March 20, 2009

Challenge is the word!



When I decided to commit to the wardrobe refashion challenge, I had a few question marks but decided that I could manage.  I forgot one important factor - the black tie gala at the Met that was right around the corner...  I didn't buy a dress in advance, the re-fashion challenge began, and I was without a plan.

I had lots of ideas floating around, but as of the day before the event I still hadn't done any actual work (or even any actual prep!)  In a moment of desperation I ran to the storage unit where I keep all my vintage goodies to find a back up dress, but alas I had lost my key so I couldn't get in ~ Serious.  

By the time I got home from the storage unit I was 26 hours away from the event and had to get to work!

Since I had neglected to give this any forethought, and since fabric and notion stores were closed for the evening, I had to make something with whatever fabric I had on hand.  I also realized about this time that I didn't have any zippers, snaps, or closures of any kind.  Thing
s were getting interesting...  

Luckily I found one length of olive green lace with a nice weight to it, so I decided to cut a circle skirt based on a pattern that I made up a few years ago.  It is basically like an elongated version of the skirts that ballerinas often wear during class or rehearsals, and it wraps so I wouldn't have to worry about a zipper! 


The lace wasn't wide enough to make a full length skirt, so I found a rich fuchsia china silk to use for a lining and additional length.  



The skirt was the easy part!

Having used up all of the lace and fuchsia silk on the skirt, I found a complimentary teal china silk that I draped and gathered to create an off the shoulder top with some gathers at one side.  This was the most difficult part - I would put it on and try to pin the fabric into place as I was wearing it, then take it off and sew it together.  It would have been a really good time to own a dress form...

After a looooong trial and error process I managed to pull together a pretty decent shape for the top.  At this point the side seams were still just based together, so I decided it was time to break out the sewing machine ~ this was the first time I used it.

What I had at this point were two pieces that looked pretty nice on their own, but didn't really go together in any way.  I found some really pretty fuchsia vintage beads and stitched them into the gathers of the top along with some vintage crystals.  


Then I added a lace wrap to the off the shoulder bit and a scrap of fuchsia silk to the gathers as well.


Since I was still closing the skirt with a safety pin when I showed my boy the progress, he suggested making something that would tie the teal of the top into the skirt, so I made a brooch out of the few remaining scraps of silk and vintage beads.  It did the job perfectly!

The Gala came and went, and the dress was a big success!  Although the process was a bit stressful, in retrospect I am really glad that I stepped up to the challenge and made it myself.  I can't wait for another opportunity to wear it out!
Jennifer
joyella.etsy.com    

6 comments:

cakehouse said...

gorgeous! i'm thoroughly impressed, especially since it was done under pressure.

Karina said...

This is really beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Coqui Ainjelfire said...

It came out wonderfully! I can't believe you made that in under 26 hours!

Luck(x8) said...

This is beautiful!

Chelsea said...

I bow before you! Beautiful.

Karen's Monsters said...

What a beautiful dress!