Search SHS

Friday, July 22, 2011

From bag lady to vintage stunner: DIY

What do you get when you cross a vintage, XL size skirt with a little elastic and some basic sewing skills? Possibly, an awesome, 70's cocktail dress! And here's how you can do it!

I found this skirt for a dollar at a thrift store in Eagle Rock last month. It was a cool, zigzag, metallic patterned fabric, but it was also huge. I wish I saved the before picture because you would all just laugh. But I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it and get to work!
I laid out the skirt on my couch after trying it on to assess where my empire bust-line would fall. (See the above photo).

I found and marked the side seams, center front, and center back with pins. Then I attached 1" wide elastic to those center points and anchored it into place.
I put my machine on a wide, zigzag stitch and pulled the dress through while stretching the elastic to fall on top of the material. (If you stretch the elastic out across the fabric and sew it when it's pulled, it will snap back into a ruched pattern when you release it).
 Like so... Notice the gathers?
I tried it on as a strapless and loved it, but let's face it, straps are just easier to deal with and I hate tugging at my bust all the time. So I pulled out an old bra and removed the skinny straps from it. Then I tacked them on to the dress at the sides and back.
Resulting in this!
 A super cute, super 70's, lamé evening shift. And here it is on!!
 Since the dress pattern is fairly busy, I kept it basic and looped a ton of chains and necklaces over it.
 Simple hoops...
 And of course, black leather booties and a vintage, leather clutch.
And that's how we rock a big 'ol skirt into a trendy bit of night club wear.

Try it at home with a cheap skirt and see what you can do with a little elastic and imagination.

Noa B

Dress: Redesign vintage
Hoops: F21
Clutch: Vintage
Boots: Seven for all Mankind
Necklaces: Vintage, multiple


  1. Wow, awesome! Will have to re read that ruching brain is slow today

  2. I think this dress turned out fantastic! This is one of my favorite SHS posts! Good job, Noa!