apparently the thrift store workers also identified this one as a real treasure. Brian was with me when I decided that I must have it. He discouraged me from undressing the mannequin at a thrift store… because apparently “it’s super weird.”the rachel before-100

So naturally, I wrestled with the poor mannequin. Her wig was not attached to her head which was unexpected. Her arms were also not attached which was also unexpected… So not only did I disrobe this poor mannequin’s I also broke her arms off and she lost her hair. It wasn’t my finest moment, or the mannequin’s for that matter but it was totally worth it!

First, I chopped off the collar and hemmed the seam that I cut. Then I removed some length from the bottom of the dress and gave that a new hem. This dress was pretty tight on me especially in the bust of the dress. I moved the buttons out about a quarter of an inch to get a little more room. I also let the side seams out about a quarter of an inch. There wasn’t any room to let it out any more but that’s okay because it gave me just enough space for a decent fit! the racheal  after-101the racheal  after-100 the racheal  after-102


Are Those Panda Bears? Dress

Are those panda bears or flowers? It’s a question man has been asking itself since the dawn of time… or maybe just since this dress was made. The answer is still not definitive. Just when I’m sure they are flowers, I catch an upside-down panda staring at me.

red and black pand closeup print-100red and black panda -100Either way, flowers or pandas, I really liked this dress! I knew I would need to shorten it some and take it in a little. When I take in a dress I like to put it on my dress form to get the correct measurements. When I shorten a dress I like to actually put it on myself and see where I want the length to be. When I was working on this dress I was wearing a pair of yoga pants and I was too lazy to take them off. I measured where I wanted the length to be and was on my merry little way. Later when I actually tried the dress on it was shorter than I had expected! Apparently it’s difficult to get the measurements correct with yoga pants on. Lesson learned. I can just hear my grandma saying “measure twice, cut once.” Sorry Grandma June!!  But the dress wasn’t impossibly short, just shorter than I prefer so I kept going with it. The waist needed to come up a couple of inches and the sides needed to come in just a touch!

I assumed that I would remove the collar but it really grew on me. I feel like it adds so much charm that I just couldn’t part with it! The dress came with a fabric sash/belt that I didn’t love so that is hanging out in my scrap pile for now. Who knows what will become of it! There you have it, a panda printed dress ready to be worn again! red and black panda -103 red and black panda after-102 red and black panda after-104