4 January 2012

Vintage and Spikes and all things nice.

If you've stuck with my blog for a wee while, you might remember this vintage Frank Usher dress which I purchased for a teeny weeny 3 quid at a flea market.

Now, there were a couple of bummers with the dress: one was the length - too short to be maxi on 5"7 me (even in flats) but too short to be midi - the other was the weird high neck that crept up in such a fashion that I was afraid it would eat my face and I'd just be a body in a dress. I'll be honest, the gloriously Morticia-tastic sleeves (which split across the top and drape down the front and back of the arm) were a bit much for me too. So I bunged it on Dotty-Fionnula (my mannequin. Birthday gift - thanks mum!) and got to work.I needed a dress for work's Xmas party and fearing a High St "your dress is lovely, it looks familiar, oh that's cos I'm wearing it too" scenario, I figure vintage for a safe bet!

See how it hangs way above the floor? DF is about an inch taller than me. She's less concerned with the face covering potential of the dress. However, by this point, I'd trimmed down the crazy neckline and folded it in on itself. I'd also decided that I wanted to go spiky! So I got this in theTopshop sale for about £3-4:

And picked off the spikes:

Shit Topshop quality meant that, with a quick snip of the thread, they glue came away and they pulled off easily! First time their poor quality has paid off for me! The next thing on my shopping list was a set of shoulder pads which were a coupla quid in John Lewis (note how my dress is now close to tripling in cost!):

 Pin one end to align with the shoulder:


And stitch to hold. Then it's time to get those spikes on.

And done (yes that IS a glass of wine in the background):

Now, at this point, I need to ask you to really use your imagination. Y'see, being the half arsed and forgetful blogger that I am, I forgot to photograph a whole bunch of steps. In a nutshell:

* I picked open the shoulder area and added the spiked up pads in. My machine couldn't handle it so this was a hand sew job. Eeshk!

* The neckline still refused to sit right so I decided to, in a Groove Armada style, "get sexy with it"*, and chopped a mahoosive slit from the neck down to the waistline between the boobs. Bang! Quick hem and done.

* I also took the dress up to a demure midi length to counteract the full on boob action. I don't have a pic of that either.

The good news is that it turned out looking better than I had expected and I wore it to the party - yay! Here's the top half of it (shame - I had awesome shoes on too. Obvs.), along with my scary plum lipstick, spike ring and obligatory gin. Woo! That's my delish pal Magda to my right. Say hi everyone!

*If that meant nothing to you, you may wish to listen to this song.


Sophie - Country girl said...

I love what you did, the top half of the dress looks amazing (and you look gorgeous!), we'll never know about the bottom half haha!

Lilybobombslovelylumps said...

Such an amazing job on the dress, it looks stunning! x

Faff said...

Awesome DIYing! I'm also rather in love with the ring now... :)

Vix said...

Words fail me! That is one spectacular makeover and you look absolutely stunning. Well done, a huge improvement on the original. x

Please may I? said...

Well that looks amazing! The neck line and spikes completed the look.

You look incredible.

X x

Pink Haired Princess said...

Hello gorgeous! Absolutely amazing transformation on the dress, it looks fabulous as do you : ) Love the spike ring too.

Shabna said...

WOW that looks so good! It looks amazing x x

vintage process said...


Anonymous said...

That is completely amazing! It never occurs to me to try anything like that, but this post is inspiring - the new dress is beautiful!

Misfits Vintage said...

I frickin LOOOOOOOOVE it! It is absolutely stunning and I love the studs (and your hair!) and it is super flattering. You are so clever. I am totally inspired to try my hand at something similar. Sarah xxx

Amy said...

Wowsers, you look awesome in the re-vamped dress. A victory for vintage.

phutchison said...

Stunning! I love it. Wish I could be as creative as that. I do kinda want to hit my wardrobe with a pair of scissors now though!! X

sacramento said...

This is a fantastic DIY, ahhhhhhhh.
You look so stunning in that dress.

eL HiNO (eng. ee-no, esp. i-no) said...

WOW! Your friend, Magda, is gorgeous. I rarely comment on blogs but I had to say it.
My blog: http://hinorama.blogspot.com/
Cheers! =)