Easy makeover for an ’80s dress
The shoulder pads and loose waist (originally shirred elastic, but over the years I think the stretch had dropped out!) made it look like a shapeless sack (with ruffles!!) but both those problems were easily fixed. First, I ripped out the shoulder pads.
Fortunately, they were only tacked in place with a single running stitch so ripping them out took about one minute. If you are going to remove shoulder pads from a garment, take into account how they are set in – sometimes they are simply too integral a part of the garment to be removed (for example, if they are attached between the outer fabric and the lining of a jacket). Also, most of the time the garment is cut to allow for shoulder pads so consider how the fabric will drape differently if you remove them.
In the case of this dress, the material is flowy and I could tell it would be OK to take shoulder pads out. I’m actually not sure why they were there in the first place, because I think the dress drapes a lot better now! I remedied the loose waist by simply tying a printed scarf around the waist – it might not really be that obvious because the print kind of ties in with the print of the dress, but it changes the silhouette a lot.
I’ll possibly create a more permanent solution to the loose waist problem, such as sewing waist ties to the sides of the dress or something like that when I get time, but when you’re running late for high tea, using a scarf as a belt is not a bad way to fix things!
The story of this dress could end here, but funnily enough, I found a very similar one* at Vinnies Ringwood last week. I was invited to check out the newly renovated store and shop up a storm (yes, there will be a post coming up!). This dress is one of the many things I scored that day, but it caused me to make another “not quite right” face…
…which again quickly turned into a “that’s much better” face when I took the shoulder pads out.
Now that I’ve demonstrated why I never dance in public, how about the more pressing matter of what to do with the shoulder pads I removed? Never mind, I have plans for those. Shouldn’t be too hard to add straps and make them into a bikini top (and they’re already padded, making them perfect for the less well-endowed among us ie me).
Does anyone know anything about this brand? When Lady Melbourne took her spot next to me at high tea she asked if the flowery dress was a Diane Freis number, then on seeing the label hypothesised that it could be Mary Lipshut’s private brand.
Clever! Love these 😀 love your dancing too
From drab to fab! Nice job! 🙂
My commiserations on your election – we in NZ have had to put up with a similar lot for years.
It's amazing how much you can improve a garment with just a couple of simple tweaks. The first one in particular looks incredible.
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