This week as I was hand-stitching lace sleeves, and wondering just a little why I was doing it, Ifinally acknowledged that I have a deeply-rooted belief that every special occasion in Daughter’s life deserves a new dress. Why?
Well, 35 years ago, or so, another little girl’s Mother made her a new dress for every special occasion, particularly band concerts.
And, 55 years ago, another little girl had closets of beautiful clothes, carefully made or made over by my Grandmother, Carmen Rosalee. Carmen had a hard childhood, and in overcoming that she has passed on fairy-tale dreams through three generations.
Which brings us to today. At the thrift store last fall I came across this beautiful blue silk dress for 99-cents. It had a stain on the front (again, no “before” pictures), but I decided to take a chance. I brought it home, applied stain treatment, and threw it in the washer. (Yes, it said Dry Clean Only, but…) After hanging it dry (I have decided that the dryer ruins more clothes than the washer does), the stain was gone.
Remaining was a beautiful special-occasion dress. Wonderful color. Not a great fit.
Time to remodel! Cut the shoulders (VERY SCARY) to shorten the bodice and widen the straps. This was the hardest part. Scissors make very permanent alterations. (Love those little strap retainers. I reattached them in the end.)
The lining picked out fairly easily, allowing the strap to be adjusted with less pain than I anticipated. A lot of pinning made the sewing go easier.
Then it could be re-stitched by hand. Not perfect, but it is on the inside, and who is going to look there?
Sleeves are the next most difficult, but can be drafted by measuring the existing arm hole and getting shape suggestions from professional patterns.
After that it was all lace and details from my big pile of junk.
Add a hairpiece made from the very last scraps of lace.
And, ta-dah, the princess is ready for the ball, or the concert in this case.
ps–Just so you don’t think she is completely spoiled, this will most likely also function as her Easter dress for the year.
pps–Sorry for no full-length “after” pictures. The computer “upgrade” of a month ago left me with no picture editing software that I can find. Darn it! But, I am working on that. Trust me, she looks beautiful!