31 Days · DIY · Thrifts

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 4: Time Travel Dress

I’m back today with a bigger garment redo – a dress!

I didn’t think I had a good “before” photo of this project when I remembered this gem from my phone.  As you can see, I was thrifting with Big Boy.  We were leaving the thrift store when I saw this vintage (80’s) beauty. I didn’t want to go back to the fitting room (hence the blouse poking out under the sleeves), so I used the powers of my iPhone to take a picture to see if it fit.  Big Boy pushed the button. I love technology.

I found a similar dress here – made by the same brand, “Tabby of California”. (What, you haven’t heard of that designer?) Her’s looks WAY better than mine. But I could see the potential!

First thing I did was removed the shoulder pads. I know, shoulder pads are back “in” – whatever, they drive me nuts.  Bye-bye.

Then I shortened the bottom hem.  I chopped off 6 inches, then did a blind hem that took it up another inch. Again, I know midi-length dresses are back in, but I just don’t find them flattering. Another key to thrifting success is knowing what works best for you. If the fit is good, but the hemline isn’t flattering, change it!

The hardest part of this project was changing the sleeves, but it really wasn’t that bad.  I wanted more of a cap-sleeve look, not the dolman-style it came with, so I cut off an inch and a half from the sleeves.

Before finishing the sleeves’ hems, I used chalk draw new seams to create a tighter sleeve and to take in some excess fabric on the sides (see photo above). This made the top part of the dress even more flattering as it was more tailored to my body. After this, I did a quick hem on the sleeves (all while talking with my mother on the phone about my blog), and I was done. Time Travel Dress: I brought it out of the 80’s to the…wait, what are we calling this decade?

Speaking of my mother, another side story. She’s loving the blog, but she is DEFINITELY NOT a thrift shopper. She finds thrift stores unappealing, to say the least. I have managed to drag her to a few of them, but it is not her first choice like it is mine. As we were talking about the blog today, I asked her if I’m persuading her to become a thrift shopper. “Oh, uh, yeah,” she says slowly. “In fact, I saw a lovely consignment shop the other day as I was driving around, and I thought it might be nice. It looked very clean from the outside.” A thrift store and a consignment store are two VERY different things, but it is a baby step. Good job, Mom!


This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.


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