This dress is another Leslie Fay classic! Judging from the label I would date this dress around the late 80’s to very early 90’s.
This big guy had a lot going for it! The shoulder pads were huge! The sleeves weren’t a flattering length. The dress was pretty long and had some extra space in the top. I started by ripping the sleeves off. The shoulders were actually pleated so I ripped out the pleats. There was enough extra fabric from the sleeve pleats to be the perfect length for cap sleeves so I left them and gave each side a hem. Then I cut the dress in half right at the waist. The waist dropped far to low for my liking so I brought it up a little.
This dress has pleats in the skirt. If I trimmed length off of the bottom I would have to make sure all of the pleats stayed nice and neat to re-hem it. I have made that mistake before! Instead of trimming length off the bottom I took it off at the waist. This way the original hem stayed intact! I redid the elastic in the waist and put the pieces back together. I seriously considered replacing the buttons with something really bright but I decided just to pair the dress with obnoxious earrings and shoes instead. 😉
I bought this dress last summer.
I was having a really, really bad day. I had just started a new job a few months prior and it was going pretty well. On this really bad day I was laid off because of budget cuts. I called my husband sobbing, and saying that I had been fired. Very dramatic. Looking back it was a huge blessing from the Lord, but that day…not so much. Brian is such a good husband, he left work, picked me up, let me cry for a half hour, then took me antique shopping. He also agreed to any and every purchase that I wanted to make, after all I had just been “fired”!
I found this gorgeous mass of fabric at the Antique Warehouse in Saginaw. Normally I only pay $1 for my “treasures” but this one was $10. Like I said, I was having a really bad day so it had to come home with me.
It sat in my “to do” pile for a long time. It was really a challenge. There was no lining to the dress so it was completely see though. I sewed a very simple lining out of fabric that matched pretty closely. Because the dress was so big and the waist fell at my hips instead of my actual waist I had to rip the dress in two pieces. I took about 4 inches off of the top part of the dress and a lot more from the bottom. I sewed the pieces back together and tailored the dress on the sides for a better fit. I said goodbye to the sleeves and gave the arms a new hem.
That collar. I loved it. I hated it. I just couldn’t decide. Eventually I ripped the collar off and refashioned this smaller, less bib-like collar, and reattached it to the dress. Once I was finished with all of that I, I felt the dress was missing something. It needed a belt but didn’t have any that worked with it. I took the fabric left over from the bottom of the dress, ironed the pleats out of it and made a sash to tie around the dress.
One other side note about my really, really bad day: after antiquing, Brian took me to the movies to see the comedy Tammy with Melissa McCarthy. In the first scene she gets fired from her fast food job. Everyone in the theater was laughing hysterically. Not me. I was sobbing into my popcorn saying “I feel you girl, I feel you!”