Today we have a two-fer. That’s right, dear readers, I adopted twins.
These dresses appear to have been handmade. I can say with almost complete certainty that they were birthed in the ‘60s, because of several indicators: the dolman sleeves, the textures of the fabrics, and the fabric colors. Each of these things is characteristic of the ‘60s. The skirt fabric was also cut on the bias, so the embossed patterns of the fabrics meet in the middle in a chevron shape.
I adore the little fabric flowers at the shoulders. Brooches were popular at the time. So, perhaps, these were added to prevent the wearer from having to put a brooch on every day.
The colors would not show up correctly, no matter how many times I tried. The purple dress looks blue, but I assure you that it is a deep, yet vibrant purple.
The two colors look almost exactly the same as Joan Holloway’s dress in the picture below, from season 1 of Mad Men. This dress of Joan’s is the first thing I thought of when I saw these dresses (Solely because of the colors, as the majority of her clothes are much more form-fitting).
I think these dress were made using this exact Simplicity pattern from the ‘60s.
I wasn’t feelin’ the blousiness of these dresses, and they seem to have been made for a fairly tall person. So, I thought, and thought about how to tackle this problem.
Finally, I came to the conclusion that I should take out the zippers in the back.
I then separated the bodices and the skirts of the dresses.
The plan was to cut off the excess material on the bodices, and reattach the skirts and bodices. I really wanted to put the dresses back together without having to deal with the zippers (Meaning I’d use elastic instead, for convenience sake), but the tops of the skirts were too tight…
I forged on, not allowing that to impede my vision for the dresses. Since the skirts were a-line and too long, I cut the tops of the skirts down to a wider part. That way, the elastic at the bodice-skirt seam would work.
The batwing sleeves weren’t doing it for me. I separated them from the bodice.
When everything was separated, I decided I wanted to make it interesting by mixing and matching pieces of the dresses.
I still wanted the dresses to be sleeveless and I also didn’t like the high necklines (the fabric was just too thick and stuffy). So, I trimmed down each bodice to one shoulder strap.
In order to make the fabric flowers stand out more, I wanted to place them on the opposite colored dress. It would have taken forever to separate them from their respective dresses with a seam ripper. Since I had cut the straps containing the flowers off of the dresses, it gave me the option of simply cutting the flowers off of the straps.
I used part of one of the sleeves in the opposite color to create a strap for the other side of the bodice.
I took the bodices in about an inch on each side, sewed the raw edges of the neckline and armholes, and added the straps.
Finally, I sewed the bodices and skirts together, and prepared to attach the elastic. However, I liked the babydoll look the dresses allowed for without the elastic. With the addition of a belt, the fit could be changed. Therefore, two types of looks would be possible.
I remembered that I needed to affix the flowers to the dresses.
And this is the result of the twins’ makeover. The results aren’t exactly Joan Holloway-esque, but the colors are. Maybe if she had a modern twin, she would wear these. 🙂
We’re ready for our close-ups!
Here are some individual pics of the front and back.