7 August 2012

The Hydrangea Dress


So it turns out I was the only person in the world who looked at this dress and thought "four leaf clovers", to everyone else it clearly screams "hydrangeas". So hydrangeas it is!


I got this vintage dress relatively cheaply (by UK standards) as it had a broken zipper. But as long time readers will know, mending (ie. boring sewing) isn't my forte. So it of course sat unloved on a shelf for... erm... about two years, until inspiration struck and I realised that, if I removed the Peter Pan collar (sacrilege!) and lowered the neckline at the same time as refitting and adding a new zipper, I could wear it to a wedding without looking like I'm twelve years old.




I cut quite a few corners to make all the adjustments without having to remove the lining. If I'd had more time, I would have added some tiny darts to the neckline, as a lower neckline fits the body differently to a higher one. But it's fine to wear, and what I did do was save the bra hooks on the shoulders to avoid any straps showing. Perfect for a wedding disco!



[Soundtrack: 'The Denial Twist' by The White Stripes]

50 comments:

  1. Adorable - love the changes you made.

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  2. That fabric is absolutely stunning! Good job :)

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  3. The fabric is so beautiful! After all, it was worth waiting for two years (◕‿◕✿)

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    1. I guess sometimes it takes a while for an idea to fully form!

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  4. It turned in to a beautiful dress! Beautifull!

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  5. It's fabulous! You've done a great job. The photo of the bra strap hook is interesting because I've never seen one, so it's nice to be able to see how it works. And, oh, how I love The White Stripes!!!! :)

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    1. I kinda forgot about the White Stripes for a while, and then rediscovered them when I put my music on shuffle. So good!

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  6. Ah very cute indeed! So great to be able to get a whole second life out of vintage garments. I have a large bag full of vintage dresses which don't quite fit and at some point I really will tackle them!

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  7. Super cute! I like after version much more!
    And I said hydrangeas as everybody!%)))

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  8. This is so lovely! Definitely better than the original peter pan colared version! It was also worth the two year wait I reckon!

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  9. This is sooo cute! I want one :)

    I understand how you feel about taking scissors to a vintage garment- it's such a tricky decision - do you keep it as is and keep it in it's original (yet unlikely wearable) condition or tansform it into something you'll enjoy wearing but no longer original vintage? I think I'd definitely do what you did though- the dressed lived to see another day! Yay!

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    1. that is... the dress lived to see another day :p

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  10. I think it was a good decision too! The price of uk vintage does suck....and I really struggle to find it! I tried charity shops, but that seems a no go these days as they seem to separate anything even vaguely vintage these days and sell off elsewhere...being a charity I guess that's a good decision. It's why I took up dressmaking last year...so I could eventually make vintage designs!

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  11. Tilly I love the change. Peter Pans may be trendy but it really would look like a Sunday School dress without the change.
    You don't have to put darts into the neckline to have it sit better, you can tape it. It's easier than it looks - with a narrow tape. If you can get in under the lining or teh facing, it's as easy as this:
    http://amamus-amatis-amant.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-get-neckline-not-to-gape-art-of.html

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    1. That's a great tip, Mrs C. Looking lovely, Tilly.

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  12. That is such a lovely dress and a great refashion.

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  13. Oh it's beautiful, job well done!!!

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  14. Excellent work! Deliberately seeking out slightly damaged stock is actually a good strategy for vintage shoppers on a budget. Assuming you can sew, of course.

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  15. I really love this - gorgeous fabric and the style of dress that is just so flattering on the feminine form. It may have been 2 years in the making - but very much worth while!

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  16. Just beautiful. The dress said four leaf clovers to me too. Love the changes.

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  17. I think this was a good change - and I think you've made the dress wearable without sacrificing its overall feel, if that makes sense! Also I probably wouldn't have seen hydrangeas myself, but then I'm not so hot on flowers :) Good work, Tilly!

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  18. this is gorgeous! i love the print but i would never have believed it would look this great! i also struggle with finding decent vintage stuff unless you pay a fortune for it - used to get loads when i lived in glasgow but there seems to be much less available here.

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  19. I think it looks fantastic - the neckline really does make the difference and I'm a big fan of Peter Pan collars (wearing one now as it goes...)

    Nice work and ace shoes :D

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  20. It looks amazing! So different from the original. It is going t be a hit a the wedding!

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  21. Love The White Stripes! Good music choice. And the changes to the neckline are perfect, nice work! I with you on the mending aka boring sewing, it is not my fav. But you must be proud with how great this turned out.

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  22. Cool! I'd keep the collar and make it detachable.

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    1. Still got the collar in my stash... not sure if I'll ever use it if I'm honest with myself, but just in case, eh?

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  23. Love the changes you made! Great dress!

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  24. It's beautiful! I'm so jealous!!!

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  25. bee-yootiful. it's not sacrilege if the result is stunning.

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  26. Oh, so cute, Tilly! I adore this! How did you finish the neckline without the lining? Bias tape? I must know!

    Strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

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    1. The lining is still there, I left it in.

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  27. Beautiful! Your alterations make it so much more lovely than it was originally.

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  28. SO pretty Tilly. I adore it. Def worth the alterations, a customised vintage piece

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  29. Such a pretty dress, and I love what you did with it to make it less school-girlish.

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  30. The dress looks smashing on you! Well done!

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  31. very pretty and worth the time and effort to save the dress. I actually think the higher neckline would have been overwhelming in that print, the lowered neckline much better. And I have to say a disco wedding sounds awesome, what a fun idea!

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  32. Love it Tilly, you have a great sense of what will look flattering on you. Well done!

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  33. Wonderfull !!! I was impatient to see the result and yuo've done it very well. Congratulations !!!Have a good time at the wedding party...
    Marikiki

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  34. The new neckline looks so lovely with the dress silhouette and print! As someone who loves to chop necklines on dresses a lot (I just hate how 99% of higher necklines look on me ;)), I have to admit I often take some "corner cutting" steps too. lol. Nothing wrong with it at all! ;)

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  35. I love the hydrangea pattern, the colors on it are really bright and fun! Good job!

    http://eviestearoom.blogspot.com/

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  36. You did a wonderful job on the dress! Now it's actually still wearable, which is at least in my book much better than saving a collar that screams "costume".

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  37. what beautiful fabric and I love what you did the dress
    louise

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  38. Both the before and beautiful look lovely and I think if a refashion is done well like yours then it is not sacrilege. Also you HAVE to use that collar on something, maybe a little blouse?

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  39. I love it big time! you're an insipration!

    my blog: www.kathoprojects.blogspot.be

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  40. I love the dress! I feel that refashioned vintage is always a good thing - you get the joy of vintage, but with a modern twist that makes it wearable until the thing falls apart - and then you make it into something else!!

    Isn't that the whole point of "make do and mend" anyway? ;D


    But can I just take a moment to get extremely excited about the bra hooks? Like.. Extremely excited. I've never in my life seen them before, but I know for a fact that I'm putting them into every. dress. I. make.

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  41. So pretty. It looked lovely to start with but you have managed to work your magic and make it even better!

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