Purple Panache Dress

My second thrift store project for the week began as the dress below.


I look like I'm wearing football pads under there. Geez!


For some reason, even when I stood stock-still, the pattern blurred in most of the pictures.

It has four buttons at the waist, but they’re pretty difficult to see.


I picked this dress off the rack because of the purple and white floral pattern and the little buttons at the waist. I didn’t like the huge sleeves or weird length, but those would be easily remedied.

The first step in the reconstruction process was the traditional removal of the shoulder pads.

I think these are the largest shoulder pads I have come across to date. I could make a little purse with them.


Next, I took off the sleeves and a chunk from the bottom of the dress.


The sleeves won't miss their mother for too long. I'll be adding them back to the dress after a little tweaking. Since it's not summer anymore, sleeves are in order.


The zipper was unnecessary since the back of the dress had elastic smocking at the waist, and removal of the zipper made it easier to create a new neckline.


Zipper removal


I took the dress in about 1.5” on each side, created new shoulder seams and armholes, and sewed up the back where the zipper once was.


Sewing the back seam


From the old sleeves I created new ones, sewing three pleats at the top of each sleeve and attaching them to the new armholes.

The leftovers from the sleeves will make really cute cap sleeves on something in the future.


New sleeves and leftovers


I finished the neckline, with a little box pleat in the center, and hemmed the bottom of the dress.

I donned my new frock and decided to title it, “The Purple Panache Dress,” because I seem to be incapable of displaying any literary adeptness aside from alliteration as of late. 😉


It would look super cute with a pair of tights and some flats or booties. Here’s a close-up. See if you can spot the buttons…

On an unrelated note:

Another blogger wrote about this article that she recently came across (from the New York Times), and I had to share it. The article is about a woman who turned a hunting cabin on her property, into a little cottage for herself.

pic- Trevor Tondro for The New York Times


What girl wouldn’t want something like this? The gal renovated and furnished the cabin for $3000. How cool is that? The process of creating a space like this would be just as enjoyable as the finished product.


Trevor Tondro for the New York Times


There are more photos of the inside of the cabin on a slide-show you can get to through the article link. They’re amazing!

Hmmm… The next time hubby and I talk about the big shop he’s going to have when we settle down on some land, I may have to mention building my own little getaway. 😉

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, recycled, repurposed, retro, sewing, thrifted, Uncategorized, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Purple Panache Dress

  1. Trudy Callan says:

    It turned out really cute. I agree that it would look great with some tights.

  2. Sarah Lewis says:

    I absolutely love this dress!! If I was tiny like you, I just might would come steal it from your closet!! That little cottage could be called a “mother-in-law cabin”. It usually where men go when m-i-l comes to visit but you could use yourself for the same purpose!! Sorry, Alex, I’ll bet your mother is a jewel. I know for sure you live with a jewel!!! Love you, Aunt Sarah

  3. Stephanie says:

    The dress is super cute. Also, that cabin is possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I want to live there and eat scones and listen to birds sing!

  4. Hi,
    I just wanted to say thanks for your nice comments on my recent burdastyle creations. Your blog is great! it’s wonderful to find people out there who are like-minded and so into refashioning/ repurposing/ upcycling!
    I look forward to your next entry!


  5. Christine says:

    This dress is so cute! You must have some mad sewing skills….. And, I saw that house on the net too. Makes me totally want to buy a little bit of land in the mountains and make my own cabin. Maybe that will be my next blog theme 😉

    • Thanks! Yeah, that cabin makes me want to do the same. Although, my husband and I already have plans to do that in the Pacific Northwest, so really the cabin just reinforced that plan. 🙂 I would totally read a blog with that theme!

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