Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blue Velvet

Blue velvet...not to be confused with a blue velvet cake or cupcake...mmmmmm, what was I saying? ;) Oh right. Blue velvet. As in dress. I found this blue velvet dress in our building's basement in the "to get rid of" section, not to be confused with garbage! (Lots of goodies to be found there).

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a girl's dress...probably for 10 to 12 year olds. Wanna know how I know? Check out the seam right across the chest! Yep, and it would probably have been around ankle length whereas on me, it's just below the knee. I liked the fabric, however, and the fact that it's this amazing midnight blue. All I need to do is raise that seam to just above the bust to make it work!

Now, I started out thinking I'd need to remove the sleeves and take the shoulders in, lowering the armholes.....yeeeeah. Good thing my son kept interrupting me, because it gave me the time to realize I was making this way too difficult! All I needed to do, was unpick it at the seam, cut off 2-3 inches from the top, and then reattach the shortened top to the bottom. I used a zigzag stitch to allow for the stretch across the bust.

My next choice involved the neckline and the sleeves. I started off by removing the mock turtleneck. Then, to go sleeveless or not?

Sleeveless it is! I also took the sides in at the waist because I had raised up the bottom half of the dress which threw off the shape just a smidge. All raw edges were finished off with zigzag stitching, and the arm and neck holes I simply folded over once and topstitched. I love how 'basic' this dress now is. Opens up tons of styling opportunities :).

Wanna see of a few of the looks I played around with?
Left: Thrifted gray leather belt, multi-strand necklace (F21), and gold glitter flats (Shopco). Center: Forest green jacket (Marshalls), thrifted belt, "camera" necklace (Urban Outfitters) and thrifted flats. Right: Gold dangly earrings (Payless), thrifted silk sash, and mary-jane heels (Payless).

Left & Center: Thrifted belt, necklace (Urban Outfitters), and thrifted flats. Right: Consignment olive jacket, thrifted belt and booties, and gold dangly earrings (Payless).

Left: Black faux leather jacket (Uniqlo), super-long necklace (Target) and black sparkly heels (Payless). Right: Thrifted silk scarf and sandals (Target).

Now, if you are paying attention, I'm mentioning a lot of fast fashion stores in the breakdown of each outfit. If you've read my My Story page then you know that I started out thrifting and refashioning as a way to get lots of options on the cheap, not because of some altruistic stance on the state of fashion (fashion production). I've since become much more serious about the impact of fast fashion and trying not to be a part of the problem, but I'm still learning and from time to time, find myself drawn in by sparkly, pretty, cheap things. Most of these items are from over a year ago, at least (and some even older), but the black heels and gold dangly earrings are a pretty recent purchase. I've still got a long way to go in my fashion sustainability journey, and I'm only just beginning. :)

Here's a last shot of the before and after:

As well as a collage of all of the looks:

And what's so amazingly cool is that this is just a small portion of the possibilities!!! Yay! This free dress will perhaps become the most versatile item of clothing I own ;).


  1. I love the thrifted belt (sitting on the hips) and flats look! I too still find myself victim to fast fashion shopping, especially while in need of maternity wear. I try to thrift most of it but my sewing motivation has gone out the window since I've been pregnant. Already doing lots of thrifting for baby though!

    Beautiful refashion!

    1. Thanks, Janelle, I think that was my husband's favorite as well ;) It is tough through the last trimester, in particular, to find things that fit AND flatter, so I hear you on that front! We have always done second-hand and thrifted items for our son, especially as they grow out of everything so quickly. It'll save you tons! Appreciate your comment :) And I hope you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy!

  2. the result is very stylish, blue velvet is just so timeless...it is funny when you admit that not all your clothes are sustainables...we are all pretty much like you, I guess, and the economic reason is as good as any other, the most important is to keep sewing and refashioning

    1. Thanks for commenting, Christina! I agree, that we (refashioners) are largely in the same boat when it comes to how we obtain our clothes. A mix of found, secondhand and new! And you, my dear, are very stylish yourself...still can't get over your leather jacket to skirt refashion :-O!!!

  3. hey
    love your velvet style! It looks so great!
    please more pictures in velvet!

    1. Unfortunately, I don't wear a lot of velvet :-/ But I love your enthusiasm! Thank you :)