May 22, 2017

Clipping the Bat Wings!

Digging through the box of dresses that my mom gave to me (ones that she wore back in the late 70's-early 80's), this blue one was the next to catch my eye.  I really liked the soft color, and although it is polyester, it has a linen-like feel to it.

The overall fit was fine, but it needed some tweaking to bring it up to speed. 

I liked the empire waist detail so I left that as is.  I didn't, however, want the confines of a collar, so I removed it and cut a nice scoop neckline.  After cutting off some of the length of the dress, I had enough fabric to make a facing for the new neckline.

The dolman sleeves were also shortened, and the side seams brought in to eliminate most of 
the "bat wing" effect.

The back had several rows of elastic at the waist.  This was good for fit and comfort, but I didn't care for the look.  From the excess fabric leftover from cutting off the length, I stitched a band that was the same width as the front waist detail.  I put the dress on and measured across the back of my waist from side seam to side seam.  I added an extra inch to the measurement and cut my band to size.  I turned under each end of the band 1/2" and attached it to each side seam.  It does a nice job at disguising the elastic.

The last thing I did was remove the buttons that were more gray than blue, and replaced them with some nice white buttons.

Not a lot of tweaking, but enough to make this dress a nice addition to my spring/summer wardrobe 35+ years after my mom wore it!

I like to link to these great parties!

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  1. What a difference a few alterations make - in particular the collar and batwing sleeves. I wore those sleeves in the 80s, but they weren't really flattering.

  2. One of the best make-overs I've seen and a real inspiration. Well done!

  3. Love how you are bringing your Mothers clothes back to life. It would be an awesome memory if you had a picture of your Mom in the dress back in the day and then one of you in the remake. I love reading your post!

    1. Thanks Lori! I would LOVE to have pictures of my Mom wearing some of these dresses. I have asked, but she doesn't recall if she has any. I may have to go and look through the old photo albums!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan