Completely reworked vintage crepe dress!

May 2, 2014

Hi! I have been sewing for many years but am new to this site. I love seeing what other people are making! I have been collecting vintage fabric for too long, and tend to use exclusively vintage materials whenever possible (unless it compromises the integrity of the garment, ie. thread).
For my first post I want to share with you something I finally finished recently that I am really very proud of. This is one of my favourite “reworks” that I have ever done. I found the starting dress at a local thrift shop. Though the style was.. let’s say dowdy (see bottom photo for ‘before’ pic), I was in love with the fabric. It’s a really lightweight crinkly crepe, and the horizontal lace insets gave me instant inspiration.
I took the dress apart at the seams and decided to wing it without making a pattern. Started with the bodice, adding shaping via under bust gathers and a lightweight cotton for modesty behind the lower lace panel, and attached that to a flat 3-panelled waist section. The straps were a (possibly over-)zealous whim, with alternating opaque and sheer stripes made with pin tucks. I wanted lots of fullness in the skirt so I gathered both the top crepe and an under layer of the original lightweight cotton lining. I had a bit ย of extra fabric left over so I fashioned a matching ย rosette which slides on to an super long tie belt which is optional, I like wrapped haphazardly a few times about the waist. Closure is a hidden side zipper which just felt right with the whole retro vibe.
I really love how this turned out, especially considering the lack of planning! Not sure exactly what era I was channelling here, probably between the 1930’s and 50’s. Hope you guys like it!

  1. Thank you so much!
    Thrift shops are great for finding pieces to rework, I’ve also found some great quality vintage fabric in thrift stores over the years ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That is an amazing transformation. Its quite convincingly 50s looking. That full skirt is slightly dropped which I love.I will never look a dowdy crepe dress is the same way.

  3. Success! Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€
    The crepe was actually really nice to work with because of the texture, I’d recommend it. I don’t normally do dropped waists, preferring the classic 50’s natural waist gathered look.. but I think I will use this shape again soon!

  4. I hardly ever comment but I have to tell you that this dress is just simply fabulous.
    Love the colour, silhouette and drape.
    Gloves and a Kelly bag and you’re all set!
    Fab work., you are gifted my dear!

  5. Wow, thank you lovely ladies so much!! It’s so nice get feedback from those who know their stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your comments are very motivating and inspire me to create more! I will be sure to post more work.

  6. Wow I LOVE the transformation. I don’t see that when I look a something dowdy. Must learn to open my eyes and my imagination. Well Done!!!

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