The Newsroom Dress

Today’s piece was not in the picture from yesterday of all my thrift store treasures (It was hanging to dry after being laundered, and I forgot about it), but I did come across it on the same trip.

Before- Sorry for the blur. I couldn’t tell on my camera that it looked this way, and I can’t really take a new pic now. 🙂

I loved the pattern and general shape of this dress, and the fact that it had pockets.

Hooray for pockets!

It was definitely from the ’70s or early ’80s with 100% Rayon fabric. Thankfully, there were no shoulder pads, but there was a stiff muslin piece on the inside, at the shoulder/sleeve seam, to give the sleeves a sharp puff. The pattern itself doesn’t consist of crisp polka-dots, but rather a sponged/airbrushed dot look.

Airbrush dots

It made me think of a newsroom for some reason. Maybe I saw a similar dress in the newsroom on the Mary Tyler Moore Show (Yes, I sometimes watch old TV shows from the ’70s. It is strictly for inspirational purposes ;)). No matter where the inspiration came from, we’re calling this The Newsroom Dress.

Channeling my inner news reporter, and interviewing the freshly convicted shoe thief... “Why did you chew that pair of shoes, Mr. Newton?” (Mr. Newton was too ashamed to even look at me.)

At some point in its lifetime, someone attempted to shorten the waistline of the dress. I could tell it was an alteration to the dress, because there was a buttonhole in the fold. I wouldn’t have minded it if the line was straight and all the way around the dress, but it wasn’t. Not to mention, there was smocking in the back of the dress, which would have made it a pain to sew a nice line all the way around. So, I just ripped out the poorly executed tailoring attempt.

The pre-reconstruction waistline

As you can see in the previous picture, there was also a missing button at the waist, but not to worry. I’ll be cutting the neckline down a bit, so a button from the top can stand in for its missing comrade at the waist.

The responsible button from the neckline replacing his unreliable brother.

I know the sleeves could have been remedied, and there are no shoulder pads…but, I’m a bit trigger happy with my scissors and seam ripper lately, and it is still too warm to be comfortably donning dresses with sleeves.

Buh-bye sleeves! Don’t worry; I’ll save you for another project.

The length just wouldn’t do either. So, with a few snips and pins, I was ready to sew up the new hemline.

Pinned and ready

I took the dress in a little bit at the sides of the bodice and shaped new armholes. The shoulder seams needed to be adjusted as well. I paid careful attention to the pleats that were at the shoulder seam.

New shoulder seams and pleats

I then finished the edges around the neckline and armholes, and made a little belt with the excess fabric from the skirt.

Here is the final product.

Instead of the fabric belt, I paired it with a white vintage belt.

Paired with a sweet white cardigan, the dress would be ready for a fashionable day in the newsroom, or a day of in-depth reporting.

It still looks really cute without the belt.

For those wanting to know more about Mr. Newton, you’ll have to wait until another edition. 😉

Close up of the top and the waistline.


About Becca

I am a self-taught seamstress, and I love to create unique women’s clothing. This blog is a record of the hodgepodge of sewing projects that occupy my time. Reconstruction projects are my favorite, but I also create clothing from my own designs using both recycled and new materials.
This entry was posted in clothing, diy, dress, indie, ooak, recycled, repurposed, retro, sewing, thrifted, Uncategorized, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Newsroom Dress

  1. Rachel Laffoon says:

    You are the best! I love what you do with the clothes and the commentary is wonderful. I still need to meet Mr. Newton!!!!

  2. Sarah Lewis says:

    You are definitely Rachel Coles Laffoon’s granddaughter!! But, she did inherit her sewing talent from our mother which makes your talent even more special. This is one cute dress!

  3. Laurie Laffoon says:

    That is a REALLY cute dress! I love all the clothes you make! And I love you! You are an amazing writer too! ❤

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