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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More of What I did on my Summer Vacation: Two Dress "Fixes"

I'm sure many thrift store addicts and fashion lovers can relate to that fear that you are becoming a hoarder. It makes perfect sense that in a time when I felt depressed, anxious, and insecure that I would do a little over-collecting. When I have no where to go and very little money, but still want to leave my apartment I know there are many thrift stores in my area where I can get a little endorphin rush from acquiring something kick-ass for a small amount of money. Apparently, I spent my summer hoarding dresses, many of them I even refashioned in an effort to be creative. Take this adorable little gingham thing:

Normally, I would not be a fan of that particular pattern since I am a New England, non suburban, grown-ass woman. But I loved the cinched waist, the gathered bust line, and halter straps. Also, it was $5.99. I wore it once to my night job at the jewelry counter at a retail store, but something was stopping me from loving this dress. I figured it out: the length.
Even though I am only 5 feet tall and like to look "hot" it seems I prefer dresses and skirts to come below the knee, especially in the summer when not wearing tights. One reason? I don't tan; I burn.
That's me after I went to Florida last summer. So, it's either lobster or ghost, those are my choices. Remember my theme about white birch trees? My white legs are like two white birches. Dress shorter than I would like? Solution- make it longer by adding more fabric.
Look! I had another thrift store dress in my closet that's too long! And the hems are about the same width! I measured with a ruler about 4 inches up all along the bottom of the black dress (I learned that you can't just cut across.) For some reason I didn't take pics, but can you all imagine me as I cut around the line I marked at the bottom of the black dress. I then turned the gingham dress inside out and pinned the black material in place.
I am not much of a seamstress and do most of my work like this with fabric glue, or that fabric fusing tape you iron on. But this was a lot of material, so I knew I would have to use my sister's sewing machine at our parents' house.
Like, I said, I can't sew well. I was pretty pleased with the results of this easy project:

Next summer dress project was fun and easy but had one serious issue. My boat dress (this one) was inspired by all the nautical dresses with adorable boat prints on sites like Modcloth. My inspiration:

can't get enough of things with boats on 'em

I had this blue and white striped cotton dress that I purchased in April/May that was just not "me." I don't remember why I bought it, so I figured I'd slap some stencils on it and see if it would come out nice.  My materials:
Dress, nautical stencil, tape, fabric markers and not pictured because it was an afterthought; fabric paint and a small paint brush.

Look, I even sketched it out beforehand! I don't normally take precautions. I also stayed hydrated with a glass of lemonade in the right of 1st pic. I stenciled the first boat using fabric markers and even with the stencil taped down, I had to trace slowly as I was dragging the fabric with my marker. I put one boat sailing off the left of the dress and then flipped my stencil over and put another boat sailing towards the dress's middle.
In all, I put four boats on the front and four on the back. That black marker was just not dark enough and was beginning to run out (goodnight, sweet marker) so I decided to squeeze out some shiny fabric paint and gently paint the black bottom part of the boat and the mast.

When finished, it looked really nice. Especially while laid out on the ironing board or hanging on a hanger. When tried on, I had a bit of a concern...
It seems as though someone had sneaked into my apartment, found this dress, and then made it smaller and really tight on me. That's what happened. That dress is too tight to be worn without some sort of control top hose underneath and I like to go with just one layer in the summer months.
Not bad, right? I put on some of those Spanx dealies for these. The small size, clingy fabric, and light color just combined to make me feel a little uncomfortable in this dress.

Tomorrow officially ends my summer because I go back to my job working with special needs children in their classrooms. Tomorrow is my first day of school and I'm so anxious to meet the new kindergarten, that I'm guessing I should take some sort of sleep aid to assure I catch some Z's.

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