As the weather here slowly changes (and then changes its mind again), I've been swapping out my winter wardrobe and in my summer one, hanging up old favorites, evaluating where I clearly seem well-stocked and where I've got some gaps. Summery skirts, it seems, have possibly multiplied while enduring their annual hibernation. But last year I donated a bunch of dresses, both handmade and thrifted, and I began to think about what it is that I like about the remaining dresses and want more of ... and what I want more of in general.
Rayon, it turns out, is high on that list for both. Prints, too. I especially admire all those bloggers who take granny chic and turn it into chic. It seems like there's that fine line, you know? Is this now chic? Still more granny than chic? More fabulous than hideous, or am I kidding myself? Why walk that line so closely, Jessica? But what is refashioning and the ability to make your own clothing for, if not to take risks sometimes?
I've been telling Ali far more often than she'd care to hear how I am recently obsessed with 90s rayon dresses. They drape so nicely! The prints! Cool to wear in summer! And often cut generously, leaving more room for refashion potential. Plus, not so rare that they're impossible to find at the thrift shop. If I can rustle me up enough of them, I might just make it my mission to do nothing but refashion those all summer long. Anyways, this dress definitely fell into the "more granny than chic" category, so I gleefully brought it home to chop up.
I admit to having some serious doubts the whole way through (as Ali can attest), but am utterly thrilled with the result. I think this one will be in regular rotation all summer long!
(Sewing notes: I used the embroidery stitch on my machine and stitched right over the neck facings, then trimmed away along the pink outline. The original dress had some very dowdy sleeves so I shortened and capped them. I also ripped out the elastic at the back waist so that I could breathe, and took up the hem by 5". Easy peasy!)
***Edited to add: Some of you requested a "before" photo --- here you go!