Dresses

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
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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!

 

Dresses

“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

Dresses

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

scarf

The Bed Sheet Dress

I’m not even joking, this dress is the same exact pattern and color of our bed sheets. I’m guessing it even has the same thread count but I can’t be sure.

scarf before-100I buy some pieces because I really see a lot of potential in them. Other dresses end up coming home with me because I don’t have a enough self control. This dress fell into the latter category for sure. I really didn’t know what I would do with it. I decided on a skirt so I separated the top from the bottom. After trying on the skirt and seeing what it would look like I decided that wasn’t a good idea either. It was just really “blah.” I was really afraid that this dress was going to end up in my scrap pile, never to be heard from again!

I wasn’t ready to give up on the bed-sheet-beauty yet so I took the skirt portion of the dress and separated the front of the skirt from the back. I was left with two large rectangles of fabric, perfect for an infinity scarf! I sewed the two pieces together to make a long skinny rectangle. Then I folded the rectangle to from a tube of fabric and sew that. Lastly, I closed up the two ends and sewed them together! I was really happy with the way it turned out… Much happier than just throwing it in the scrap pile!

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Dresses, Skirts

Fuchsia Dream

Sometimes I wonder where the inventor of the bedazzler got their inspiration. Then I realize that most likely, it was from this sequined fuchsia dream!fushia dream before-102

I truly believe there are enough beads and sequins on this dress to outfit an entire preschool tap dance troop with some to spare. I have hoped to find something like this for a long time! I have found dresses similar to this at thrift stores but they are always strangely expensive. Usually they are on the formalwear rack with prom dresses from the early 2000’s and they are like $20. I never pay that much for one of my treasures! I scored this abundance of beads for $1. What a steal!

Even though I have been hoping for a project like this for a while, it was a real pain. When I would cut the fabric beads would fly everywhere and my sewing machine death glared at me when I brought this anywhere near it! I was under the weather and was on bed rest a few weeks ago. Brian refused to set up my sewing machine on my night stand because he said that doesn’t count as resting. Then I remembered that I had this project that needed to be done by hand! It was great because I was able to make this awesome skirt and I got back at Brian by brushing the extra beads on his side of the bed;)I was really happy with the way this turned out! This piece is definitely not something that I would wear often… My style is obviously much more grandmotherly than this project turned out to be but I was happy with the finished product anyway! fushia dream after-105fushia dream after-101 fushia dream after-104

Shorts

Pink Shorts Outfit

Good golly. What a find. pink shorts before-106

I can’t pin point what the best part of this outfit is… Maybe because there isn’t a best part. I did like the eyelet lace trim a lot though and saw some potential with it.

I put this outfit on for my “before” set of pictures and Brian was beside himself… I think it was because this outfit is almost offensively ugly.  My biggest question remains, do you think the previous owner wore the shirt tucked into the shorts or left it all untucked and carefree? My hope is untucked.

This refashion was pretty straight forward. I knew I could save the shorts they just need to be taken up in the length and more importantly down in the waist. So I detached the eyelet lace detail at the bottom and trimmed off some length then reattached the eyelet lace. Then I took off the waistband and cut off a couple of inches of fabric then reattached the waistband. The shorts needed a few other small adjustments here and there but otherwise it was pretty simple! I don’t know what will come of the shirt that came with this outfit but it’s in my scrap pile for now and its sure to see another day! pink shorts after-100pink shorts after-103pink shorts after-101

Dresses, Skirts

Barney Inspired Dress

I love this dress, this dress loves me, we’re a happy family, with a great big hug and a….

Purple. And. Green.

Barney Floral Before-100As a child of the 90’s it’s hard to see those color’s together and not think of our old pal the singing, dancing, dinosaur Barney.

This is one of those projects that even after I’m done with it, I’m still not sure if it’s a home run, but it is super comfortable! As I am transitioning from my mid to my late twenties… comfort just keeps getting more and more important! So because of it’s high comfort level, you get to see it today!

I decided to make a skirt out of the dress because the print is so bold, I thought I could tame it down a little. I cut the top portion of the dress off about an inch above the elastic. I used that inch to finish off the edge around the top of the skirt. Then I trimmed off the extra length and gave it a new hem. In total this project took less than 30 minutes which wasn’t too bad for how comfortable it is!

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Dresses

Drapes in a Former Life

This little treasure was a fun one to work on! I found it at one of my favorite thrift shops for less than a dollar. It had been sitting in my “to do” pile for a while when I was trying to decide what I would wear to film a wedding in the next day. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a dress that is comfortable to shoot a wedding in! I decided that I would fix this bad boy up to wear!

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My husband, Brian and I currently share a very cozy workspace. It works just fine when we are both editing photos at our computers but when I start laying a dress on the floor to work on, it gets a bit crowded. Anyway, Brian was editing photos when I started working on this dress and he looked down at it and said, “I’m pretty sure that is made out of curtains.” Then he went back to work and left me with my drapery dress.

I cut off the sleeves and gave them a new hem. The waist fell too low so I cut the dress in half and trimmed a few inches from the top portion. I sewed the pieces back together. I kept the original elastic in dress and just stretched it as I sewed. I took off a few inches from the bottom and gave it a new hem. Lastly, I took in the sides just a tiny bit for a better fit.

black and gold stripe after-105black and gold stripe after-104black and gold stripe after-101It worked perfectly for the wedding that we were filming and I’m sure many more of our wedding clients will see this dress make an appearance at their big day!

Dresses

Mole Woman Dress

So I have a confession. My Husband and I love to watch Netfix. Like a lot of Netflix. I think the term “binge watching” would apply. When the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt aired on Netflix we finished every episode in a few days.

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Then I found this dress. Mole woman (with stripes) for sure! I couldn’t wait to get home and hack it all apart!

I started with chopping off a bit of length and giving it a new hem… But somehow I chopped off too much. When I tried it on again it was way too short. I had left a couple inches in my hem, thankfully. I ripped out my hem that I had just put in and sewed a much more narrow one. Whew, back to a semi appropriate length!

Next I took the sides in a few inches in the top for a better fit. Then I chopped of the arms and a little of the shoulders. Those got a nice new seam. Lastly, I had to fix those saggy armpits. Any time I take in the sides of a top I know I will need to add in a couple of bust darts so the piece will fit. Even with the mess up with the hem this dress was a quick one! I think Kimmy Schmidt would be proud.

mole woman edited after-102mole woman edited before-101