Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bark Ball Dress Refashion

Here is a dress that I've owned for several years. Originally, the sides were completely open and only held together by corset lacing from armpit to mid-thigh. When I wore it, I felt like a teenager trying to show too much skin at the Homecoming dance.

For the sake of my modesty (but to the detriment of the dress' dramatic impact), I sewed a white ribbon into the sides.

However, after one wear, I wasn't happy with the effect. I tried a couple of times to sell the modified dress on eBay with no luck, so, rather than cut my losses, I modified it again!

What? No pictures!? Sorry, I was so focused on finishing this project that I neglected to document it.

I picked out the side seams, removed all the side lacing and all the loops it was threaded through, then sewed the sides back together. There were two layers to this dress, so I sewed together the open seams of the liner layer; then I did the same with the outer layer. 
I left the slits at approximately knee-height. The way the sides came together at this point looked a little strained, so I covered the join by attaching long dangling bows at the top of each slit, made from the original side lacing.

Now the dress felt a little more modest and classy, but something about the top half dated it by about a decade. Beading is timeless, but this round neck with spaghetti straps is just something you don't see much these days.

I decided that the best way to bring this dress into the 2010s would be to give it a V-neck, but cutting into the neckline would disturb the pattern of the beads and just wouldn't work with the existing curvature.

I experimented with pinching the neckline into a V with my fingers and found it surprisingly cute! So what to use to make the alteration hands-free? Well in the end, I took the simple route and just used a safety pin. One of my many mottos:

Style Tip Never make a permanent alteration if you can get by with a reversible one!
Here's how the neckline looks from the outside now.

Thusly finished, I wore my new creation to the Bark Ball, DC's "only black tie event where your furry friends are invited!"
Me, Al, and two furry friends in our official photograph!

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