Following on from yesterday's blog post topic of reusing, recycling, making-do-and-mending, I'm delighted to unveil my latest refashion project. This rayon crepe dress was one of the very first 1940s items in my vintage wardrobe, and the first vintage novelty print I owned. Although the waist was a little high on me, and the fit was a bit odd, I worked with it and I wore and loved it. When I noticed that the fabric was becoming very delicate and fraying through at the shoulders, I reinforced the seam, then added an iron-on interfacing and darned it in. It wasn't enough though, and the beloved dress, too delicate to wear regularly, hung unappreciated on a padded hanger in the wardrobe. Until eventually I decided that a print this adorable needed to be worn; it was time to give the dress a new lease of life. I'll discuss the refashion in more detail in an upcoming post, but I will say I'm delighted with how the dress turned out!
Although you may notice that the novelty print features daisies rather than bluebells, I always associate this dress with bluebell season as one of its first outings was to a bluebell wood. The English Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta) is my favourite flower; they're understated where daffodils are brash, dainty where tulips are bold, and their delicately frilled trumpets, demurely downcast, give them a shy demeanour that makes even cherry blossom look extroverted. Their soft blue carpeting of woodland floors is utterly enchanting; I always feel like there are fairies hidden just out of sight whenever I'm in a bluebell wood. Unfortunately, the English bluebell is endangered by habitat loss due to the destruction of ancient woodland, as well as the introduction of the non-native Spanish bluebell as a garden plant. About half the world's population of English bluebell plants are in the UK, and they are now a protected species.
While I'm looking forward to experimenting with different colour combinations now that my favourite dress has a new lease of life, for now I accessorised fairly neutrally, keeping it mostly tonal, with the hot pink gloves providing a colour pop. I combined plastic and metal jewellery: this sweetheart neckline provides the perfect opportunity to wear my matching set of marcasite dress clips; I've had the necklace since I was four or five years old! The hat is another refashion, and is part of an ongoing project I'm working on.
Do you have a wounded bird vintage dress to refashion? I'm planning a post on the design process I take for a refashioning project like this, along with make-do-and-mend ideas and pattern suggestions. Let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to address in the post!