Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Third Life of the Pink Plaid Dress

This was the second dress I made for 1860s reenacting. I used the Past Patterns darted bodice with the modified pagoda sleeve. But - I used the wrong fabric for this 'fancier' style - a pink plaid homespun. (I know 'homespuns' aren't the most period either - but sometimes when one is on a budget...) I also didn't know about piping then, and the bodice was finished with binding. Oh- and the dress had plastic boning. So, several problems there. After about a year the dress went into the farby museum - aka the storage building.


However, several years later I found myself in need to a new dress and no $$ for fabric. I decided to raid my old wardrobe and see what I could come up with. I ended up taking apart the bodice entirely - replacing the darts with tucks, and squeezing out enough fabric from the old sleeves for new short puffed sleeves. I also did buttons instead of hooks and eyes at the front, and put tucks in the skirt for a good walking length. I pretended it was my 'mid-war' make do dress during the blockade of the South.

The dress went through several years of reenactments before I decided I was too old for short sleeves during the daytime. :^(

Last week my sister Aspen reminded me that her dresses were all getting too small. Again - no time to get fabric and limited budget sent me out to the storage building. She tried on several of my old dresses and we decided this was the best bet.


All I did was shorten and take in the bodice a bit, re-arrange the tucks to fit her figure, and shorten the skirt about 6 inches at the top, then replaced the pleats with gathers. She's happy that it looks more 'grown up' than her old dresses,  and I'm happy that it was an easy fix.

I think it turned out quite nice! The pink plaid dress in it's third life......

I think its fun to see how long one can keep making an old dress new again. That's what they did in the period, after all!

9 comments:

Sarah said...

Cute!!! Absolutely LOVE it!! You have lots of stories with that one!! Lol!
Ok, I am SO coming over for a dress makeover.. I have a silk dress that could definitely (I hope!) be made into a CW dress.. however, I am totally not good at just redoing a dress.. so, I am talking to an expert- you!! LOL!
Love ya!! Sarah

nuranar said...

That's a great remake! It looks very flattering on Aspen, especially with how you've done the tucks.

Katie - D said...

I LOVE that dress!! its so pretty!

SinginginHisName said...

lovely! I hope someday another young lady will be able to wear my old dresses! Thats so great it worked for your sister. Only having done reenacting for 2 years I am still using all my dresses. I have 3 total. So Lord willing my new wool dress will be done and I will have a 4th. Then I probably will be needing to get rid of one. We shall see! Great idea to recycle the dresses for others in need of one.

Thanks for your comment over at my blog as well. Yes we are very blessed to be able to do multiple periods, but its so much work!! It sounded easy and now its scrambling to get all 3 periods right. We are now doing napolianic, civil war, and colonial(french and indian and rev war). Oh my! But its fun, but its stressful getting it all done.

In Christ,
Rebecca

a Matula ikrek said...

Every time when you write about these very old-fashioned dresses and especially about renewing them it seems like a diary of a girl from that old times. It's so charming! :o)

Anna Olivia said...

What an adorable dress, and so authentic. ~*~

Hana - Marmota said...

It's really great, seeing how well it adapted into its new lives. Once you have no one around to give it to, or it's too worn out, it could still become a quilt, like they did back then!

PrincessR said...

That is so neat that Aspen has one or your dresses! I am sure she is enjoyed a bit more grown up attire as well.
Hugs and lots of love! (When are you coming out to see us???)
Rebecca

the momma (aka Shannon) said...

how cool! you are a gal after my own heart--the very very first thing i EVER sewed was a "medieval" (using the term loosely) princess gown from old curtains. i was maybe 11? after that i tackled making my own hoop skirt from wire hangers i purloined from my dad's drycleaning....and a dress to go overtop! now that i'm older...well, i have 3 girls--and they have quite the collection of homemade dress-up clothes!! i'm having so much fun exploring your blog!

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