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.
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.
When I found this dress it reminded me of a story that my dad likes to tell. Growing up, he had 5 brothers that all went to “country school” which was located in a small schoolhouse about a half a mile down the road. My guess is that half of the students were from the Carr family. Anyway, they had this mean teacher, Ms. Mabel Hotz. Good ole Mabel gave the Carr boys some trouble every now and again. (Now, I sort of imagine the Carr boys may have brought some of this trouble on themselves.) But one particular incident ended up with Ms. Mabel Hotz chasing one of the older boys around and around the schoolhouse with a broom as he rode his bike heckling her. My dad can’t tell this story without cracking up. I imagine that poor teacher to have been wearing a dress that looked about like this.
So this refashion is dedicated to you Ms. Holtz, you mean old bat!
That neckline that just doesn’t quit, those spectacular buttons all of the way up the back, and those sleeves… just long enough to be hideous, the whole thing was sort of a mess. I first thought that I would keep this dress maxi length but it was just too short for that. I chopped off over a foot of length and gave it a new hem. I decided that I would rather have the buttons in the front of the dress so I flipped it around. I gave it a new v-neck line that I felt gave it some desperately needed pa-zazz. I ripped the sleeves off then I took a little extra off in the shoulders. Finally, I gave the arms a new hem. I thought I was finished until I tried it on. It was still really frumpy. I took the shoulders up an inch or so and gave it a couple of bust darts and we were in good shape! Here’s to you Mabel!
Oh this dress… There is just so much of it. There’s a fun story about this dress, I see it EVERYWHERE, all of the time! Since doing this project I have come across this dress in at least four different thrift stores! Once I found them in a matching pair! I have a theory that involves some pretty fashionable 80’s twins…. Seriously everyone, please just take a second to think about my theoretical 80’s twins wearing these dresses. Thank you.
Anyway, I fell in love with this nautical nightmare mostly because of the buttons. There’s not a lot that gets me more excited than some charming buttons! (Yes, I know how cool that makes me sound.) Also, this dress has pockets. Cute buttons and pockets, I see why there are so many of them around!
First, I hacked off A LOT of fabric from the bottom and gave this little charmer a quick new hem. After that, those sleeves (probably my theoretical twins favorite part) met my seam ripper. Once the length and the sleeves were gone, things for this dress were looking up. It was still pretty big so I took the sides in quite a bit and finished off the sleeves with some white bias tape that I had laying around. I wish those 80’s twins could see it now!
I found this big-shouldered beauty at a local thrift shop for 69 cents. I was charmed by it for some reason. Maybe it was because of the very plunging neckline with the modesty collar that was included! Or it might have been the pockets, I do love pockets. It might have been the shoulder pads. For some reason I feel like shoulder pads just exude such an interesting confidence, not necessarily a good kind.
The brand was “Sweet Miranda” and all I could think was “No! Miranda No!” Think Michael Scott yelling “No. No. Noooooo.”
This dress actually needed more work that I originally thought. First I chopped about a foot of material from the bottom and gave her a new hem. Then I ripped out the modesty bib. (Side note, I’m keeping the modesty bib, it could come in so handy at our youth group someday!) There was a faux collar that was attached really well to the dress. I’ve never had such a difficult time ripping out a seam!
Once the collar was gone I removed the shoulder pads and just tucked it all back together, sewed in bust darts, and took in the sides a couple of inches. Then I removed the sleeves right at the seam. I put a quick hem in for the arms. And here we have our “Sweet Miranda” looking sweet again.