Oh, this old thing? – Vintage finds and alterations
Who has been watching This Old Thing? The lovely Dawn O’Porter has really inspired me to rekindle my love for vintage clothes, so I thought I’d share a few of my experiences with you.
A few years ago I bought a dress advertised as a ‘vintage black lace prom dress’ on eBay. I didn’t pay too much attention to the details (naughty!) as I was too excited about finding the dress and it being in my size and it being a bargain! When it arrived, I tried it on and it was down to my ankles; it looked more ‘Bride of Dracula’ than the 50s prom dress I had in mind. Consequently, the poor dress was shoved to the back of my wardrobe for a very long time.
A few years down the line I had a sewing machine and I needed something fabulous to wear for my New Year’s Eve party. I remembered the dress and thought maybe I could do something with it. I imagined it being shorter and wasted no time hacking about 20 inches of the bottom. The original hem was very simple; it had just been turned up and secured in place with a neat row of stitches on both the lace overlay and the lining underneath. I replicated this at just below knee-length, added a super fluffy petticoat et voilà:
I felt like a million dollars and so very smug with myself because nobody else in the world would have the same outfit as me.
After watching This Old Thing, I was inspired to recreate that moment of turning a treasure-chest bargain find into something that worked for me…
Yesterday had a night out planned with the girls and I panicked in the morning when I realised I didn’t have a stitch to wear. On my way to the shops for an emergency shopping spree, I though it wouldn’t hurt to pop in a few vintage shops just in case there was something amazing before resigning myself to the high street (boring!).
I found this beauty in Oxfam Original for a mere tenner!
My boyfriend was nearly sick when I took it off the rail (it’s a rainbow skirt maxi dress with a velvet top). It screamed 80s (I think), but I saw the potential in it and defiantly tried it on. It fit so nicely at the top but the length was too dated. I imagined it knee-length and hooray I had a dress! (and avoided the overcrowded high street shops on a Saturday afternoon – phew!).
I hurried home, chopped 17 inches off the bottom of the skirt, did a quick 1cm hem (again just replicating the original)…
did an awkward pose…
…and I was all set! My friends were pretty impressed with my efforts too:
Now I’m hooked on vintage again and this little bad boy is on the top of my reading list:
Until next time, wear vintage! It’s fun!
[Soundtrack: ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths]