Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thrifting "Too Small"

It seems the theme of these last few weeks has been "what the hell?" I've had quite the streak of bad luck. It started with a bad massage (I know, I didn't think there was such a thing either), continued with a pretty extreme crisis at work, went on for a memorial for a passed friend, and ended with my cat falling out the bathroom window and running away.

Luckily, things are tending to get better. My back is swinging towards better, the crisis is unresolved but I haven't heard anything too bad come from it, the memorial was nice and I saw some old friends, and the cat was found after a few 20 minutes outdoors. Just goes to show - life throws some dumbass lemons, but you can at least turn them into something that will pass for lemonade. That's how it goes, right?

I also had quite the struggle with projects. I went to Salvation Army and, more bad luck, ended up picking up everything that was too small for me. It got me down, that's for sure. It took a very frank husband of mine to say "you make stuff. make this work". He doesn't take my excuses and - never tell him - I like that he doesn't.

So, the more I thought about it, the more excited I was about working on these projects. It's a pretty common problem, I think, to find items at a thrift store that you think will fit, but when you get it home and wash it... it doesn't. So, I thought I would show you a few ways to make this problem into a wearable solution.

I started out with this:
I am pretty long-waisted, so this jumper wasn't even CLOSE to fitting me lengthwise. You also don't see the back, but the back zipper was completely open because there was not a chance in hell this was going to fit around my chest.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the process. I was taking them on my phone and, true to luck, have unfortunately lost all of the pictures I've taken today. So I'm going to try to use my words like a big girl.

First thing I did was cut up the leg seams to open up the jumper. I definitely didn't need to keep this pants or shorts, especially since its waist was way too short for mine.

Next - and I really didn't want to do this - I cut off the arms. I know, I know. But in all honesty, those little dainty armholes were certainly not fitting around my arms, so I needed all the give I could get. This helped the bodice fit perfectly, except the zipper didn't quite want to go all the way up. In fact, it started sweating only a few inches up in its travels. This wasn't going to quite work.

So I just took the zipper out. This left the back completely open and flapping in the breeze. I guess it's better to go bigger than smaller, right? I decided to use a scrap of lace that I had leftover and line the back hole with it. This left the two back flaps with something to latch on to, as well as a modesty panel so I didn't have to go bra-less. Win.

Next, I cut the legs off at the same length as the crotch and hemmed it up. In all truth - I was pretty surprised at the result. I did no measuring, I literally tore things apart in this dress, and I very haphazardly sewed everything because my back is bothering me too much to sit in front of a sewing machine for hours. This project took me about an hour overall, and that includes the time I spent drinking wine. Because, yes, wine is needed after weeks like this.

So? How did it come out? Check it for yourself:
I love that the neckline is the spotlight of the dress now, as opposed to the yards and yards of fabric all over.
Here's the back:
And, because I wasn't lying about the wine, and because I think this is a perfect weekend bbq day-drinking dress...
Hope you all have a fantastic week - get a glass of wine with me!