Friday, March 28, 2014

Buying Sight Unseen - Saving Garments when the Stains Won't Budge

If it is on the internet its got to be true, right? Once and awhile I purchase dresses online from individuals or through auction lots. It's a great way to snag beautiful and rare pieces at great prices but there are often surprises. Condition descriptions aren't always what they promise.

I purchased this stunning mandarin style maxi dress in an auction lot. When I received the dress I was disappointed to see that it had a very large stain and several sections of missing beading and lose sequins. I did not want to ruin the beautiful embellishments or dupioni silk with a soak but this dress was too gorgeous to give up on!

If you have a piece with stubborn stains or other damage, what else can you do? Turn it into something new, and maybe even better than the original. See how this piece was transformed after the jump!

Much of the damage was on the lower third of the dress so I decided to turn the 1960's evening gown it into a 'modest mini' cocktail dress. The style is still appropriate for the era and a more versatile choice for today's wardrobe. I used sections of beads and sequins from the discarded portion to hand sew and reapply to the missing strands on the upper half. I then hemmed the dress to hit just above the knee. Boy, am I slap happy with the results!

Sometimes I forget that beautiful vintage pieces aren't untouchable works of art but sewn garments meant to wear. It sounds silly, but it is a refreshing reminder that the best option may be a needle and thread not another stain busting concoction.

This dress inspired me to take on a whole set of dresses in need of some serious love, and I hope it inspires you too. Check back for updates on these upcoming projects! And I promise that there will be many future posts on my super secret stain removers. :)

Love this cocktail dress? This piece is available to buy in both my etsy and ebay stores.

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