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

Granny Blue Dress Refashion


Do you remember that really stern Grandmother Dress Refashion?  Remember how we stopped her in her tracks?  Well, this is her much sweeter sister.  She's so sweet she bakes you cookies just in case you happen to stop by.

I almost left her as is, in high hopes she would clean my house while I ate her cookies.

Alas, it ended up being just a dress and the lady that once wore it didn't come over.  Sigh...

Besides, I needed something to wear for Easter.

What!?!  You don't buy thrift store dresses to chop up for Easter?  Where is your sense of adventure?

I really liked the pleating in this dress, and the blue is surprisingly non-hideous for a thrift store find.    But there were some problems.  For starters, I am not a grandmother and I try really hard not to look like one prematurely.  This dress looks shockingly grandmotherly.  That means some things about this dress were going to have to go.  

How to update your grandmother:

1.  When in doubt, chop something off.  I started by chopping off her arms.  

See?  She already looks more hip just by ditching those dated cuffs.

2.  Then ditch the superfluous.  In this case, that means shoulder pads and an ugly self-fabric belt.  Bye-bye.

3.  Next, chop off the obvious.  I snipped away that awful neckline.  I mean, really.  Does anything say "stuffy" like that neckline?  It literally screams "I'm BORING!!!"  (You can hear that, can't you?)

It was at this point in grandma's transformation that she began to rebel.   She threw her sweetness aside and began to fight.

When I cut away the neckline, I found out that the bodice had two layers.  Ordinarily that isn't a big deal, but in this case it was a nightmare.  One layer was flat, the other was made with those teeny, tiny pleats.  This is made with a stretchy, filmy, slippery fabric.  
It would not lay smoothly.  
I had to pin every. single. pleat.  
And I still had to adjust them as I sewed.  Ugh.  Double ugh.  Did I mention I was in a hurry?

When I finally finished pinning and basting those pleats, I cut bias binding from the sleeves I'd hacked off earlier.  I used the bias binding to finish my new neckline seam.

4.  Put her on a diet.  One of the things that really made this dress look grandmotherly was the blousy top paired with the full skirt.  What is that age old fashion advice?  If your outfit is loose on the bottom, make sure it's fitted on top.  But if it's loose on top, make sure it's fitted at the bottom.  NEVER do both.  Never.  Memorize that advice.  Live by it.

Unless, of course, you want to look like you just gained 20 pounds.  
In that case, go blousy everywhere.   Or wear sweats.  That works, too.

This obviously wasn't going to make a good pencil skirt, so that top had to go on a diet.  I took several inches out by starting at the skirt and sewing up the side seam, through the armpit and down the sleeve.

5.  Add the finishing touches.   I hemmed up the sleeves and added a better belt.  
Grandma looks much more hip now:

You know the sad part?  I spent all that time tweaking that cranky top, and now I think I want to just chop it off and turn this into a skirt.  It would have been a 2 minute fix.  Sigh...

Anyway, here's the side by side.  Whatcha think?

Have a great day!


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