Wednesday, March 2, 2011


My mother should know better than to mention vintage dresses available for my use at eleven thirty on a Wednesday night....

Ohhh yeah

I've heard a lot about this dress--it's one of the favorites that my mother ever wore. We were talking about it this evening (for some reason? Tafetta came up?) and she mentioned, even though I was already making a prom dress, that she and the other bridesmaids who wore this at a wedding had picked out the dress thinking of what it could be used for in the future. 

It is a beautiful dress, and was especially in the eighties--it's a lovely iridescent blue with a triangley waist and a very full skirt. The bodice fits me perfectly. The sleeves, as you can see, are a little ridiculous...but I was given permission to fix them.

Time for an all night sewing fest.

(But first, a bit of irony. Yesterday we recieved the invitation for the second marriage of the man whose first wedding my mom wore this dress too...what? Crazy coincidence.)

Anyways, luckily, the ridiculous sleeves were already on their way out.
That is, indeed, my beautifully manicured thumb...
Pretty much all I had to do was take my handy dandy seam ripper and take those babies off. It was quite nervewracking, taking a seam ripper to a dress that was at one time very expensive...but I did it. For a good cause. My mom gave me permission (though I do worry she will regret it come morning...)

Even more luck came my way regarding the sleeves!

Remember those ridiculous bows on the side? Perhaps you didn't notice. Let me refresh your memory:

Fortunately! They were just strips of fabric sewn on rather flimsily, and I was, again, with the help of my handy dandy seam ripper, able to remove them and turn them into..straps!!

Now, I may take of the bottom, non poofy part of the sleeves and attach them, because I love the idea of a prom dress with sleeves, especially for a girl my size. If you google "prom dress with sleeves," there are approximately .5 results, and any results you do find are only at plus size stores, because apparently the only reason not to expose as much of your skin is possible is if you don't fit societally laudable weight standards...

...Anyways!! Here's the result of my evening labor:
C'est bonne? I like it, it makes me feel very Victorian and elegant. The whole thing needs a little ironing, and I need to find the right sized crioline to put under it, but I think it's a go for prom, aka the only excuse in most people's lives to wear a formal gown besides a wedding. The dress I was making was sophisticated, but not quite over-the-top enough for prom. There's a certain amount of leeway you get as an eighteen year old at an outdated, stereotypical, coming-of-age formal, and I would like to take full advantage of that by wearing a beautiful, but slightly satirical, poofy iridescent dress. Also, my presumed date and I will have been dating for three years at that point, so it's not as if I'm trying to woo anyone...meaning, I can basically wear whatever I want. Nobody to impress here. I will save the classy, red-carpet-esque dresses for professional formals and dinners where I need to make a good impression on potential employers or something. Prom is an opportunity to be a little bit ridiculous. 

Opinions on the gown, s'il vous plait....

Warning: Here are some pictures of me modeling a taffeta sleeve from the eighties as a silly hat.

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