Revamping A Frumpy Floral Frock

Friday, 11 March 2011

Today I am working from home, so my outfit is the classy combination of jeans, a t-shirt and a Kermit jumper - cosy, but I ain't blogging it! I may not be frocking it up this Friday but I'm there in spirit. Here's a little something I've beeen working on over the past couple of evenings:



It's a Sportcast frock, picked up on a whim from Oxfam last weekend, just because it was pretty. I assume it's vintage but I know nothing about the brand so who knows really. Anyway, look at the print! And the Peter Pan collar. And the detailing on the bodice. So pretty! And now look at how hideous it looked when I got home and tried it on:



Ick! All was not entirely lost though - I saw potential. With a little help from my mum (because I'm still excessively feeble when it comes to sewing machines), I commenced on the following:

  • Unpicking the waistband and removing the elastic
  • Hacking a chunk off the width of the skirt and repositioning the pocket
  • Braving the scary sewing machine and sewing the pocket and new side seam up
  • Tacking the bodice and skirt back together
  • Trying it on, to realise that I was a moron and I'd done the tacking with the bodice the right way round and the skirt part inside out
  • Giving up and going to bed
  • The next day, fixing my rather daft mistake and sewing them together properly
  • Much cursing of my utter crapness and inability to sew in a straight line
  • Chopping a heck of a lot off the length and rehemming it.

I know it's all very simple stuff but I'm a real novice when it comes to this sort of thing so I'm chuffed with myself for managing it. The next stage is to make a sash/bow belt for it but I need some sort of stiffening fabric for that, so for the meantime I shall wear it with a Dorothy Perkins sale belt. Oh and a cardigan because it's still freezing!

The finished result:



Ta da! Much better than before, yes?

39 comments:

  1. Very, very cute indeed. And please don't feel in the least feeble for your sewing machine inability- I wouldn't even know how to thread the damn thing. Utterly pathetic.
    I am very impressed that you saw it, loved it and saw the potential, as I would have thought to myself "Love the fabric but it's too long" and it wouldn't have occured to me to change it.

    xxx Maddie

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  2. It is most definitely better, Alex. I love it and am most impressed with your sewing skills. I've just bought a pattern which says "very easy" on it and so I'm going to attempt my first item of clothing make. Eeek. Very. Scared. Indeed.

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  3. YES! Much better than before... that looks fab!

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  4. Absolutely brilliant, transformed from mediocre to mind blowing. Such a gorgeous print, I'd have snapped it up, too.
    We all make huge mistakes. I just put everthing away and come back to it again anothet day. There's nothing a seam ripper and some wondaweb can't rectify. xxx
    PS Get that Eithne Farry book, it's absolutely brilliant and it's aimed to those of us who are complete novices so even simplifies things like sewing a button on.

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  5. That dress is gorgeous, and you have done a great job altering it! My sewing skills are still very much limited to sewing in kind of straight lines and rehemming skirts! Must read the Eithne Farry book and be abit braver!

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  6. Cute! Good job. I'm a complete novice too, youtube tutorials are my best friend! x

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  7. It looks fab now you did a really good job. Your list of of what you did to it made me laugh :) X

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  8. Wow, you've done a great job Alex. It is such a pretty print, well worth saving. And the ability to sleep on something then go back and fix our mistakes is what helps us to learn. By the way, I DO want to see your Kermit jumper xx

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  9. Wow, you've done such a good job! It looks great.
    Laura x

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  10. Absolutely love how you transformed it; it looks fabulous!

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  11. Hmm yeah it wasn't great before... but looks way better now! I somehow always feel frumpy in below the knee clothes so I would have hacked that hem too :)

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  12. Fabulous indeed! Love that tunic style with the belt, perfect styling.

    I'm a very inelegant customiser. I hack and tack and so long as it doesn't show on the outside I'm happy... anything expensive I pass on to sis or mum (who actually have some talent) to do properly!

