Any excuse for a new dress

So our 6th anniversary was at the beginning of February and I decided that this was the perfect excuse for a new fancy dress. But I was away for work and then I got ill so on our anniversary I didn’t even get out of my pajamas. I decided that as we missed our anniversary and Valentines Day isn’t really our thing, we’d have a fancy night out at the end of February. I know I have a closet full of dresses  but any excuse for a new dress right? Except I hit a creative brick wall. I couldn’t think of a style or fabric or anything I wanted.

So I started rummaging round the closet and pulled out an dress that I haven’t worn in years: Vogue V8667 version D. I love the fabric and somehow the collar makes the dress feel extra fancy. But here’s the thing its too small, the skirt lining is all wonky and the zipper is broken. Well perfect repair shop material eh?

Tiny tear near zipper teeth

1st I ripped out the zipper which had a tiny little tear right near the zipper teeth – the zipper would get stuck in when I tried to do it up. I discovered that I had quite a bit of excess fabric hidden away here – enough I figured to give myself that extra breathing room I needed.

2nd I unpicked the center back seam on the skirt. Again there is quite a bit of excess fabric, the only problem will be that obviously at the bottom of my zipper and above the skirt vent I had clipped the seam allowance so I could press the seam open. As carefully as possible I stitched this up – hopefully when its all done, these stitches wont be so noticeable.

3rd I unpicked the skirt hem and lining hem. For  some unfathomable reason I used a zig-zag stitch to hem the lining. Bizarre. I also unpicked the stitching that joined the skirt to the bodice on the back until just after the side seams. That way I could take out the side seams of the lining a tiny bit. Lining side seams resewn I then rejoined the skirt to the bodice and hand stitched the bodice lining to the waist seam.

Now that this was all done I could quite clearly see the the skirt lining was simply too small for the skirt – it didn’t reach the centre back on one side of the skirt. Yet before I had taken it all apart it had been sewn along the centre back skirt. No wonder the skirt was too tight and fell funny.

4th having established that skirt lining was just too small I decided to first finish the edge of the lining which was fraying faster that I could think. Then  I decided to make a few tiny little hand stitches to secure the lining to the skirt near the centre back (as it simply wasn’t going to get sewn into the zipper).

5th I  pinned the lining and skirt together on the side seams – half way down and let it hang over night to make sure when I came to hem it, it had the help of gravity to ensure it was hanging in the right place. It also gave me a chance to go get myself a new zipper.

6th after redoing the zipper and back seam I was quite pleased that I could use the selvage on the vent. I thought it looked quite neat until I was actually wearing (as you’ll see below). Then I used my wonderful new blindstitch presser foot to do a blind hem. Wonders of wonders! And last but not least I re-did the centre back of the collar.

Now is the time for judgement.The zipper does up, but it isn’t a  very good quality zipper and my placement of it leaves a little to be desired. But it fits better and the skirt hangs much nicer. What is noticeable now that I can actually do the zipper up, is that there’s something funny going on with the top of the bodice. I think perhaps its a wee small across the apex of my bust but too big above – as as result it feels like I’ve got some rectangle book going on.  But I think the bird print help hide this.And  lets face it as the the only way to rectify this would be to redo the entire bodice (lining and all), its just not gonna happen!

All in all, not bad for a few evenings pottering. I was quite excited to wear it our on Friday with my contrasting turquoise blue brogues .  And as I was getting all gussied up, I had to made sure G was suitably attired too. We managed not to take any pictures at all on our night out so I only have these few I took of myself in the garden.



7 thoughts on “Any excuse for a new dress

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    1. Thanks! The pattern calls for lightweight tweed, shantung, pigue, or lightweight double knit. But I just used a normal(?) weight cotton with an anti-static lining fabric.


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