Friday, June 24, 2011

crafts: thrifted vintage dress re-fashion

i was getting envious of all the stylish chickies in their vintage style summer dresses. they always look so chic, timeless and colourful!! plus it gives them extra reason to thrift-shop if they actually wear them! so i thought to give it a go myself! :) 

picked out a dress in shimokitazawa (following the recommendation from dear chie) for just 630 yen (~ 7 dollars) and brought it home in glee. only to sit on it for months mortified cos i looked like this... 

it didn't have a single "zhing" element.. no short swishy skirt, no plunging neckline, no gaping holes at the back. and what's that long sleeves about!?
actually.. i think my mom would approve for sunday school...

but maybe a little too frumpy!? 

i tried showing it to my stylish friends, hoping one of them will say, aww zhing... don't be harsh. its kinda cute. but nah... so it sat in my wardrobe for months...
until under the threat of being thrown out, i decided to give it a go!!

firstly, i chopped off a huge chunk of the skirt... 

i was on the brink of tears cos my cheapy machine choked up every 3rd stitch... so don't look on the underside!! its horrendous! (any tips?)

it swishes nicely so we can go dancing in it! 
and with a cardi, i still looked vaguely teacher-ly! :) 

i wanted cute little cap sleeves but chopped the sleeves off before realizing that i didn't know how to make cap sleeves! hah!

and you didn't think that was it, right??? :) 

key-hole back just like a wedding dress i really really wanted...
following a tute at a pair and a spare.

dress:: diy, shoes:: miumiu, cardi:: zara, baubles:: f21, diy & mikimoto, clutch:: gifted from deaf.



  1. Wow! You really made something wonderful out of that dress! I love a great refashion and yours is at the top. Nice work! :)

  2. i kinda liked it with the cardi :)

  3. That is too cute! I love the transformation!! :)

  4. @ShannonSews

    thanks so much! such a compliment!!

    p.s. im your newest follower, hoping to pick up some real sewing tips from you! xx

  5. @kennytricia

    definitely! what do you think?? i can wear that to work, right??

    im after a hunter green cardi with gold buttons to go with this dress!

  6. @Cindy

    thanks cindy! i had so much trouble with this fabric!! xx

  7. It looks absolutely amazing and very Zhing! =) Bravo!

  8. you are so darn good with your hands! love your crafts and DIY projects for the house and your cute doggie.

    i can only look, admire and wish (or spend money on a ready-made item)
    i'm no good with art/craft. boo.

  9. o wow! super cute!! i love it!!! :)

  10. Wow, that's a major major improvement from the original frumpy dress!


  11. Gorgeous! Sooo much difference from when you last showed it to Sue and I! And it's totally Zhing now. ;)

    But just a thought... The belt looks great from in front but from the back, it seems like there are a bit too many details fighting for attention: the belt, sash and the lovely gaping keyhole.

    I prefer the sash at the back but the belt at the front but I think if you pile on the accessories and cardi, it's safe to let the belt go?

    Just a thought! :D

    PS: I got a vintage skirt from Shimokitazawa too! But so much more expensive than your dress. Mine was 900 yen. :(

  12. @Yingjie

    all thanks to daniel and his elaborate photography efforts!!! i'll pass on the compliments! :)

  13. @Janice

    thanks babe!! and thanks for reading about it so patiently..

    somehow buying ready-made items has that instant gratification that crafting doesn't meet!! i spend heaps on ready-made things too!! no money savings there...

  14. @miss.t

    thanks so much!! :)

    i really loved that wedding dress.. too bad it was sooo out of our budget!!

  15. @Jace Tay

    innit?! i couldn't imagine wearing the original one out!!! some people can carry that look off...

    but definitely not me!

  16. @Yi Lian

    hahaha!! i was hoping you'd inherit it and make it stylish!! :)

    i agree that it is a little too cluttered! but the belt and the sash is one piece. (actually its just a piece of satin ribbon!) maybe i should just let the ribbon go! i was trying to define my waist (or at least try to look like i have one!!)

    900 yen is not that much more ex la! just 300 yen difference. i couldn't explain how to get to this store though, my friend actually had to point it us when we were there! :)

  17. what bout instead of using a ribbon to a Obi style one where there is little or no excess material?

    Or if u want to keep it just as black just sew the black satin ribbon directly unto the dress as a detail on the dress rather than a a belt?

    Just my 2 cents worth! =)

  18. I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!

    I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.

    Hope to see you soon.

    come strut your stuff

  19. I think your friend Yingjie's suggestion is excellent! :D

    If only we're in the same city! I'll rather pay you than my expensive seamstress for reworking my clothes. There was a dress where I paid her $80... Wanna cry!

    Haha, I felt my skirt was much more ex cos I was buying for half an outfit whereas yours was a dress!

  20. You saw potential in a frumpy dress and made it into something beautiful. A job well done.


  21. @Yingjie

    brilliant.. you girls are geniuses! :) i might do just that!

  22. @Mindie Hilton

    thanks for visiting and sharing about the party! i'll be sure to visit!

  23. @Katie

    gee thanks! :)

    p.s. cute blog! im your newest follower!

  24. awesome! i love that keyhole back! can you really just take a pair of scissors and take a wild stab?? love!

  25. i love how you diyed the dress!! sooo pretty! love the back. i love open back and any kind of cut out details.. did you go to 3biki no koneko for the dress? i love that store! i must get there again for some summer dresses:)

  26. @punkychewster

    i sure did! not sure if thats REALLY how you're meant to do it. i don't really know how else!! :)

  27. @vivatveritas

    yes i sure did! i picked up this one the day we met! :)

  28. look at that sexy back! *wolf whistles*

    loving the re-made dress, especially the skirt portion :D

  29. YES, a green cardi with gold buttons would go perfect with this dress!

  30. ohhh i love the dress! You did it justice :D

  31. Oooooo loving it!! Sexy back!!!


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