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  13. I LOVEEEEEEEEE that you did with it Alex! x

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  14. Woohoo - MUCH better and a lovely summery print! I totally do stupid thing like sewing the wring sides together - it so disheartening when you realise! Well done for perservering! :)

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  15. That's a job very well done Alex. It was pretty unflattering before - even the gorgeous Vix couldn't have made that shape look good! But now it looks really fab. Love the Peter Pan collar. xx

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  16. I love the print of it and the collar is perfect too. I don't think I would've been brave enough to alter it and sadly my mum is as rubbish as me! now it looks lovely, and great with those tights! xx

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  17. Gosh you've transformed it so well. Very impressive! You have made it the perfect length and the tights you have put with it are wonderful with it. x

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  18. That's brilliant, I have to admit when I saw the first photos I thought ewwww, but you have cracked it. Looks amazing!
    Kandi x

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  19. What a transformation!

    Don't put yourself down! You have done a fantastic job. I won have known wheret to start.

    You look fab.
    Have a great weekend.
    X x x

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  20. you have worked a miracle! Well done for all your effort, it was def worth it! love the finished result and that you paired it withh that belt :)
    http://cgdn.blogspot.com/

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  21. Wow, it looks completely different now. Well done!

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  22. very nicely done love! :)

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  23. The transformation is amazing alex! I've missed you too! If you're down for penpalship I'd love to try it with you. I find I get too distracted on the net sometimes and would love to get back into letter writing... Especially if it in plies the lovely you. Waddaya say?

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  24. Amazing transformation! You did such a great job of re-styling this dress to look super chic!

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  25. Looking good, I think I have some fabric in this print at home, I really like it.

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  26. Much better! Well done for turning it into such a cool dress.

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  27. Wow! What a transformation! I love it, it looks really good and you look very pretty in it too. I'd love to revamp something like this. And I know how you feel, the cold is getting really irritating now. xxx

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  28. awesome job revamping the old frock..it looks brand new :)

    eclectic du jour

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  29. Sweetie,that's freakin' awesome!!! You've done so well,it's a way better frock than before!You've saved it from mediocrity!Great styling,too! I think Sportscraft is an Aussie label? ....I just checked,and yes,it is! Started in Melbourne in 1914! I've got a turquoise 70's Sportscraft frock!
    XXX LOVE!

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  30. Lovely! I love the collar on it and the print is adorbs.

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  31. What a talented lady! which i had those skills

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  32. Dear Alex, you've done a fabulous job! It looks amazing. Love the tights with it too xx

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  33. Fabulous frock transformation, very impressed!! Your sewing machine skills are certainly improving !!

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  34. Wonderful - it is a lovely pattern and gorgeous now you've reworked it! Good decision and goes to show with a little effort all is good xx

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  35. the new and improved dress is gorgeous, nice work =)


    Bow Dream Nation xx

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  36. I can't believe this I’ve SOMEHOW missed reading this post. I promise I wasn’t ignoring it. I’ve just come across to your blog to reply about the stapler and I noticed this post underneath the last one that I did read.

    I swear I follow too many blogs and miss the ones I REALLY want to read. Anyhow sorry about the rant, I just feel awful for missing it and not commenting.

    I love the print, and oh god I love the finished result. It looks almost like a completely different dress. So worth the effort, I must admit I hate it when sewing machines don’t quite do what there supposed to, and ‘easy’ alterations end up being a struggle. I bet you are so pleased with the result though x

    p.s The ladybird stapler- Accessorize in the January sales of this year- it was £3.00 full price but I paid a mere £1.50. The only problem I have found is that it takes the extra small staples not regular sized for some bizarre reason.

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  37. Great work! Looks fabulous with your modifications & will be just perfect for summer (if & when it finally arrives!) :)

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  38. oh, wow! You did an amazing job the finished dress is absolutely gorgeous & so beautifully paired with that belt + cardy -LOVE. xx veronika

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