02 03 Gallimaufry Grove: Paintbrush Explosion Refashion 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Paintbrush Explosion Refashion


When I go into a thrift store, I'm usually in a hurry.  I'm a kinda of "grab-n-go" shopper anyway, even when I'm not in a hurry.  One time I needed a pair of boots.  I walked into a department store where a very shopping-fatigued man was with his wife who was, from the pile of boots surrounding her, also trying to buy boots.  Apparently they had been there awhile.  Anyway, I didn't have much time or patience for shopping that day, so I said excuse me as I went by them, quickly scanned the display, grabbed a pair I liked in my size, threw them on to make sure they fit, and said excuse me as I went back by them on my way out.  Both of them were staring at me with their mouths open.  I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.  You could almost see them thinking, "How did she do that?"  Somehow I missed the "shopping-gene" that all women are supposed to have.  Sigh.

Anyway, I take that grab-n-go shopping-style into the thrift stores with me.  Sometimes it works great.  I walk out with treasures and still have the time to enjoy them.  Sometimes, however, I walk out with things like this Paintbrush Explosion dress.  I think this is what Monet wore when he painted.  Seriously.  Who needs to clean their brushes with turpentine when you can just wipe them on this dress.

And then there's that black stripe down the middle.  What is that!?!  Is it supposed to hide figure flaws? Because if that's its intention, it's failing.  It looks like a road right through Curves-In-All-The-Wrong-Places-Ville.  The road has got to go.  I can't even think with that thing staring at me.

I turned this dress inside out, folded it at that black road and sewed a seam right down the middle.  Then I trimmed the black road away.  Ahh.  Better.

Making the road disappear left me with a really weird neckline, though, and made the shoulders all hunch-y.  Obviously, we need more work.

I trimmed the black neck stuff off the dress:

Then I made a V-neck, turned the seam under about 1/4 inch and stitched it down.

After that, the armpits were pretty saggy.  So I just sewed up the arm sleeve seam, through the armpit and tapered the new seam into the seam at the bodice.  I took literally like 3 or 4 inches out of those armpits, and they're still a little droopy.  I don't know what the designers of this dress were thinking I might want to hide in there, but that's what pockets are for, folks.  

My knees wanted to come out and play, so I shortened the hemline a bit and gave it a new hem.  Voila!

You can even accessorize this with a long black vest, like so:

I look like I'm staring off at something wonderful in the distance.  In reality, the sun was so bright it was making my eyes water.  Now we know what models are really doing when they look off to the side in all those pictures.  Mystery solved.

But this is my favorite way to wear it:
(It was 22F with a windchill of 9F when we took these pictures.  Brrr.)

And now for the side-by-side:

Time invested:  about 30 minutes
Money spent: $0.50
Time needed to thaw out from the photo shoot:  Endless

Have a great day!


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