Packing up and sorting through a lifetime of belongings when downsizing and moving is a daunting task. The decisions, the letting go, the saying good-bye. And yet, digging deep into the backs of closets can be kin to a treasure hunt. Long forgotten items resurface that have been buried so long, they are in style once again. One of my mom’s friends who is moving has found some of these “treasures” and has generously shared them with my sisters and me. One of the prettiest is this raspberry cocktail dress. It is perfect for my daughter Martha. She frequents thrift shops and loves to wear vintage clothes.
There are a few repairs needed to make the dress wearable. First is the hem that is coming down–notice the trailing hem tape. Then there are the stress pulls at the underarm gussets. The front, right gusset is the worst with a large tear in the bodice fabric. Also, the skirt is a little snug and will need more fabric. Luckily it is too long for her and there will be extra fabric to play with.
The easiest task was fixing the skirt. Martha noticed that if we lifted the hemline and cut the skirt off at the top, it would have plenty of ease in the hip area. Once the skirt was off, we marked off new seamlines. Next we ripped out the torn gusset area. Rather than replace the gusset as it was, we reshaped it to include the part of the bodice that was below the tear.
From the leftover fabric at the top of the skirt, we cut out a new and larger gusset. Since the tear extended toward the center past the gusset, we put a patch over it. The wide collar covers that area and the repair won’t show. The other gussets were either restitched with reinforcement or replaced.
At this point, Martha has taken the dress home and will finish up the rest. She’ll reattach the skirt and re-hem it and replace the side zipper with a longer one to make getting into the dress easier. When she is done, we’ll have a fashion shoot and I’ll post pictures!