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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Drape myself in velvet: it's a dress

 It's what I would be wearing for New Years if I actually had a place for which to party.
Why yes; I will drape myself in velvet. George Costanza was so right, velvet is luxurious, fancy, even cozy. Especially when made in my favorite color, dark blue-green. Teal maybe?
That looks like an easy dress to work with, right? Got it back in October at Savers and couldn't wait to cut it/sew it up. Especially, when some of the little girls wore their favorite velvet frocks to school, looking all cute.
But-did you know that sewing velvet is quite difficult and requires some special sewing machine foot and patience? Go ahead and Google it, like I did. You'll make that face I'm making.
I had the dress, so I had to try. I figured I would keep the sewing to a minimal. Hem it up, maybe shorten the sleeves and hope for the best.
By the way, if you're sewing and your machine starts making unusual sounds; best to stop sewing and check it out. I did a lot of the hem with an ugly, tangled, knotted stitch.
Here's the result of taking off some length and shortening the sleeves. I'm sure the hem isn't 100% straight and I'm 100% ok with that. In this state, the dress looks fine, but I wanted to do better than that.
When I want to fancy up a boring bodice, I go to my old, easy trick that I've employed a hundred times.
The gathered bust. Pinch up a little fabric at the center of the neckline and pin, then hand sew into place. There's probably a more official way to do that with elastic and such, but let's not get in over our heads now.
As with so many (or all) of my dresses, I like to add a belt. Given the relative shapelessness of my garment, I would have to find a no-sew method for shapifying and embellishing it a little bit. So, I tried on 50 belts and sashes and none were satisfactory. Until the last one, of course. I liked this one:
It's a wide belt with yellow and silver stripes. You might notice the area where the belt seems to be stitched together. That's because this belt was intended as a hips belt from those low rise pants we did in early 2000's. Therefore, the belt was too long to fit my midsection and don't you hate when there's a bunch of slack hanging out from one side of the buckle? Clever me, I just cut some length from the middle of the belt and sewed it back together...
Yup, I did that instead of just MOVING THE DAMN BUCKLE! That would have been much easier and wouldn't have left me with a weird seam. Whatever, guys. Here's the final result, all staged with heels on and everything.
Oh, hi there. I'm just standing around all proud and shit because I have legitimately nailed this refash.

In this pic I'm all suspicious looking. I'm like, "I always feel like somebody's watching me..."
Here's another picture...
...and that's the last one. Oh, except the B and A.


  1. I like a lot. The idea with the bodice is as good as easy! and the arm lenght is super. I have some red and purple velvet vintage clothes, too and wondering what to make out of them :)

  2. Thank you for all your great comments! I really appreciate it. Sometimes, I'll be typing away and wondering if anyone will actually see the post. It's great to know that someone saw it and took the time to comment!